New Volunteer’s Room
It’s hard to imagine that the room was once two. It was probably last July when Andrew Ogden tapped me on the shoulder and suggested that I might like to remove the partition wall between the two rooms.
Well a nod’s as good as a wink and down came the wall and supporting framework and Dave Edgar removed the rubbish almost before it was disconnected from the building. Andrew, whose knowledge of the structure of the buildings on the reserve is second to none, provided a design and a new supporting beam was put in place to hold the roof up and the framework wall beside the boiler was extended.
Meanwhile Jan Revell, the Trust’s Treasurer, had been in contact with Howdens Joinery in Margate and they had agreed to provide some new kitchen units to replace the mismatch of cupboards that existed. I had hoped that the units would be almost instantly available. However, this was not to be the case and we had to wait until the new year when the new units were available to us. When we did collect them, they had been supplied exactly to my specification and also included a sink and tap together with all fittings. Alex and Andrew helped to load and unload the units into my camper-van and we were all set to go.
Reece and Paul made quick work of dismantling and disposing or the old units leaving me to clear up the old mouse nest that we found below one of the old units. Then, floor washed, and walls wiped, we were ready to start the installation of the new. We started on a Monday and Alex and Steve were on hand to help me. We had a few issues getting the units level on the building’s bouncy floors but soon had the units in place and the water running again. Steve commented a few times that I wasn’t exactly inspiring him with confidence but I think it was the way that I would say: “I think, if we make a cut there, that’ll be it!”- perhaps I should be more positive about what I am doing in future!
The job is still unfinished with some tiling to do and a utility sink to install, then it’s just painting and decorating.
Sharon Q. has acquired some lockers for volunteers to leave valuables in while they are working on the reserve. I think that we all feel that the room will be a very valuable space for those who give up their time to make the reserve the successful place that it is.
Big thanks to Jan, Andrew, Sharon and Les who have all played a part and Alex, Steve, Paul and Reece who’ve given their labour to make the project viable. I must not forget the generous donation from Howdens Joinery and the finance that we got from the Aviva Community Fund.
David Copeman – Volunteer