Volunteer hub to help serve Lavant after councils cut back

Lavant volunteers installed tables and benches in Centurion way with funding from CDC, Summersdale Residents' Association and the SDNP
Lavant volunteers installed tables and benches in Centurion way with funding from CDC, Summersdale Residents' Association and the SDNP

Work is set to begin on a new volunteer hub in Lavant to help facilitate everyday services being dropped by district and county providers.

Funds for the hub on the village green were approved on Tuesday from CIL and other developers contributions, with construction expected to begin in mid May.

Vice-chairman of Lavant Parish Council Adrian Blades leads the hard-working volunteer group, which carries out everything from fixing fences to weeding and clearing drains.

He said: “It’s an important project because it gives us a base for us to do maintenence and things like that and hopefully build on the volunteer team we have that works for the village.

“The whole purpose of the volunteer team is to serve the community and that’s what we do.

“West Sussex [county council] etc have reduced their services, if we want our village to be kept nice and tidy it’s up to volunteers to do it.

“I think it’s a growing trend from other villages I know.”

Lavant Parish Council has allocated its CIL funding and S106 towards the building of the new hub which will house equipment and serve as a workshop and meeting place for all volunteers whatever the weather.

Clerk Imogen Whitaker said the current dilapidated garage has been broken into repeatedly and the need for safe storage had become imperative.

Although the funds will cover the basic costs of construction, Adrian said the volunteers would be carrying out some of the work on the hub themselves to keep costs down and may have to fundraise for the final touches.

The volunteers will be giving an update at the Lavant electors meeting on April 25.

Other items for discussion will include the offer of a community hub as part of a development at Eastmeads industrial estate.

Residents may vote at the meeting to be held at Lavant Memorial Hall from 7pm.