Attic reopens after £100,000 refurbishment
There were no bats or cobwebs to be found when an attic was re-opened as a community hub after undergoing a £100,000 transformation.
The Attic Project, a centre based on the top floor of Bury Spiritual Centre in Russell Street, is the new home of Bury probation office’s supervision centre for women.
The space provides support for people serving community sentences and now organisers want the public to tell them how else the hub can be used.
Volunteers and offenders carrying out community orders worked together to paint the attic, which now has several rooms, a wheelchair lift, fire escape and central heating.
The aim of the group is to reduce re-offending and support the rehabilitation of offenders. One such person, who wanted to be known as Suzanne, volunteered to help decorate the space after completing a drink-driving sentence.
She said: “We used to have a room in the church, but doing one-to-one work there was tricky because people could overhear you. The new space is fantastic, and that’s a big help.
“The group is great. I love meeting participants, getting involved in charity work and learning from the organisations that visit to run sessions. I want to open a café and I’ve had a lot of support.”
The super-vision centre, which runs twice a week and has up to 18 participants, delivers a job club and support for health and domestic violence issues.
Justine McGill, probation officer, said: “Our aim is to hold offenders to account for their actions, but also to support people in their rehabilitation.
“The Attic will make a huge difference to the services we provide because it will provide a superb space for our activities.
“The church has been great and the partners involved in this project deserve a lot of credit.”
Project leaders are asking the community to suggest what else the hub can be used for — such as sessions for young, older, vulnerable or unemployed people.
Activities could include IT courses, healthy eating programmes, social clubs, first-aid or food hygiene courses, a youth club, and support groups# for people with specific needs.
Chairman of the Attic Project, Robert Hughes, said: “This project started as a small idea which quickly grew into what it is today. The Attic Project is for the community and we are sure there is a need for services that we can offer.”
Anyone with suggestions on how to use the centre can contact Attic Project lead volunteer Dawn Turnbull on 07787 357197 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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