BRILLIANT sunshine saw the re-launch of the Tall Tree Community Centre, in Ilchester Somerset following a £69,000 renovation paid for by the Armed Forces Community Covenant.
A Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset, representing the Lord Lieutenant, Mr Ted Allen, Councillor Christopher Le Hardy and Commodore Jock Alexander OBE Commanding Officer of Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton re-launched this valued community centre.
The Deputy Lieutenant said on re-opening the refurbished centre “I am delighted to be here today, involved in the re-launch of this fantastic facility. We are very lucky to have such great people here in Somerset who understand the importance of a cohesive community all working together. I wish Tall Trees the very best for the future and many successful times here and in the wider community”.
This valuable facility is open to both local civilian and military communities as a venue to relax, socialise, engage in new activities and meet new people. A venue for military families to engage with the wider community, Tall Trees nurtures public understanding and awareness of issues affecting the Armed Forces community. The Centre regularly hosts a number of children’s play groups, coffee mornings and social events…. everyone is welcome!
The refurbishment includes new doors & windows, much improved disabled access, a new kitchen and significant improvements to the playroom and children's play area. The project aims to increase community usage and broaden the range of services available.
Jeremy Greenop, the Community Relations Officer at RNAS Yeovilton, who is a member of the Somerset Armed Forces Community Covenant Partnership, said, “Of the five Aims that underpin the Community Covenant this project meets two of the aims by encouraging activities which help to integrate the Armed Forces Community into local life, and by encouraging the Armed Forces Community to help and support the wider community. It is rare that an Armed Forces Community Covenant Grant Scheme funded project meets two of the key criteria but that is the nature of the Tall Trees Community Centre. It is a Service facility situated in the local community that actively encourages participation by that local community.”
Councillor Ian Martin who represents SSDC on the Armed Forces Community Covenant Partnership said "I am absolutely delighted that through successful joint working between RNAS Yeovilton and South Somerset District Council we have succeeded in getting this grant for the Tall Trees Community Centre. The new facilities are very impressive and will help further integrate the civilian and military communities in Ilchester and the surrounding area.”
The award is another success for the Somerset Armed Forces Community Covenant Partnership, which has so far secured over £285,000 of funding through this new grants scheme. RNAS Yeovilton, South Somerset District Council, Somerset County Council and a range of other organisations are represented on the partnership. £750,000 has been allocated to the South West region for 2014-15.
The VIPs were given a tour of the facilities which includes both indoor and outdoor play areas for Children, a picnic area and a social club. The afternoon, supported by beautiful weather was completed with a party which focussed on the children with bouncy castles and ice-cream but clearly the celebration was enjoyed by all!