“IT’S a wonderful place to come and spend your time.”

Fraser Melbon is one of the volunteers who regularly give up their time to help keep the Walton Lea Project running.

The 63-year-old was introduced to the project through its sister scheme - the Long Lane Project, based in Orford.

And why did he choose to get involved?

“You are giving something back to others,” Fraser added. “I have just been volunteering for around a year.

“I had nothing to do as I had retired so I thought I’d spend my time in a wonderful place.”

With a variety of schemes available at the project it gives users the chance to get hands on experience in things such as gardening, landscaping, woodwork and restoration work.

Fraser, of Mercer Street, Burtonwood, has been helping the project with its furniture restoration programme.

He added: “I used to work in a furniture environment so I have some skills they were after and I can keep them up.”

The scheme relies on donations from the public handing over furniture no longer needed but could be transformed by being ‘upcycled’ using modern fabrics and colours.

And the support of volunteers is something that grabs people in to help out more.

Steve Perry is another project worker who was soon drawn in to giving all his time to Walton Lea.

He said: “I came here about three years ago as a support worker with another company. Now I’m here seven days a week doing a little bit of everything.”

Fraser added: “When we all get together it’s a lot of fun. You don’t do it for the benefit of yourself you do it for the lads and girls who use the centre. That’s what it’s all about.”

To find out more about volunteering through the furniture programme or its horticultural scheme or donating to the project contact the Walton Lea Project on 860143 or e-mail waltonlea@btconnect.com.