A Bellshill church in “desperate” need of funds is on the shortlist for a lifeline prize that could deliver a major transformation.
But success relies wholly on local supporters casting their votes in a Facebook contest which closes on Friday (June 16).
The EU Congregational Church in Bellshill is currently spending more than it is taking in, yet plays a vital role in the community – for example hosting a heavily-used food bank and providing the venue for clubs for elderly people.
A spokeswoman for the church said: “Heating it (the church hall) costs a fortune as the ceilings are so high – we need them lowered and new lighting put in.
“It badly needs painted, the toilets need brought up to date and a disabled toilet installed. “We need the wooden floor either repaired or replaced as there are cracks beginning to show in places.
“Our windows and entrance doors need replaced.
“Our storage cupboards are all damp and need fixed, and we would love to get ramped access for the less mobile members of our community who regularly use the hall.”
Community endeavours carried out by the church include a school uniform bank launched last Easter, which will be repeated this year.
The church partnered with every school in Bellshill for this project and was able to help over 80 children and send them off to school with uniforms, shoes and school bags, which their parents couldn’t otherwise have afforded.
Now church members hope the national contest - run by local employer Jewson - will provide the means to put an important grass roots community organisation on a sounder footing.
The spokeswoman said: “We work hard in our local community. We would do so much more if it were possible and having a clean, warm, tidy, safe and comfortable building would certainly be a huge boost to everyone”.
The church applied unsuccessfully for a share of last year’s Jewson Building Better Communities fund, but this year is on the short list - and has a fair chance to gaining a share of the £250,000 prize total.
This could mean £10,000 worth of building materials or an overall UK winner’s prize of £50,000 in materials.
The competition now enters a public voting stage, and votes can be cast on the Jewson Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jewsonuk
The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony in Nottingham on July 5.