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Young Lives Foundation holds grand opening after Project Kent makeover

By Luke May

A county-wide youth charity has held its grand opening after an extreme makeover.

Young Lives Foundation in Maidstone has a brand new look after volunteers from kmfm and Kent Reliance refurbished its offices in July.

The charity dedicates itself to improving the lives of disadvantaged children around the county.

A week of work transformed the office from a bland, tired look into a vibrant, friendly space ready to be used on a daily basis.

Two months on and volunteers joined staff at the College road charity on Thursday to celebrate the new-look office's official opening.

The makeover means more young people can access the building, using it for things like homework, socialising and relaxing.

Project Kent's Grand Opening! kmfm's Project Kent with Kent Reliance. Andy Golding from Kent Relliance cuts the ribbon at Young Lives Foundation .Picture: Andy Jones (4165019)
Project Kent's Grand Opening! kmfm's Project Kent with Kent Reliance. Andy Golding from Kent Relliance cuts the ribbon at Young Lives Foundation .Picture: Andy Jones (4165019)

It will also be used for mentoring sessions and visitors meetings as well as an office workspace.

Stephen Gray, CEO of Young Lives Foundation, said: "The difference Project Kent has made to our Maidstone hub is clear to see.

"The rooms look bright, fresh and an area all can be proud of. Our staff, volunteers and more importantly the young people can now work in a vibrant environment which matches YLF’s ethos and style.

"In addition the exposure the charity has been afforded by being part of Project Kent has brought more volunteer applications, funding opportunities and partnerships so we truly are winners of Project Kent - thank you to everyone involved."

Project Kent's Grand Opening! kmfm's Project Kent with Kent Reliance. Picture: Andy Jones (4165018)
Project Kent's Grand Opening! kmfm's Project Kent with Kent Reliance. Picture: Andy Jones (4165018)

Nimisha Cross from Kent Reliance said: "Kent Reliance has always been at the heart of the community, all our branches are visited by people of all ages, all generations and very much part of their local community, so it makes sense for us to be giving something back on our doorstep."

Kent Reliance is part of OneSavings Bank.

The bank's CEO Andy Golding said: "I am extremely proud of the job our staff has done. The office transformation has been incredible and it’s a great example of people coming together to help a community project achieve something they wouldn’t have the time to do on their own as their priority is looking after the young people who desperately need their help.

"In fact the team here told me that they had been trying to paint their offices for nearly two years."

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