Norwich Airport supports Hellesdon ‘warm room’ with new TV

A community ‘warm room’, set up to help people struggling to cope with rising energy costs this winter now has a new television, thanks to a donation from Norwich Airport.

From L-R Bill Johnson, Vice Chair of Hellesdon Parish Council, Shelagh Gurney, Chair of Hellesdon Parish Council, Richard Pace, MD of Norwich Airport and Faye LeBon from the Parish Council.

Staff and councillors at Hellesdon Parish Council have been busy setting up a cosy, comfortable living space in the area’s recently refurbished community centre building.

The ‘warm room’ is designed to be a place for local residents worried about heating their homes to come and relax.

Comfy sofas, board games, books and magazines have already been provided but the living room-style retreat needed a television to make it feel like a home from home.

Norwich Airport heard about the plans and offered to fund the cost of a high-tech screen with a built-in Amazon Firestick device. The donation also includes the price of a DVD player, as well as a wall bracket.

Richard Pace, Managing Director of Norwich Airport, said he was only too happy to help such a worthwhile project.

He said: “We are all conscious of how high energy bills are set to be this winter – it’s going to be a real struggle for a lot of people.

“Norwich Airport has always enjoyed close links with our local community and this new warm room is a fantastic initiative.

“We hope the new television helps to provide some comfort and entertainment for people using the room this winter.”

Hellesdon Community Centre has recently reopened after a £900,000 renovation. Plans to earmark a room for residents of all ages to enjoy over the winter were agreed in October before work started on preparing the chosen space, known as the Spraggins room, this month.

Faye LeBon, clerk at Hellesdon Parish Council, has been helping to organise the project.

She said: “Not everyone can afford to heat their homes at the moment. It’s not just the elderly, it’s young people that are struggling, too.

“We knew we had this lovely, recently refurbished community centre with several rooms and we could easily set one aside.

“We’ve kitted it out like a large living room to help make people feel as comfortable as possible, but we just needed a television.

“We’ve always had a good relationship with Norwich Airport and when our chairman Shelagh Gurney approached Richard Pace for help, he jumped on it straight away.

“We’re very grateful that it’s all come together so well. There’s so much doom and gloom around that this is such a nice, positive thing that we’ve been able to do to help people this winter.”

The warm room can accommodate up to 25 people and will be open every Monday to Saturday, from 8am until 10pm. For more information about Norwich Airport visit www.norwichairport.co.uk