Queen Visits Costain-Backed Centre
5 August 2015
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh officially opened Chadwell Heath Community Centre as part of a series of events marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
The centre, which is run by dedicated volunteers led by local woman Anne Estlea, has been through a major internal renovation programme. A Costain team that is working nearby as part of the Crossrail Anglia project, wanted to do something for local residents and Community Relations Manager Ben Coughlan approached Anne.
“I asked ‘How can we help’ and she said they wanted to make better use of the outside space around the centre, reconfiguring the area, improved fencing, that kind of thing. It was nothing too complicated but it needs staff on the ground to do it and Anne had no budget or volunteers who could help.
“Our workforce used redundant materials from our site to build a patio, path and a set of steps to provide a suitable area for a shed and a greenhouse. Timber offcuts from our site hoarding were recycled and used to build a bin store and reinforce the fencing around the centre. The improvements will allow the local community to make better use of the outside space.”
By way of thanks, Anne invited Ben, site foreman Gerry Russell and Chris Spencer from Network Rail to be part of the audience when the Queen and Prince Philip visited. They did not meet the royal couple, but had a grandstand view of proceedings.
Costain had been keen to do something locally, said Ben. “The community centre is close to the area we’ve been working and we have a continuing presence at Chadwell Heath station, where we have a compound.
“The railway improvement works we are undertaking for Network Rail and Crossrail often have to be at night and at weekends, and we realise this can sometimes cause disturbance to local residents.
“It’s about getting the message out there that we are committed to helping the community and enjoy giving something back when whenever we can. The centre is a great resource for local people and we hope our improvements will make it even better.”
Pictured: Community Relations Manager Ben Coughlan took this photograph of The Queen and Prince Philip arriving at Chadwell Heath Community Centre, whose surroundings Costain helped to improve.
Costain Communications Department