A RYE charity which helps disabled people make the most out of life is set to expand after taking over the lease of the former Freda Gardham School.
It is a lifeline for the ARRCC charity which faces seeing its budget reduced by 30 percent in ongoing East Sussex County Council cuts.
Now ARRCC (Activities, Respite, Rehabilitation Care Centres) is set to launch a new furniture warehouse shop in the disused swimming pool building on the site.
Selling unwanted furniture will help keep the project going and enable it to continue to provide vital services to people in the Rye area who have physical and sensory impairments.
ARRCC also runs a day centre service for the over 65’s at Magdala House, Ferry Road in Rye.
The new furniture service is on course to be up and running in July and ARRCC have launched an appeal for any unwanted furniture, which the charity is able to collect using a van and driver.
It will also allow ARRCC to run special training courses for its users to develop furniture restoration skills such as French polishing and painting.
Taking over the lease for the site also allows ARRCC to hire out a theatre space that is fully equipped with lighting and sound and can be used for performances, conferences and training sessions.
ARRCC co-ordinator Grace O’Neill stressed that public support is still vital in order for the charity to keep going in the face of cuts.
She said: “We have had wonderful support from people in the past and we need that to continue.
“We want to become more self-sufficient and sustainable.”
Irna Mortlock, from ARRCC explained: “We have a 13 year history of helping people.
“The activities and services we provide make a real difference to people’s lives, reducing isolation and allowing them to be more independent.”
If you can help by donating any items of furniture contact ARRCC on 01797 227939 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rye ARRCC project has been met with such a demand that it now offers day centre services in Bexhill and has seen a successful ARRCC project being estabished in Folkestone, in Kent.