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More than just a place for laundry

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 20, 2013

WASHING FAIRIES:  Managers Dianne Smith and  Kate Beresford  and Amanda Evans, project development worker.

WASHING FAIRIES: Managers Dianne Smith and Kate Beresford and Amanda Evans, project development worker.

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A NEW launderette is about to open in Camelford – but it won't just be a place where you can wash your clothes.

The community laundrette, off the town's Market Place, will also be a place where young mums and others can meet socially.

It will open its doors on May 3 but a trial run will take place on Monday at 11am.

Two managers have been appointed for the launderette, which will be open from 8am to 1pm every day except Wednesdays.

Hub and Spoke development worker Amanda Evans will be at the launderette on Monday to talk to people about a proposed share issue, at £10 a share, which is being launched to finance it.

The facility will have four washing machines, one capable of taking a large duvet, and four tumble driers.

The launderette project has grown out of the toddlers' group Tommy's, which was set up two years ago by the Reverend Jim Benton-Evans.

Many of the young mums at Tommy's said they were struggling to wash and dry the family clothes, and most importantly baby clothes and school uniforms.

Their homes generally did not have space for a washing machine, and the nearest launderette is at Tintagel.

Near the end of 2011, the Diocese of Truro started to encourage its parishes to do an exciting initiative of MAPping (Mission Action Planning).

St Thomas's at Camelford embraced this idea, looking at the need for a genuine response to the community's need through socially active projects.

It was decided that a community development worker would be responsible for developing the church's social role in the community and in particular for taking the launderette project forward.

By July 2011 a Church Urban Fund Mustard Seed grant of £5,000 was awarded, followed by grants from the Church and Community Fund and Rosemullion Trust.

The project was also awarded funding of £53,000 from the East Cornwall Local Action Group, along with additional local funding, and received support from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, which is funding the Plunkett Foundation to organise a share issue to raise investment funds.

The project has already appointed two part-time launderette managers. It will also provide people with opportunities to learn new skills and confidence as volunteers.

Amanda is now recruiting volunteers to help in the launderette.

She said: "Both to help with the practical tasks of washing and drying and to be a welcoming face to locals and visitors alike as they find out just what the project has to offer."

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