Created in 1972, The Spinney, a centre in which the Local Community Association could run a play scheme, was founded by Peterborough Development Corporation and the City Council. The building was threatened with closure on numerous occasions but the local community fought hard to keep it open. Sadly, in the summer of 2013 the council made the decision to close the centre, leaving the parents and children without this widely used and much loved centre.
However, faith was not lost and local residents, Little Miracles and the Scouts Association decided to create a new management community with the aim to save The Spinney. The community’s hopes were lifted by the BBC show DIY SOS and amazingly the project was accepted to be involved in a programme with aim of engaging with businesses to build a brand new centre.
The project was constructed by hundreds of volunteers from around the UK including decorators, electricians, carpenters, joiners, landscapers, builders, plasterers, plumbers and engineers. The teams challenge was to knock down and rebuild the centre, relying entirely on the use of donated materials.
RCM made the decision to donate their specialist Cladcolour façade – a pre-finished fibre cement cladding panel which requires minimal maintenance and is easy to install, making it perfect for this build. Cladcolour is extremely cost effective and can be supplied in any standard RAL colour. The Spinney was constructed from a variety of different colours to create a fun and playful aesthetic for the children using the facilities. Each of the 238 cladding panels had a unique reference, to allow its location to be identified within the giant jigsaw puzzle in the design.
The Little Miracles site was the size of three average homes and was built from the ground up – making it the shows biggest challenge to date. The build was achieved in just nine days, opening on September 15 2013, with a finished value of £1 million. The Spinney is now a play centre accessible to families with children that have additional needs, disabilities and life limiting conditions. This very special build provides a place for the children of over 800 families in the area as well as other children’s groups like the Scouts.
This project was unique as it didn’t just provide a building, but a safe place to help families through the good and bad times of their lives. 83% of the families that use Little Miracles live below the poverty line, and as such all of the services they run are free of charge. For many of the children that use the centre, ‘Little Miracles’ is the only place they are able to communicate freely, make friends, and most importantly, be themselves. Families of the children that now use the facility are overwhelmed by the outcome of this charity project and thrilled that their children can play in a safe environment without judgement as well as providing place where parents can chat to other parents who understand their situation and ultimately support one another.
Ian Quinton, Managing Director of RCM commented: “This was an extremely important project for RCM, we are honoured to be a part of such a significant scheme for such a worthy cause. The opening event was extremely emotional and anyone who has watched the programme will have seen burley builders reduced to tears. This has to be one of our most fulfilling projects ever.”
Established in 2004, RCM is a major supplier of complete through wall solutions to the UK construction industry. Supplying specialist building boards, façades, breather membranes and airtightness solutions, RCM offers a fully integrated approach to the building envelope whilst delivering on time and budget.