Reviving the Gateway Centre for Off the Fence Trust

29 September 2021

Brewers contributed a £500 voucher to Off The Fence, a trust based in Hove operating across homelessness, women at risk, schools, and youth. The voucher was used to redecorate the meeting place and two floors of their Gateway Centre for vulnerable women.

Off The Fence provide short-term and long-term solutions through two day centres, three outreach vans and fifteen local schools. 150 trained volunteers, employees and interns strive to eradicate social and spiritual poverty in Brighton and Hove.

Off The Fence Trust has embarked on a huge journey as they aimed to buy the Gateway Centre for vulnerable women, a day centre the trust has operated in for over ten years. Since the pandemic, the need for the centre has never been so crucial, so the building needed a refresh and plans are in place to build an extension to meet the demand.

Off The Fence are now near the last stage of the refurbishment and re-opening of the Gateway Women’s Centre, thanks to a wealth of contributors, supports and well-wishers.

“It has been an incredible journey to get to this point. It took a lot of discussion, negotiation and reassurance. The exchange of contracts for the purchase of 52 Station Road took place on Tuesday 25th May.

Nearly half a million pounds was required to buy the building and fundamentally re-mould it for our purposes. This means we will update and repair the building and add a major extension to allow twice as many of our clients to access the project.

The three-phase building project is now at Stage 3: 

  1. Top Floor – new roof, windows, toilets and office area allowing our staff to continue their vital work through Zoom meetings, one-to-one phone support, small scale meeting and the operation of a food (and much more) bank. This will take place relatively to allow the work to continue. 
  2. Lower floor – this is a larger stage that will allow the Gateway project to open again for day programmes in order to serve the community. 
  3. The extension – this is the largest building project Off The Fence has ever undertaken. 

This will give us 100% more space, training rooms, workshops, consulting rooms and a kitchen area. Planning Permission is underway. 

The first two stages will receive priority in order to allow the Project to continue its work at the earliest opportunity. Completion of Stage 3 will see us hosting an official opening of the building in the first quarter of 2022 – coinciding with the start of our 25th Anniversary celebrations.” 

Roy Stannard, Head of Income Generation and Communications. 

A huge thank you to Neal and the team at Brewers. 

Your contribution of the paint needed for the Gateway building was part of an intricate mosaic of different contributions – some physical, some financial – that enabled us to successfully meet our aim of purchasing No. 52 Station Road, Portslade. 

These have enabled us to preserve and extend it for the future so that we can accommodate a proportion of the deluge of new clients on our waiting list that have joined it since the beginning of the Covid crisis. The pandemic has had substantial impact an on domestic abuse and other familial issues.” 

Paul Young, CEO and Founder of Off the Fence

To find out more about Off The Fence, please click here:

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