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Bushey man launches campaign for new community centre in Sutcliffe Close
A man from Bushey has started a campaign to build a community centre in a disused amenities building, formerly owned by the Ministry of Defence.
Richard Tucker has chosen the building on Sutcliffe Close because it has been boarded up since 2008 and has "been an eyesore for the residents".
The 34-year-old said he is putting all his efforts into the project, called Bushey Wellbeing, because he feels like there is not enough for people to do in the area.
He said: "This project has the potential to benefit all who live there, and I have found the perfect location.
"As I am a third generation Bushey resident, I have seen many changes here over the years, some good and some not so good. "One major difference both I and many other residents have noticed is the lack of community and lack of resources available to help maintain a cohesive and compassionate community, therefore resulting in an increasingly deprived area where people both young and old feel isolated.
"This is the major driving force behind my decision to work day and night to make this project a reality."
Mr Tucker said he believes the community centre could be self sufficient, and the most realistic option would be to rent the building from the housing development that owns it and cover these costs with money from renting rooms out.
He said: "I want to turn an example of social and urban decay in to something positive where people can go and improve their lives. I am currently employed by Herts Mind Network and Age UK so am very aware of the needs and lack of facilities available for the most vulnerable residents.
"However, this is for everyone so those who would not brand themselves as vulnerable can also make use of the centre to obtain advice and guidance or even use the grounds for events and the like. "I want this to be a place for everyone, where people can go."
Mr Tucker, from Meadow Road, said Herts Mind Network has expressed an interest in getting involved.
He continued: "So far feedback has been very positive, with many people feeling as passionate about the project as I am myself.
"I am putting everything into it at the moment; it is a major thing in my life. I hope to have things moving by Easter.
"Any help at all would be greatly appreciated."
Hertsmere MP James Clappison said he has been contacted my Mr Tucker, and the idea was one that was a constructive and worth exploring. He said he might meet with the housing development that owns the property in the foreseeable future.
A Facebook group has been set up for the community centre and can be found at: www.facebook.com/busheycommunity.
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