First thing this morning staff at our Greenway Centre were devastated to find twenty smashed windows. We have not experienced such a large scale act of vandalism here for many years and are asking ourselves whether it is related to the current pandemic crisis.
It’s a significant blow for us as a charity as we struggle to make ends meet and keep our services going throughout this time. Since lock-down we have become a north Bristol community Covid crisis response centre and our teams have been continually supporting our local residents with essential supplies, volunteers, online groups and phone support, hot meals and activity packs.
We have been working extremely hard over the last few weeks to re-open under the new Covid-19 building restrictions and so this damage is a major set-back.
As Greenway Boys School until the mid-1980s, the building was saved from closure by Southmead Residents and has since been a much valued community asset – home to a community gym, café, sports facilities and multiple local groups and community events. Over the years we have developed extensive projects and services to support residents. Income to keep the Centre open comes from renting spaces for meetings, events and business office space. NHS north Bristol mental health services are based at Greenway.
We want to ensure that everyone understands the significance of the Greenway Centre – that it belongs to the Southmead Community and is run by and for the community. Any set-back like this is a set-back for the whole community. We are deeply saddened that our vital work in the community could be held up due to this damage, in ways we are only just beginning to assess and anticipate.
We want to do our best to prevent this situation from happening again and the police will be investigating the matter. If you have any information please call the Police on 101, Crimestoppers (anonymously) on 0800 555 111, or Southmead Development Trust on 0117 950 3335.