New space for Bermondsey youngsters in once disused church

News Desk (11 August, 2016)

“The beautiful painted walls sparked a ray of hope in me," the Reverend, Father Egerton Gbonda said

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More than 40 volunteers from the Thameslink Programme joined forces with community partners to transform a disused site in a Bermondsey church into a space for young people, Thomas Deacon writes…

The space was turned into a place to socialise, and take part in activities.

Teams from the programme, part of Network Rail, and contractors from Skanska renovated the basement and gardens of St. Katharine with St. Bartholomew’s Church in partnership with Southwark Council, charities and other volunteers.

The Reverend, Father Egerton Gbonda said: “The beautiful painted walls sparked a ray of hope in me, that our vision to provide a safe space for young people to meet and learn life skills will soon be a reality.

“For a long time we have dreamed of having somewhere that the community can come together to discuss issues that matter to us and soon this will be realised.”

The team included volunteers from across the Thameslink programme, including the Bermondsey Dive Under, a project aiming to untangle the tracks on the eastern approaches to London Bridge.

Network Rail project manager Greg Thornett said: “Voluntary projects like this one are important to our employees and allow us to build strong relationships with the communities in which we work.

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