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Charity has a month left to raise money to buy its youth centre home

PUBLISHED: 17:48 02 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:55 02 December 2018

Stuart Ayling. project manager of Eden's Project, outside the premises in Sudbury Picture: ARCHANT

Stuart Ayling. project manager of Eden's Project, outside the premises in Sudbury Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A Sudbury charity's appeal to buy its youth centre has one month left to raise the money it needs after the building's former owner offered first option on a purchase in his will.

The Eden's Project window at Wardale Williams Opticians in Sudbury Picture: WARDALE WILLIAMSThe Eden's Project window at Wardale Williams Opticians in Sudbury Picture: WARDALE WILLIAMS

Eden’s Project want to raise £160,000 to purchase, repair and renovate its 45 Gainsborough Street base, which the charity has been renting.

Formed in 1999, Eden’s Project is a charity which supports all young people and helps them to achieve their true potential through mentoring, and providing positive opportunities.

The centre has been adapted to suit the work of the charity and includes a smoothie bar, a catering style kitchen, a music room and recording studio as well as office space and a meeting room.

It currently supports 240 children but has had over 2,000 young people through its doors over the past 19 years.

The former landlord and owner of the building, Bill Yates, moved to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia 20 years ago but died there last September.

In his will, he gave Eden’s Project first option to buy the building at a preferential rate.

If the group can raise the money, not only will they save the building they already use but also the neighbouring premises, which will fall under their ownership.

The charity says it could either rent out the neighbouring premises or expand to increase the scope of its work.

Youth workers from Eden’s Project decorated the window of town opticians Wardale Williams last week with plastic drain pipes in the shape of Christmas trees to highlight the appeal.

Stuart Ayling, project manager/lead youth worker, said: “We started fundraising in February this year and have already raised £140,000 thanks to donations from the community, many who have used the centre themselves.

“We also received an extremely generous donation from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

“We have one month left to raise the remainder of the money and safeguard it for future generations.

“The funds will buy the building, pay for much needed repairs and renovations and anything left over will go towards the vital ongoing work of the youth centre.”

Amanda Skinner, manager of nearby Wardale Williams Opticians, said: “When I heard about Eden’s Project, I knew there must be a way for us to help them raise awareness of their situation and help them raise the rest of the required money.

“We came up with the idea of decorating the shop window and the youth team have done an incredible job and have been very inventive – it looks really festive.

“We have a collection tin in the shop and we will also be matching customer donations up to £200.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation can visit Wardale Williams or www.mydonate.bt.com/events/edens

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