Axminster's Pippins Centre is booming

PUBLISHED: 15:01 30 March 2018

Rev. Kay d’Albertanson outside Pippins with volunteer maintenance team members, Phil and Andrew. Picture ANN BRANSON

Rev. Kay d'Albertanson outside Pippins with volunteer maintenance team members, Phil and Andrew. Picture ANN BRANSON


Some 36 community groups now operate at the Lyme Road complex

Use of the Pippins Community Centre in Axminster is booming.

Axminster Churches Together (ACT) and the Recovery and Integration Service (RISE) Hub are celebrating a big upsurge in the past 18 months.

Rev Kay d’Albertanson, of ACT, and volunteer manager of Pippins, said: “I’m delighted that Pippins is thriving. Two years ago only two organisations, Axminster New Youth Club and The Project - both still at Pippins - were based in the building. “Today Pippins has 36 user groups, including many supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our town and area.”

As well as ACT, RISE, Axminster New Youth Cub and The Project, Pippins’ current users include: Axminster Baby Café, Axminster Baby Music Café, Axminster Bumps to Babies, Axminster Community Café, Axminster Home Educators, Axminster Job Club, Axminster Memory Café, Axminster Methodist Church, Devon Mediation Service, Devon Young Carers’ Respite Café, East Devon Citizens’ Advice Bureau, an English language conversation class, Little Pips Baby and Toddler Group, The Life Community, Lymenet, MAKE Drama, Singing Matters, and various county council and other professional bodies.

Pippins is a renovated Georgian building in Lyme Road owned by Devon County Council, leased to Axminster Town Council, and chaired by Axminster Mayor, Councillor Jeremy Walden.

“We have so appreciated Councillor Walden’s support and encouragement as we have sought to widen and develop the use of Pippins,” added Mrs d’Albertanson.

“A team of volunteers has decorated and improved the interior, and the same team is developing shared outdoor areas, enabling people from the youngest to the oldest to enjoy a range of activities outside, with the planting of native species and garden areas under the guidance of Penny Evans, East Devon Countryside Ranger.”

PCSO Hayley Widger, of Axminster Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “It’s great to see so many services and facilities in one place, where people feel comfortable and happy to come. People working and meeting together at Pippins helps bring the community together.”

To find out more information about activities at the centre see Pippins’ Facebook page or contact user groups. For bookings, contact Rev. d’Albertanson on 07901 906988.

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