Work has started on a £ 170,000 refurbishment project at Saltwood’s Lads’ Club.
The club, located in Saltwood near Hythe, was formed in 1917 to welcome home and allow soldiers to assemble upon their return from France.
It was originally based at Saltwood Castle, but seven years later moved into its own permanent building thanks to a generous contribution from a local resident.
The roof is replaced due to asbestos and thermal insulation issues.
It will also double the floor area of the main hall and provide better disabled access to the reopened main entrance above a new kitchen.
Reverend Barry Knot joined the village church last year. He is involved in the uplift project and believes space is more important than ever.
This is due to the fact that the focus has been more on a shared community since the start of the pandemic.
He explained: “The building is showing its age because it is a hundred-year-old wooden structure.
“At some point in its history, the church took control of it, which today makes it a parish hall.
“For some people it’s just a big shed, but for the people of Saltwood, it’s important. He has played a role in the lives of so many residents over the decades, especially those who were Boy Scouts.
“Covid-19 has taught us to redefine people’s priorities from anything we did before.
“I think the hall will be bigger than before, now people will be looking to do hobbies with others around them.
“The foundations have now fallen for the extensions.”
The vast majority of the money comes from charities that give to those who wish to provide community resources and facilities.
However, as the club is a Christian organization, the fundraising programs available to them are limited.
But the Lads’ Club is always looking for additional funds via donations to cover the costs of redecorating, curtains, blinds and finishes.
Pilates, history, cinema and other local groups also use this space for meetings and events.
Anyone who wants to learn more about the renovation or to donate can do so here.
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