Sanctuary staff volunteer at Torbay community centre

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21st February, 2022


A member of Sanctuary staff putting up new fences for the Acorn Community Centre

Helpful Sanctuary staff have been lending a hand and making improvements at a local community centre in Torbay.

Members of the housing provider’s property services team spent a week growing connections at the Acorn Centre in Torquay, replacing lighting, upgrading bathrooms and changing facilities, installing new fencing and sprucing up the grounds.

The Acorn Centre is a youth community and sports centre which has been at the heart of the community since 1964. The centre provides a wide range of facilities for all ages and groups.

The volunteers included several apprentices just starting out in their careers. They were able to lend their support as part of Sanctuary’s employee volunteering scheme, which encourages staff to give time to support community groups, charities and schools in communities across the country.

They received further support from the local Travis Perkins builders' merchants, who kindly gifted the materials needed for the works.

An apprentice and their supervisor constructing willow structures in the wildlife garden.

Horticulture apprentice Harvey Piper has been busy creating willow sculptures and installing a wildlife pond. He hopes his work will lead to the space being enjoyed more by centre users.

Harvey said: “I love working outside, working in nature, and it’s really nice to do something that you know will make other people happy.”

Sanctuary’s neighbourhood partnership manager, Lynne Roberts, added: “We were really pleased to give staff the chance to get involved and support the Acorn Centre. It is much used and much loved by the local community, including many Sanctuary residents, and we’re delighted to support this valuable local asset.”

David Martin, manager at the Acorn Centre, commented: “The volunteers from Sanctuary were very helpful and friendly, and everyone at the centre is very grateful for the hard work they did up here all week – it has a made a massive difference to our community spaces.”

Steve Darling, leader of Torbay Council and Acorn trustee, said: “The Acorn Centre is the beating heart of the community in Barton and Hele. We have faced tough times over the pandemic but this support from Sanctuary has given us a great boost as we hopefully come out of the pandemic.”

If you are a community group or charity who could benefit from Sanctuary’s employee volunteering scheme, please email