Vandals strike twice at new health and wellbeing centre in Chichester
“We know that people are struggling — it has been the most incredibly difficult year but please work with us, not against us.”
That was the message from Chichester Community Development Trust after its new health and wellbeing centre was vandalised twice in two weeks.
The new centre, the Pavilion, which is still being developed, is due to open this June and was formerly the sales building on Havenstone Park.
The revamped building will include a pop-in café, fitness studio overlooking the park and five therapy rooms. Fitness experts will provide classes such as yoga, pilates and HIIT workouts along with evening workshops in the fitness studio, while a range of services will be available in the therapy rooms from talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy to reiki, massage and heartmath, as well as health and life coaching.
“There’s quite a lot of youth work going on in there too,” trust director Clare de Bathe said. “We are trying to build something for the community and young people.
“We only took over ownership of it [two weeks ago]. Really sadly we had a window smashed that week and then two windows smashed again [the week after].
“We had raised a lot of public money to do the building work. It’s really disappointing that this has happened so quickly when we are trying to develop something for the community.”
Clare said the damage is going to cost the trust ‘several thousands of pounds’ to repair and also wastes valuable time, with staff having to spend two days boarding up the smashed glass.
She added: “We are going to bring in a security team until we are open and whilst we’ve got building work going on.”
In a post on social media, Chichester Community Development Trust said it was ‘beyond sad’ after discovering the latest damage on Thursday morning.
“More vandalism on a building that we are putting our hearts and energy into making a space to help people feel better, to feel there is a space for them,” a spokesperson said.
“Please help us and the police if you have any information that could help the investigation into this ongoing vandalism.
“We are here for you in any way we can be. The team is pretty depressed today, but we will board them up and carry on.
“The Pavilion will be a beautiful space for absolutely everybody. It will open its doors in June of this year, and it will help us all feel a little better. Thank you for your ongoing support.”
If you are interested in supporting the project, please send an email to [email protected]