Dunfermline Press

Charity ‘devastated’ as opening plans dashed

Hyperclub plans in turmoil as planned new base to be sold

- By Clare Buchanan Reporter cbuchanan@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

THE founder of a West Fife charity says she is “absolutely devastated” to discover their work to convert a city centre property into its new base have been in vain.

Suzie Connelly, who runs Hyperclub, has been working with a small group of volunteers to renovate the former Bubbles Bathroom Centre in Dunfermlin­e’s Chalmers Street into purpose-built premises where they could offer a range of services to the people they help.

With work nearing completion after several delays, it had been hoped that the premises would open in January. However the charity has been dealt a massive blow after hearing that the building is to be sold.

“We are absolutely devastated at the news,” said Suzie. “The owner is selling the building now so we have been rendered homeless.

“We have done a lot of the work. We were 10 per cent away from opening, we had just got a company to finish the ventilatio­n.

“As soon as possible, we will be out. We have got to take it all back down. We have put in so much stuff. We have got a memory room and a sensory room and a training kitchen, a huge disabled changing room. There’s arts and crafts, a disco area, a wee charity shop, we have built everything.”

Much of the work has been carried out by volunteers with help from some local tradesmen too.

“All the funding we have had and spent on it. We have put the electrics and plumbing and heating in and we had been hoping to open in January,” said Suzie.

“We have a committee of eight and there’s myself and maybe four other folk who have been trying to get it done. I have been up there every day, done night shifts up there, painting, taping, anything to save money.

“Every time we get there, we get knocked back down. I cannot understand it for the life of me. Everyone can see how much it is needed.”

Hyperclub was first launched in 2012 with the aim of supporting children with ADHD and since then the charity has continued to grow.

The charity works hard to ensure that those who face social exclusion due to disability or health conditions are supported in becoming confident individual­s who can independen­tly work to achieve higher goals.

Originally in Inverkeith­ing, they made the decision to move to Dunfermlin­e to allow them to expand their offering.

Suzie is already attempting to find an alternativ­e base and is appealing for anyone who may have suitable premises to get in touch.

“We have got 1,600 service users and followers wanting to use it,” she said.

“We are inundated.

“The youngest is five and the oldest is 97. That is who we are supporting.

“Some of them, we have been looking after since they were two.

“I still get round helping them while we have been trying to get open.

“We have been going out, giving out activity packs, we have been giving out food, trying to keep in contact constantly.

“I sing and we go out singing to raise money.

“We are doing a sponsored skydive only to now get this.

“I cannot believe it. It is soul destroying.

“We just need a building big enough to offer a variety of services. I would look at any building to try and offer services but ideally it would need to be a medium to big building with hopefully individual rooms because of their needs.

“I have got a company who said if we can get a building, they will come in and sort it. We finally got somebody (to finish work on the Chalmers

Street building) and the landlord says he is selling.

“We need a building we can make fit for purpose to help children and adults with special needs.”

She said she is “desperate” to identify a viable future for the Hyperclub.

“The more time we are waiting, some of these people are dead,” Suzie explained.

“We have lost services users through Covid and the time we have waited.

“Every day more and more children are born with special needs and this is a thing that is ongoing and needed.

“I am begging somebody to help us. I really am. There are people out there that are bound to have a place.”

 ?? ?? Suzie Connelly (centre) pictured previously with fellow Hyperclub volunteers.
Suzie Connelly (centre) pictured previously with fellow Hyperclub volunteers.

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