The Parkgate Community Centre Refurbishment

Parkgate Community Centre is owned by Hertfordshire County Council.  It was built over 80 years ago as an annex for Parkgate School.  After building a new infants school in Northfield Gardens, the centre was handed over to the local community in 1984.

In 2006, after the Balmoral Centre closed, DRUM moved in to Parkgate Community Centre.  Let's just say that things didn't really go as promised......

After 7 years, DRUM took over the lease of the building and started the refurbishment project.

After several letters, a few meetings, lots of arguments and loads of determination from our staff, HCC finally agreed to carry out the work desperately needed to the exterior of the building.  The guttering had fallen down in places and the roof had holes in it, causing damage to areas of the interior and exterior of the building.

DRUM had to carry out and fund the internal refurbishment, which was a huge job for a small charity, but we are a determined bunch and nothing was going to stop us from achieving our dream!


The refurbishment began in 2013 when the Prince's Trust redecorated the DRUM offices and art room.  The youngsters raised funds through bag-packing and new carpets were donated by CLEMENTS.  Most of the decorating materials were donated by Travis Perkins (Rickmansworth Branch), who also arranged for the art room floor to be professionally cleaned.

In 2014 we started work on the toilets, redesigning the gents and ladies to form two new wheelchair accessible toilets and two smaller cubicles.  We received fantastic support from the local community - all the tiles and tiling materials were donated to DRUM by Décor Tiles and Floors.  The new flooring was donated by CLEMENTS and Travis Perkins (Rickmansworth) provided most of the materials at cost price. 

We then opened up the the art room across the back of the corridor and installed new double doors in to the main hall and corridor.  This provided us with more space and better access.

With the money saved from not paying rent to the old committee, and money passed back to DRUM that had been paid in rent for several years, we funded new UVPC windows and a new kitchen.

In 2015 we took out the old disabled toilet and knocked through to the tiny kitchen.  With the help and support from Benchmarx Kitchens (Rickmansworth) we installed a fabulous new kitchen. 

After a surprise donation from Jamie & Viv Hooper, from the Bert and Sarah Hooper Trust, we were able to have new safety flooring laid throughout the art and dining area.  This work was carried out by CLEMENTS, who have supported DRUM throughout the refurbishment project.

Most of the building work was carried out by our friend Lee  Denham (LMB Plumbing and Drainage) with additional help and support from staff, volunteers, family and friends.

In July 2015 we started work on the main hall, after HCC completed the roof. 

Staff and volunteers sanded down all the walls, wood work and radiators, the room was painted and wall paper hung and the original parquet flooring was sanded and varnished - totally transforming the room.

A new wall was erected in the main hall to form a new room, which is now used as a hair dressing salon. 

To complete the refurbishment, kids from the National Citizenship Scheme, via Watford FC's Community Trust, funded and built a new raised bed on the patio area.  Our dear friend, Councillor Steve O'Brien, gave us a Locality Budget Grant to purchase the disability aids in the toilets, new patio furniture and a shed for the patio area.

After a rather stressful year, many late nights, weekends and hard work, the building was finally finished and officially opened by Richard Harrington, MP for Watford, in September 2015. 

We are extremely proud of what we have achieved and we could never have done it without the support of all our staff, volunteers and the local community.

We’ve always had to ‘make do’ at DRUM but the new facilities are going to make things so much better - not just for our members but also our wonderful staff and volunteers who just carry on whatever the circumstances!  

We now have a beautiful new hair salon and therapy room, so can offer in-house services such as hair dressing, nail manicures, foot pedicures and a chiropodist.  We also have a new stroke group on a Wednesday afternoon.


In 2016, DRUM as awarded the Watford Audentior Lewington-Price Disability Access Award and were finalists in the Hertfordshire Care Awards, for Innovative Care Team.

A huge thank you  to all our dedicated and truly wonderful staff, volunteers, members, families and friends.A huge thank you to all the local businesses and groups that donated their time, gave us cheap supplies or donated free items towards the refurbishment.  You have made our dream come true.

Herts County Council, Lee Denham (LMB Plumbing & Drainage), Décor Floors and Tiles (Greycaine Estate), CLEMENTS (Watford High Street), Travis Perkins & Benchmarx Kitchens (Rickmansworth Branch), MyNews Magazine, Councillor Steve O’Brien, AnySkips, Halifax Building Society, Glass & Window Centre (St Albans Road), The Princes Trust and the NCS at Watford FC's Community Trust. 











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