Charity launches £1m bid for centre revamp

A CHARITY is to launch a £1million fundraising drive in a bid to begin to replace and update dilapidated buildings, some of which have stood on its site for half a century.

Pestalozzi International Village Trust, in Sedlescombe, has been plagued by leaky roofs and window frames during recent heavy rainfall, with staff forced to patch up leaks with duct tape and silicone sealant.

Some of the buildings on Pestalozzi’s 170-acre estate have stood on the site since the 1960s.

But now the charity, which offers educational opportunities to bright but economically disadvantaged teenagers from around the world, wants to bring its facilities into the 21st century.

Chief Executive Sue Walton said: “Our buildings have done sterling work for us since the 1960s but we are really looking forward to getting our capital fundraising underway in the New Year so that we can start to build the facilities that will take Pestalozzi forward for the next fifty years.”

The first building planned is the Pestalozzi Centre, a facility aimed at providing a meeting and learning place for students and can be hired out to third parties.

Planning permission has already been granted for the centre, but £1million is needed to get the building work underway.

Some money came from the recent sale of land for development and The Greig Foundation has offered a loan for part of the cost.

Ms Walton said: “We are hoping that we can target some trusts and foundations that may be able to help us with more significant amounts of money.”

There are 50 students staying at Pestalozzi, each costing £16,000 per year, including expenses such as food and clothing.

Although Ms Walton admits the £1million target is “a significant hill to climb” she says the team are looking forward to the challenge. She said: “The fundraising team will be sitting down in January to work out what would be the best way of tackling this and what fundraising we can do with people locally.

“We are looking forward to getting to grips with this fundraising project.”