New life for Rasen station building

New life has been breathed into Market Rasen’s former station building, with the relocation of an adult day centre and the promise of a cafe.

Service users Michael and Pauline helped make the cakes served at the preview event.
Service users Michael and Pauline helped make the cakes served at the preview event.

For many years, the Adult Care Day Opportunities Service has been based at the Old Health Clinic in the town’s Gordon Field, but this week, they officially moved into their new home at The Old Station.

Run by the county council, the service helps support people with disabilities to live independent and fulfilling lives.

There is space within the building for a range of activities and, from January, the service users will be running their own cafe, which will be open to the whole community.

Jamie gets digging in to plant up some tubs for the building's entrance

Kirsty Fisher, day opportunities co-ordinator, said: “A year ago, having this building was just an idea for us, but it is an idea we made happen – we’ve done it and I am ecstatic.”

The service users have played a big part in getting the building ready to use and have already been working with the Station Adoption Group, which cares for the platform areas through their planting scheme and community art work projects.

Martin Barnard, one of the station group volunteers, said: “It has been great getting to know everyone and we are looking forward to the cafe opening so we can nip in here for a coffee after our tidy up sessions – and warm up.”

Town Mayor, Coun Stephen Bunney was one of those visiting the new centre at a preview morning last Friday.

Representatives from the town council, Lincolnshire Co-op and Lindum were among the invited guests.

He said: “Adult social care is making a bigger presence in Market Rasen and I am delighted to see this building being used in this way.”

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Since closing in the 1990s, the Grade II listed Victorian building fell into a state of disrepair, having been empty for more than 20 years.

However, after the building was purchased by the Lindum Group, it underwent a £700,000 restoration project.

Hazel Barnard worked on the heritage displays and is delighted they will be kept and made available to view - and Sean will be one of those helping to research even further

The three year scheme, supported by the National Lottery, turned it into a heritage and community centre with business units.

Now, it has undergone another reincarnation, but the building will still be, very much, a community space.

Kirsty said: “We are keeping all the heritage items within the building and these will continue to be available for people to see.

"We are also looking to build on this knowledge with our service users.

"While we will be based in the building on weekdays, there will be times when we will be on visits etc, so we have shareable spaces that can be used by the community then, in the evening or at weekends."

Kirsty continued: “Our licence for the cafe begins on January 1, so we hope to get things going then. If the funding is in place.

"The cafe will be run by the service users, with the support of the staff. We will probably start fairly simple and build from there.

"We hope people using the train will call in to say hello and have a coffee.

"Some of our service users don’t see many people, so this project will be great for them.”

Those who have been attending the day centre in the old clinic have already been involved in community activities.

They regularly head out to do litter picking in the town, spend time in the town’s library and take part in community walks –all activities they plan to continue now they are at their new base.

Kirsty said: “Our service users are very much part of the Rasen community. We hope to build on those community links and help add to their skills.

"We were surprised how many of our service users have never been on a train, so that is something we are looking forward to doing.”

Meanwhile, everyone is looking forward to using the centre and planning for the official opening.

Kirsty added: “They are very keen to have a ‘red ribbon’ event, so we are looking to do that next month.”