Come on down to the pavilion!
Volunteers picked up their paintbrushes and tools to help revive a community building put out of action after being damaged by thoughtless vandals.
Late last year a gang broke into the Bolehill Pavilion, in Crookes, Sheffield, kicking down partition walls and spraying paint around the rooms.
The council then said the venue was unsafe to be used, as the damage left electrical cables exposed – but now locals have teamed up to bring the pavilion back into use.
Susan Smith, chair of residents’ group Crookes Forum, said the progress made was ‘fantastic’ and that the work ‘went really well’.
“We got everything we wanted to do and more done,” she said.
“It was a successful group effort, everybody coming together to make sure the work was completed. It’s made a big difference.”
Repairs were carried out by forum members as well as the Friends of the Bolehills, council parks officer Andy Phillips and the Derwent Woodcraft Folk, who use the pavilion for meetings.
Susan said she had found the vandalism incident ‘depressing’.
“It was just mindless, damaging it for other people. They got into the building at night and then kicked their way through the internal walls, obviously looking for something, but there’s nothing there to steal.
“The Woodcraft Folk store their equipment in little cupboards in the pavilion – the vandals took some of the readymix paint and spread it about, over the walls, the windows and floors.
“It was put out of action for a couple of months, the electrics were exposed so we couldn’t use it.”
The repairs over the weekend involved walls being re-boarded, plastered and painted, as well as cleaning windows, fittings and the floor.
Susan said she suspected the damage was caused by young people who gather near the building.
“There’s nowhere else in the park for teenagers, and consequently sometimes you get a bit of vandalism. The question now is, how can we take this forward so there is more for kids to do? Maybe a project would be to find some seating in a better place for teenagers.”
She added that more groups need to use the pavilion to make sure Sheffield Council pays for any future repairs needed.
“If fewer and fewer groups use it, there becomes less of an incentive to fix it,” said Susan.
Call 0114 2500 500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about hiring the venue.