Can you help us upgrade some bedrooms and increase border security?
What a year 2020 was! Although a veritable maelstrom of uncertainty, cancellations and governmental advice, never before have I and the Westbrook Team had such time to look at and develop Westbrook. We’ve been able to have a really good think about what our wonderful site provides to our guests, what those guests want and how we can make Westbrook the most effective and comfortable site for youth work we possibly can.
In recent years much of our infrastructure has changed and developed; we’ve improved the functionality of Westbrook no end, with radical increases in dull things like parking spaces, hot water on demand, and spaces for staff to live. Now our attention turns to making Westbrook more comfortable and commodious, following closely what our guests say when they give us feedback.
It will probably not surprise you that children and leaders have quite different notions about what would make Westbrook better. For young people, feedback tends to be quite simple – more bacon, less veg, more electrical sockets for their million chargeable devices and more time at the beach or in the pool. For leaders and teachers, it is less straightforward. Their feedback invariably centres around the themes of comfort and security. It behoves us to look at these issues carefully, for it is leaders, not young people, who decide which centre they might visit.
To this end, we are seeking your financial support to help us fund two projects at Westbrook this spring.
The first project is the conversion of four bedrooms into en-suite rooms for leaders and teachers across the three main zones of the house - The Dunny, Solent View and The Flat.
Group leaders keep the longest hours of all guests at Westbrook; invariably they are up first and last to bed. They take great pains and effort to prepare resources, arrange details for trips, plan Bible teaching and undertake the many various tasks that make a residential effective and impactful. I would love to be able to support them with bedrooms more suited to their needs. To do this we plan to reduce the number of beds in four rooms and add desks and en-suite showers and toilets.
We estimate the costs of these works to be around £3,000 per room, including plumbing works.
Can you help us make the lives of leaders and teachers at Westbrook a little bit easier?
The second project is to strengthen and reinforce our external border in the south and east.
Several local landowners in Westbrook’s immediate locale have built, are building, or have achieved planning permission for housing developments close to us and as such our site becomes more visible every day. The public footpath that runs along half of our border is busier than ever, and the development of land owned by our neighbours to the north for houses seems increasingly likely as our friends next door seek a buyer for their ‘brownfield’ site. Currently, our border next to the footpath is made up of chestnut pales (wooden stakes) and wire, and occasionally reinforced with “dead hedges” which serve both as border and wildlife habitat. I worry that if we are not able to reinforce this border with ‘proper fencing’ (to include proper holes for wildlife ingress and egress), we will be at increased risk of crimes of opportunity, locals taking shortcuts through the grounds and increased worry from group leaders and teachers.
Can you help us make Westbrook a little more secure?
We really hope that you will consider supporting us in these difficult months to continue to develop and upgrade Westbrook so that we can continue to help children and young people to look unto Jesus.
Westbrook Centre Manager
NB: Please note any funds raised over and above the costs of the Bedrooms and Borders project will go to Westbrook general funds.