VILLAGE hub – the Fernhurst Centre – is back in business following a major revamp, ahead of its grand re-opening and gift fair on Saturday, October 22. One of the first visitors to enjoy the new-look centre was Shiobhaun Watt and family (pictured).

Camilla Campbell, who co-ordinated a team of trustees and volunteers, said: “We are delighted with the results of so many months of planning and hard work. It is quite incredible what a transformation has been achieved by changing the lay out and installing modern lighting and décor.

“We have been strongly supported by the community with grants from the parish council and local businesses as well as from a number of charities and Chichester District Council.

“As a result, Fernhurst has gained a coffee shop and we still have a centre providing computer use which is free to many users and offers superfast broadband and a wide range of IT and other courses.”

Nearly 30 residents volunteer at the centre, manning the counter, doing general administration or ordering refreshments and stationery, or booking and teaching the courses and maintaining and tidying the premises.

Trustee Antonia Plant added: “A key factor in the success of the internet café and coffee shop as a social focus of the village is its volunteer team who are involved in every aspect of the centre’s activity.

“There is a free recycling scheme for unwanted IT equipment and printers. We welcome inquiries about recycling and anyone wanting to bring items in should contact us in advance.”

• The centre is open from 10am-5pm on weekdays and 10am to midday on Saturdays.

As well as its coffee shop, it has a children’s toy box, free computer use for children after 3pm, a free book and DVD library and local papers to read.