The much-anticipated extension and refurbishment of the kitchen at the Hilltop Community Centre has finally been completed and was officially opened by The Mayor of High Wycombe Cllr Andrea Baughan during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday 20th November 2021.
Photo L-R: Sebert Graham, Olga McBarnett (Heart of Bucks), The Mayor of HW Cllr Andrea Baughan, Cllr Majid Hussain, Melissa Humphrey
The complete overhaul and modernisation of the kitchen space is designed to make a vastly better experience for everyone using the centre.
Despite the pressures on the charity (Wycombe Multicultural Organisation – WMCO who manages the Hilltop Community Centre) due to pandemic and lockdowns, they have been very lucky to have secured support from a range of funders to help make this development possible, in what are very difficult times.
The works which included an extension of the current kitchen and refurbishment throughout as well as the addition of a new bar serving facility.
The refurbishment included:
New kitchen units and appliances
Commercial sinks and extraction system
Brighter, modern décor and fittings
Improved fire safety measures
More space for disabled users and better accessibility
Funding from external partners has been vital in bringing these new changes to the centre. Red Kite Community Housing Springboard Fund, LHC Community Benefit Fund, Buckinghamshire Council, Bernard Sunley Foundation, John Apthorp Charity, Rothschild Foundation, Heart of Bucks, and Heart of Bucks BP Collins Fund have all contributed a combined total of £70,000 to make the space more spacious and modern.
In addition to the funders, support from the local community through fundraising events has helped to raise funds for the project and also the loyal users of the centre throughout the years.
The Mayor commented,
“It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be invited to the Hilltop Community Centre to celebrate the opening of the new kitchen. It’s a great facility and a really good venue for community groups. Melissa and her colleagues have worked so hard to secure funding. I was delighted to meet my friend Sebert Graham too, who has been working so tirelessly in the Wycombe community.”
WMCO’s new Chairman Brian Lewis commented
“A huge thank you to the Mayor for officially opening our kitchen, plus thank you to those who attended the celebration, and everyone who has contributed to make this project happen. We are very excited about the new opportunities the kitchen will bring to the community who we believe deserve the very best facilities we can offer.
Commenting at completion of the works, Sebert Graham, Honorary President and former Chairman said:
“Our charity, Wycombe Multicultural Organisation, started in 1991 and has served the community ever since. We are very grateful to all the funders and the community, as this has helped us provide an improved facility for local residents with a spacious and modernised kitchen with up-to-date appliances. This project has helped us enhance opportunities for people to come together strengthen community relations, and help reduce social isolation in more comfortable facilities.”