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The Medway Centre lands in the heart of the community

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The Medway Centre lands in the heart of the community


Published by Sophie Middleton for Sanctuary Housing Association in Communities and also in Housing, Local Government

Torbay Mayor, Gordon Oliver, alongside Watcombe's Community Centre Association Torbay Mayor, Gordon Oliver, alongside Watcombe's Community Centre Association

Residents in Watcombe came out in force to join the local Mayor, Gordon Oliver, to celebrate the grand unveiling of the newly named and refurbished community hub, The Medway Centre.

To mark the launch of the renovated centre the local neighbourhood were invited to view the improved facilities. All whilst enjoying a tasty curry banquet and partaking in a swap shop extravaganza organised by the community association and Sanctuary Housing – where unwanted items were exchanged, ranging from gift sets to football boots and DVD’s to children’s toys.

Along with the fun and games, buzzing atmosphere, and tasty refreshments, the local community also came to witness Torbay’s Mayor, Gordon Oliver, reveal the new name of their community hub. Thanks to a naming competition, residents had the opportunity to put their suggestions forward and the winning name was, The Medway Centre.

Together with monetary donations from Sanctuary Housing, the much-needed facelift was carried out by over 20 local firms pulling together to carry out a long list of improvements, including refitting the disabled toilet facilities on site, to make the centre accessible to a wider range of residents.     

Gordon Jennings, chair of the community centre committee, said: “We are over the moon with the number of local families who turned up for the launch of our refurbished centre.

“We would like to thank all the local firms who have helped us turn our centre around and the generous donation from Sanctuary Housing. The project to transform The Medway Centre has been community-wide and this is why we wanted the community to rename the centre and be at the heart of our celebrations.”

Torbay’s Mayor, Gordon Oliver, added: “It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet the Watcombe community and learn the story of how they all pulled together for their long-standing community centre.”

Sanctuary Housing’s head of local partnerships Molly Holmes continued: “We are overwhelmed with the support the centre has received throughout the refurbishment project, without all the workmen’s fantastic efforts the centre would not be in the improved state it is in today.”

The following companies have given their services free or at cost towards the centres throughout the refurbishment:

Sanctuary Housing

Sanctuary Maintenance

Regal Refurbishment

Interline Building Supplies South West

Howden Joinery Suppliers of Units and Doors

Rabart Decorating Merchants

Topps Tiles

Southwest Roofing Supplies

Hewett Electrical Supplies Limited

Plumb Base Plumbing Supplies

Plumb Centre Plumbing Supplies

County Skip Hire

Brandon Tool Hire

B&Q Torquay

Abbey Signs Paignton

Bay Tools Torquay

Eales and Baker Electrical Contractors

House of Tiles – Suspended Ceilings

C&P Roofing

Riviera Plastering – John Wilson and Oliver Cairns

Jake Pritchard

Plastic Mike Supplies

Jim White Flooring



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