Community bid helped grieving Sidmouth gran Jan

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 November 2010

Community centre project underway at Stowford Rise Sidmouth. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 5280-44-10AW

Community centre project underway at Stowford Rise Sidmouth. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 5280-44-10AW

Archant

A FUNDRAISING Sidmouth granny has revealed how community campaigning has helped her overcome the heartache of losing her husband.

A FUNDRAISING Sidmouth granny has revealed how community campaigning has helped her overcome the heartache of losing her husband.

Widow Jan Jones, 70, is co-ordinating a residents’ £23,000 cash drive to equip the town’s under-construction Stowford Community Centre.

She told the Herald: “Fundraising has been absolutely wonderful for me- I’m just pleased to be involved in the community.”

The first turf was cut on the long-awaited project earlier this month, but more than £20,000 is still needed to furnish the facility with equipment ranging from cookers to curtains, before its scheduled completion in August next year.

Chief fundraiser for the Stowford Community Centre Association (SCCA) Jan said: “It’s going to mean everything. Now it’s being built everybody can see it’s started. People are beginning to realise it is going to happen and that is great. It will make such a difference. Once the site is up and built it’s up to the community to support it.”

Jan, from Baker Close, lost a fight to stop a developer building homes on a popular playing field used by kids in Stowford Rise last year, but hopes for a happier outcome with the centre.

She said moving to Sidmouth and campaigning for her community helped lift her from the depths of despair.

“I was widowed in 2008 and moved to Sidmouth,” said Jan. “Being involved with trying to save our play field, and now with the community centre, has made the world of difference to me and given me a new premise in life.”

A quiz night a the Balfour Arms last Wednesday raised £99 for the community centre bid.

Jan praised plucky fellow fundraiser Mandy Dowling, who lost 30 pounds and netted £137 as part of a three-month sponsored slim.

It is hoped a Christmas Bazaar on December 10 will boost the SCCA coffers further.

The group is made up of residents and local councillors.


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