Drop-in centre gets a facelift

By Mark Elson in Local People

A LONG-running drop-in centre for youngsters has reopened its doors after a two-week closure for a makeover on its ground floor area.

The CANDI ‘Drop-In’ in Market Street, Cinderford, has re-opened its doors again after a two-week closure for a much needed ‘makeover’ on its ground floor area.

Project manager Sue Fellows thanked Gloucestershire Community Pay Back Team for their hard work in painting and decorating.

And she said: “We now have back our warm, welcoming and inviting environment for young people to meet and socialise with their friends in safety and comfort.” 

The group has been running for 23 years providing a ‘drop-in’ youth café and a weekly street dance project in Cinderford and Drybrook, and has been supported by Cinderford Town, Forest of Dean District

and Ruspidge/Soudley and Drybrook parish councils.  

Funding has also been provided by some charitable trusts, but this has decreased dramatically and small voluntary organisations such as CANDI struggle to secure ongoing funding.

Sue said: “I have seen many small local charities sadly closed due to a lack of funding.

“Funding we receive is ploughed back into the ongoing operation of our facilities, leaving little over for building maintenance.”

But she said talks were currently underway with Involve Gloucestershire and hopefully the project would also see the shopfront soon revamped.

She thanked Travis Perkins in Cinderford who have already donated half the materials needed for the work.

“CANDI is very fortunate in that we have a fantastic team of loyal committed volunteers, without whom the project would be unable to operate its facilities for the young people,” she added,

“Volunteers are very special people whose donation of time and effort warrants special consideration. They are the most important resource community organisations such as CANDI have.

“The ability of people to work willingly together for no payment but for the betterment of their local community is heart- warming.

“One can’t put too high a price on the value of volunteers – they are the life blood of the voluntary sector.”

CANDI is always looking for more volunteers and if you could spare two hours per week to help, please contact Sue on 01594 825410.

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