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Mayor's Appeal helps May Centre

PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 07:24 01 August 2010

NEARLY 12 months of fundraising came to a head for the Mayor of Beccles Jeff Harris as the new access ramp at the May Centre was officially unveiled.

In June Mr Harris had identified the project as the focal point of this year's Mayor's Appeal, and last Thursday the access ramp for disabled people was finally unveiled at a tea party at the Centre.

NEARLY 12 months of fundraising came to a head for the Mayor of Beccles Jeff Harris as the new access ramp at the May Centre was officially unveiled.

In June Mr Harris had identified the project as the focal point of this year's Mayor's Appeal, and last Thursday the access ramp for disabled people was finally unveiled at a tea party at the Centre.

The Appeal raised just under £3,000 in total, and the ramp cost approximately £2,000. Some of the rest of the money was used to buy a bench and put on the tea party, and there are also plans to buy another bench or treat the members to a day out.

Mr Harris, who steps down as Mayor this month, said: “It started last June when I was here for the 25th anniversary of the May Centre.

“It's wonderful to see it in place. It has fitted nicely because it was within my first two dates as mayor, and today is my last but one. There's a nice symmetry.”

Mr Harris' campaign for the ramp continues something of a tradition of Beccles mayors becoming involved with the Centre, as it was Mayor Ken Markland who originally conceived of the building in 1982.

The new access ramp is in place at the back of the building and allows easy access to the field behind. It is movable, so it can be used elsewhere, and is painted bright yellow for partially sighted people.

Jane Stuart, organiser for the May Centre, said: “Previously it had been very difficult for them to get outside, they had to go right round the front. This also raised questions of a fire risk.

“It will benefit all our members in their activities and all the people who use the May Centre.”

The ramp was built by Beccles-based builders and contractors Crisp, who were pleased to promote movable ramps. Colin Crisp, the owner, said: “They're much better than the concrete monstrosities that we see about the place. They're environmentally sound as you can just relocate them if you don't need them there anymore, but with concrete ones you have to break it.”

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