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Businesses pull together to give youth hut a free makeover

Community spirit was in full swing at Brownsover in Rugby when a team of 11 management trainees from property support service company, Fortem, renovated the local youth hut completely free of charge.  Despite the pandemic, work started on Brownsover Youth Hut in July and, in just six weeks, the team has completely transformed it, thanks to support from various local businesses.

(l to r) Kevin Brookes, On Track Co-ordinator, Rugby Borough Council, Craig Wilcockson Group People and Strategy Director at Orbit, Chloe Cripps from Fortem, Mike Jennings from Fortem, Pippa Reeve Placemaking & Partnerships Manager at Orbit, Kieran Pepper from Fortem and Paul Ward from Fortem

Brownsover Youth Hut in Hollowell Way was created through Rugby Borough Council’s ‘On Track’ initiative, which receives funding from Orbit. It provides children between the ages of 10-16 with activities, workshops and personal development opportunities.

The aim of the renovation was to modernise the facility to improve the morale of young people using the service and improve the status of the club by creating a safe, inviting and inspirational environment that the young people of Brownsover can be proud of.

The large scope of works worth over £40,000, featuring a new kitchen, new flooring, double glazing and new furnishings, has been able to take place solely through fundraising and donations of time and materials from local contractors.

The work would not have been possible without the help of Fortem’s valued supply chain partners and subcontractors: Eurocell, Travis Perkins, Nuneaton Signs, Benchmark, Tait Decorators, DMW Safety, Glen Dimplex Heating and Ventilation , Ambience Flooring , Duo Electrical, Acio Electrical, MTS Electrical, JR Electrical, Dale Studios, TNS Electrical, ARG Group, Arvag, Horizon, Environmental, EM&I, Brownsover Spar Store, Brownsover Community Association, Prime Interiors, Armina Ltd, Parkway, A and D.

As well as structural improvement and general refurbishment works, the Management Trainees have incorporated government initiatives which aim to create a new generation of super-clubs, including an IT suite and a state-of-the-art kitchen to encourage healthy living.

The completed youth club will also provide new opportunities for those attending to further develop their skills, access health and social services, build self-esteem and access housing and careers advice.

Local councillor, Kieren Brown, said: “I am absolutely delighted that money is being allocated to rejuvenate the Brownsover Youth Hut. This is a valued community resource and any extra investment at this time is most welcome.”

Craig Wilcockson, Group People and Strategy Director at Orbit commented: “I am so impressed with the work that has been carried out here. From what it was, to what it is today, is an amazing make-over and I cannot thank all those involved enough. Different organisations working together for the good of the local area is what building thriving communities is all about and the fact that this happened despite Covid, makes it even more remarkable. We are very proud to fund this facility and I am sure that the young people in Brownsover will be delighted with their new base.”

Pippa Reeve, Placemaking & Partnerships Manager at Orbit, added: “The transformation of the youth hut has been incredible and really shows what can be done when like-minded people and organisations come together. Building thriving communities is so important for us at Orbit and we are delighted that the youth hut has been given a new lease of life which will benefit so many young people in the Brownsover area.”