Great to see Arun Youth Projects team raising money for Romania exchange trip with static bike ride

Young leaders from Arun Youth Projects are raising money to go on an exchange trip to Romania
Young leaders from Arun Youth Projects are raising money to go on an exchange trip to Romania

Well, we’re now well into October with Hallowe’en and bonfire night creeping up on us very quickly, and it really does make me wonder where the time goes.

On that note, the start of my week went rather quickly with me not feeling too well and so my first engagement was my sofa with a duvet and TV. But never fear, with a bit of rest I was soon back up and about.

Other than my normal meetings and such, I started my duties on Thursday with a trip to the old headquarters of The Body Shop by the Morrisons site which has been redeveloped into office spaces.

The centre, which I was asked to officially open, boasts 82 offices ranging from 132 to 427sqft ideal for one to six people, 24-hour access, customer lifts, on-site showers including fully accessible ones, and a dedicated centre manager by the name of Michele Boase.

On arrival I could see that a lot of work had been done to the once dilapidated, derelict site, which is now fresh, modern, inviting and well thought out with a large community space that had been set out for the occasion for people to meet and mingle.

On talking with Michele and from having a tour of the site, it was clear that BizSpace, which has several sites across the UK, believes in people getting the right balance of work and relaxation which is why they include communal kitchen spaces, quiet areas, book borrowing facilities, and rooms with chess and draughts laid out ready to unwind for a few minutes.

They also offer two good-sized meeting rooms with everything you would expect these days and these can be hired out to community groups as well as businesses by the hour, half day or day. I wish them luck and welcome them to Littlehampton as I see this as an exciting opportunity for new small businesses to start up and grow in our town.

I moved on to the Windmill Entertainment Centre for an afternoon with the Twilight Tappers. The group which originated at the Tamarisk Centre now meets at the Windmill’s very well-used studio every Wednesday for a chance to socialise, have fun and learn a bit of tap dance under the instruction of Lesley Mercer, who took over the group a few years ago when her mum Rose felt it was time to hand over the shoes.

Each year this group stage a performance to demonstrate what they have learnt and raise some money for a chosen charity, with this year being Turning Tides (previously Worthing Churches Homeless Projects).

While they tell you they are in it for the fun, their tapping was still wonderful and took a musicals theme which included a comical performance to music from Mamma Mia, which with its colourful costumes had us all laughing away.

I wondered if they knew I was coming, as one of their big numbers was to the title number of 42nd Street which has to be one of my personal favourites.

They interspersed their performance and gave time for costume changes by including poems and solo routines, and Mary even graced us with a performance showing off her vocal talents. I thoroughly enjoyed this and all involved are a great example of ‘you’re never too old’ with their membership ranging from age 63 to 93!

Later in the week I was off to cheer on and show my support to the Arun Youth Projects as five of their young leaders (Shannon McNeil, Casey Gardner, Stacie Holmes and twin sisters Caprice and Elise White) have been given the exciting opportunity to go on a learning exchange trip overseas to Romania with The Littlehampton Academy in July 2019.

They will be part of a team of 30 young people planning and delivering an action-packed engaging educational programme to children in three local villages.

Before they can go, they need to raise £750 each and so started with a static bike ride on exercise bikes taking them on a virtual ride from the Wickbourne Centre to Romania and covered the full distance of 1,910km in 24 hours over the weekend.

All money raised will go towards covering everything from travel, food, accommodation to resources needed and any money raised over the target will be donated to the partner organisations working throughout the year in the local communities in Romania.

They are already being sponsored by Arun Church, Arun Church Football Club, Pagham Ladies Football Club and K Property Maintenance, however still have a long way to go yet and so please consider donating to their fundraising page on Facebook.

I think this is a very exciting opportunity for these young people which will also do a lot of good. Full details of the event can be found at www.arunchurch.com/rideforromania.

That was my week and I hope you enjoyed yours, please keep doing all you do to keep our town a lovely place and let me know about anything you have going on so I can do my best to attend.

Young leaders from Arun Youth Projects are raising money to go on an exchange trip to Romania

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