THE team turning a landmark department store into an community centre for older people have launched a £100,000 Crowdfunder campaign to finish the job.

Age Concern Southend is transforming the former Havens store in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff into the Haven Older People’s Community Hub, offering everything from belly dancing to carpet bowls and tai-chi.

The charity has already raised £120,000 to turn the first floor into the new home of Club 50+, formerly based in Queen’s Road, Southend.

Another £100,000 is needed by July to complete the next phase of the renovation works that would create a community cafe, dementia daycare centre and information and meeting rooms to be used to offer support and services including bereavement counselling, podiatry, public health and dementia support.

The building will act as a centre point for older people across the Southend area to get help and advice, meet new people, learn new skills and stay fit and active.

Claire Slack, development manager at Age Concern Southend said, “With the help of our community we hope to create a thriving space where people can feel safe and welcomed as they join in with activities, get expert help or even just have a cuppa and read a book.

“Even a small donation, or a share or like on our social media channels will help us make Southend a better place to age.”

The crowdfunder will run for four weeks and every penny raised will go towards building work and equipment for the centre.

Havens closed its doors in June last year after more than 100 years. Planning permission was granted for changes to the interior of the listed building.

The family company continues to run an online specialist china and giftware business from the second floor of the building.

To donate to the fundraiser, please visit