The re-opening of Ridgewood Village Hall was planned to have been a big event for local residents to attend but due to recent Covid restrictions the event became a semi-virtual event.
The newly refurbished hall was officially opened by the Mayor of Uckfield Cllr. Spike Mayhew.
Chair Karen Bedwell said:
“From initial thoughts and drawing by John Gothard and Chris Smith from 3D Architecture the hall has been transformed into a modern facility now able to provide more space for our growing community from babies through to seniors from clubs and social groups through to new ventures such as weddings and naming ceremonies.
“For nearly 40 years has been part of the Ridgewood community, created by a group of local people and businesses it has thrived and hold many memories of birthday parties, play groups, fundraising days and nights and so much more. It is vital that it modernises and continues to provide a hub for a community especially in the uncertain times we find ourselves in when unity and friendship is so important.
“Despite the pandemic and the cancellation of our grand opening I welcome you all to take a walk through the new hall and see its incredible transformation.
“In Rory Baptiste from Eternal Build we were lucky enough to find a builder who understaood our project ( and our lack of money) and has put so much extra time and his own finances into creating this amazing space. David Spurrell from RTS Surveying has supported me personally throughout this whole venture, from grant applications with Suzie Stephens at the prospect development company to supervising the whole project and without him it simply would not have taken off at all.”
“Adam Palmer from 2 Plan Wealth Management stepped in, not only to financially support our fundraising events but to pay for all the tiling to finish off the amazing state of the arc kitchen supplied free of charge by Taylor Wimpy along with all our toilets and hand basins as Liam Young volunteered his time for plastering our very bumpy walls. Chris Thorne from Thorne Engineering has created the first access path across the field to make our hall completely accessible to anyone requiring walking aid or wheelchair”
“TheRVH committee are entirely made up of volunteers and all have played their part past and present in getting us to where we are today, but special mention must go to Natasha Leppard and Lynda Smith who have worked with me on all the community fundraising events from easter bunny hunts, firework displays, summer and Christmas fairs,live band nights,bingo afternoons, events killed off by covid, but hopefully will return in 2021. We also look forward to starting the Ridgewood Todler group once again in January if coronovirus allows”
“This is and continues to be an amazing achievement by everyone involved and i hope we can now go on to phase 3 and raise money for the extension to provide a meeting room, a kitchenette to provide refreshments to the playing field and storage which we are so desperate for”
The Town Crier Ian Bedwell
Chair of Ridgewood Village Hall – Karen Bedwell
The Mayor cutting the ribbon
A new room at RVH named Keith Everett. Keith was a great supporter of RVH and the community events at the hall, always a willing participant. He had been involved with the RVH committee for a long time and very enthusiastic for the future plans.
All images above – Christine Skinner
All images Donna French