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Volunteers in 48-hour face lift for church.

Byline: LARRY NEILD

A CLEAN-UP challenge has seen the refurbishment of a Merseyside church in 48 hours.

Young people from Sefton worked as a team to make an impact during the country's biggest day of volunteering this year, the Community Service Volunteers Make a Difference Day on Saturday.

A team of 16 to 19-year-olds, newly-recruited apprentices employed on Merseyside by house builders Bellway, volunteered to help give the Welsh Presbyterian Church in Springwell Road, Bootle, much-needed boost.

The church in was given a complete face lift thanks to the enthusiasm and skill of young men and women as they removed its existing dilapidated kitchen and replaced it with a purpose-built new one, courtesy of Bellway Homes West Lancashire and Regency Kitchens.

They also worked alongside community volunteers from Breathe+, the consortium leading the regeneration in the area, to give the church hall a welcome refurbishment with gallons of fresh paint.

The initiative was supported by volunteers from New Heartlands, the Housing Market Renewal Initiative Pathfinder for the area, Sefton Borough Council, Sefton@work; and dozens of community volunteers from Sefton.

Richard Edgington, managing director of Bellway Homes West Lancashire, said: ``A record-breaking 88, 000 people donated their time on CSV Make A Difference Day 2003 and this year well over 96, 000 people took part throughout the country.

``That is a tremendous testament to the passion and energy of people who dedicate themselves to making something special happen. I am enormously proud of Bellway's apprentices who are playing a significant role in helping to change their own neighbourhood in such a positive and constructive way. ''

The majority of the work was carried out in 48 hours, with the finishing touches being completed yesterday.

The church was originally constructed by ``Klondyke'' Jones when he built the rows of terraces for his own workers in the early 1900s. The area gained the name Klondyke through William Jones being considered the wealthiest of all the Welsh builders to invest in Bootle.

The small church is recognised as a symbol of those days gone by and is still actively used for worship and a variety of community activities. The Bellway apprentices were only hired six weeks ago to train as bricklayers, plumbers, engineers and decorators.

``Everybody pulled together to make this a success. The results were amazing, '' added Mr Edgington.

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Bellway apprentices at work on the Bootle church
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Words:396
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