Saturday 7 May was the official opening of the The Exchanging Rooms in Keyworth. This is a community eco-hub in former sports changing rooms near Keyworth Village Hall.
When community sports in Keyworth moved to a purpose-built facility at the edge of the village, the old changing rooms were no longer needed, so local eco group Keyvolution took them over to “up-cycle” them.
The home-team changing rooms were soon turned into a store for all the fruit picked by the Keyvolution’s “Abundance Project” which re-distributes excess fruit and veg grown in the village. The more ambitious Phase 2 of the project has now also come to “fruition”, with the away-team side becoming a multi purpose community eco-hub.
As much of the renovation as possible was done using recycled and reused materials, and the group have even found the time to create a small garden at the back of the building that showcases up-cycled garden style.
The project was officially opened by environmental campaigner, broadcaster and author of eco home guide “No Waste Like Home” Penney Poyzer.
Penney said: “What a brilliant idea this is, re-purposing an old space into a facility that serves so many purposes and which brings the whole community together. I’d love to see this in every village and urban neighbourhood.”
Tracey Lloyd, Chair of Keyvolution said: “This room is designed to host activities with an environmental focus, including Plant and Seed swaps, Repair events, Wildlife habitat work, Skill Sharing, Upcycling and Cook and Eat sessions to help people learn new ways to cook some of the fresh produce collected by the Abundance Project. We’ve also created a wonderful garden at the back, and local artist Julie Fowkes has just helped community volunteers to create a fantastic new mural as the finishing touch.”
Julie Fowkes added: “It was brilliant to get the mural done so well and so quickly by volunteers of all ages, and it even helped reduce waste, because most of the paint came from donated match pots that locals had lying around at home.”
As well as praising all the volunteers who have worked so hard on the renovation, the team are keen to thank the many local tradesmen who helped to support the project after their initial contractor stopped trading during Covid.
Keyvolution were able to fund much of the work from donations, but Phase 2 has been finished with generous support from Rushcliffe Borough Council, Nottinghamshire Council and The Co-op Community Fund. Some of their funding will also support the first year’s activities.
If you would like to find out more about the project, please contact Tracey Lloyd on 07816899978 or Julie Fowkes on Keyworthabundance@gmail.com.