The transformation of the unit in the Riverside shopping centre in Shrewsbury into the Hub for deaf and hard of hearing people in Shropshire continues! Signal Hub Manager Paul Coope describes the chrysalis turning into butterfly under his eyes…
Week four (October 2014)
Monday 20 October
Well, the fit-out is, as you might expect, moving on apace. Though, now that the internal walls are up, there is this rather misleading impression that the project is close to completion. There is little obvious movement, as the builders and electricians are obscured by the walls while they work away at their allotted tasks.
Tuesday 21 October
I have to say that the excitement rose a little today, as all the plumbing and porcelain arrived for the sinks and the toilet with disabled access. All these little steps in the build make me feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel (no pun intended). Each of the rooms is beginning to take shape and I can imagine their layout with desk, or audiology booth, or easy chairs. Our meeting and training room will be a good sized space, and I am starting to think about how I can promote it to potential users.
Wednesday 22 October
Neil Davda, Signal’s Grants Fundraiser, helped me carry this “recycled” shelving (pictured right) down Shrewsbury High Street to the Hub. I happily managed to secure the shelving as a donation.
Thursday 23 October
There is a lot of crashing and banging going on around me today at the Hub, as the plumbing is being worked out. I am upstairs finishing off the shelves ready to receive stock and other goodies.
While I beaver away, I am trying to think of the layout and decoration of the reception area, rooms and café. With our link with international projects in Africa, I am hoping that we can have some colourful fabrics to brighten up the space and some large plants to break up the space. Both of these elements should make the Hub somewhere where people want to be, and they will also help to absorb noise and soften the space.
It is nice for me to be able to show people around the Hub and talk about our plans and how work is progressing. Pictured at the top of this blog in the headline photograph are Cara, Signal’s International Programmes Assistant, and Adelaide, who volunteers with Signal. They both dropped in to the Hub for a quick gander.
Friday 24 October
I am starting to fill our storeroom upstairs at the Hub with items that I have secured as donations or purchased. These are items that we will need when the fit-out is completed. The shelves are coming in very useful!
Today I received a delivery of furniture: some stackable butterfly chairs for the meeting room and armchairs for the treatment rooms. Heather from The Links Café was also here to receive some comfy chairs and a few tables for the café area. She brought in some donated crockery, too, which is sitting in anticipation of lashings of cake and pots of steaming tea. I think that Heather (pictured right) is wishing that it were a full cup that she is holding! All of these elements really do make the whole process start to feel real.
Now, where is the rest of my list of things that I need to arrange, source, buy, collect, build, or just tick off as completed? What a great feeling when I can sign off on one more item on my “magnum opus”!
This blog was first published on the website of the Shropshire Disability Network.