Community centre aims to Raise the Roof to stop the leaks

Avonway community centre
Fundraisers Jane and Patrick Foley, who run Longwater Tai Chi

A FORDINGBRIDGE fundraising campaign to replace a community centre’s roof which is leaking so badly buckets are being used to catch dripping rainwater has reached £5,000.


The Avonway community centre launched its Raise the Roof appeal in September last year in a bid to raise £40,000 of the estimated £70,000 cost for a new roof.

More than 30 groups rent rooms at the building including a luncheon club which hosts meals for older residents.

They all donated to the appeal and also organised events to bring in more money including one-to-one pilates sessions and a tombola.

Jane Foley, who runs Longwater Tai Chi with husband Patrick and uses the rooms, said: “When we saw three buckets catching rainwater inside of the lovely room where we teach, we wanted to do our bit to help.

“We put a drip-catching bucket on the table and invited our students to put in donations.

“We also donated all our takings from using the building in the first week of 2020 to the appeal. Altogether we raised £224.”

Avonway community centre
Avonway community centre needs £70,000 to fix the roof

Local businesses have also donated to the appeal, with Fordingbridge Surgery holding a Christmas jumper day which raised £102, while the proceeds from selling mistletoe at the Gourmet Grocer raised another £88.

Individuals have also bought slates for £5 and will have their names included on a roll of honour which will be placed in a time capsule within the new roof.

The Avonway is maintained by the Fordingbridge and District Community Association, which is a charitable organisation.

Avonway chairman Chris Calder said: “We are enormously grateful to all who have donated. The money raised will be a great advantage in applying for grants once we have achieved planning permission and obtained quotations for the work.

“However, it’s a big, expensive roof and we’d still like more. If you value Avonway please donate to the cause.”

To find out more about the appeal email or ring 01425 652706.