Mayor of Rushden formally opens RUSH 2The DEN newly refurbished kitchen

RUSH 2The DEN, a community space in Rushden delivering a range of activities supporting children from birth to 21 years, has recently benefitted from a newly refurbished kitchen which was formally opened by the Mayor of Rushden, Cesare Marinaro.

The building, which is a former church, was bought in July 2017 by Nina Robinson, who leads the community project that provides vital family support.

Nina says: “RUSH 2The DEN is run by dedicated volunteers and aims to help young people to develop skills, knowledge, self-awareness and confidence in order to make positive and healthy life choices.

“During the week-days we host Tots and Adults sessions for babies and toddlers of messy, soft and sensory play as well as craft, play and skills sessions.

“The weekly youth clubs, for ages 5 to 17 provide a fun learning opportunity for young people including an independence group for young adults and Freedom (SEN) group too. It links to the Prince’s Trust, Prospects and other volunteering opportunities.

“We also have special projects here, such as first aid training, discos and clothes swap shops and is open daily (apart from bank holidays and Christmas week). At weekends the place can be hired out for children’s parties.

“We also accept donations from local supermarkets, Tesco and Asda, and give out food to those in need, providing snacks, breakfast and lunches to those attending our sessions.

“Back in 2017 Grand Union Housing Group helped us with a community grant from their Grants4YourCommunity scheme which helped us continue with our group activities. In turn we have supported Grand Union with two clean up days in Rushden and Irthlingborough.”

With so many activities running throughout the week the kitchen at the RUSH 2The DEN Fitzwilliam Street centre had become worn and tired due to constant use and was no longer fit for purpose.

Karen Nicholson, Community Investment Manager at Grand Union, says: “We wanted to support RUSH 2The DEN because they’re situated right at the heart of our East Northants stock. Any improvements made would benefit their customers and ours.

“RUSH 2The DEN had already started work on the kitchen and had started fundraising for new appliances, but they were a long way short of a new kitchen.

“We discussed the project with BSG Property Services, our kitchen installers and Rixonway Kitchens, our kitchen suppliers, who both kindly agreed to help in any way they could to make sure the deserving project had a fantastic new kitchen. Both BSG and Rixonway donated their time and resources free of charge.

“Plans were drawn up for the new kitchen layout which included the appliances RUSH 2The DEN had bought with their fundraising efforts.

“Rixonway donated the units, sink and worktops and BSG provided the expertise to carry out the installation, plumbing, electrical and tiling work.

“Volunteers from across different departments in Grand Union helped to decorate the kitchen with the Community Investment team providing the finishing touches such as blinds, bins and other items.”

Nina adds: “We’re thrilled with our refurbished functional light and airy kitchen. It really helps us to run our babies, children and youth groups successfully and to expand our offer to the wider community. We’re pleased that RUSH 2The DEN remains at the heart of the Rushden community. Thank you to all who made it possible.”