Eastbourne community centre receives cash boost from ward councillors

A community centre in the heart of Eastbourne has received a £2K grant from councillors in Old Town and Upperton wards.

The money will be used to upgrade and enlarge toilet facilities at the JPK Project in Church Street, Eastbourne. The building is home to the Palm Court Tea Room, a wonderful venue that offers work opportunities to people with a learning disability.

Longer term plans are to build a supported living centre to offer independence and allow young people to gain confidence and new skills.

Old Town ward councillor Jonathan Dow said he was delighted to be able to support the project from the council’s devolved budget. The grant saw six councillors working together to identify a need and win approval for the grant.

“This is a very worthy project and is giving valuable support to people with a learning disability,” Cllr Dow said.

“The new disabled toilet facilities will make the community centre an even more welcoming venue,” Cllr Dow continued. “It is fantastic that councillors from two wards have been able to come together to make this grant possible.”

Upperton ward councillor Pat Rodohan praised the work of founder Jill Parker. He said: “I have known of Jill Parker’s great work for young adults with learning difficulties since the 1990s when I was a ward councillor in Willingdon and we supported The Chalk Farm Garden and Restaurant projects. The JPK project is based in Upperton and as the local councillors we will continue to support it in any way we can.”

The ward councillors are Peter Diplock, Amanda Morris and Jonathan Dow from Old Town ward and Pat Rodohan, Sammy Choudbury and Robin Maxted from Upperton ward.

The tea room has been closed due to Covid-19, but will look to reopen once the Government has announced that it is safe to do so.