Search for volunteers to help Annie Sloan redecorate East Oxford Community Centre

Published: Friday, 4th December 2015

World-famous decorator Annie Sloan will help transform East Oxford Community Centre – and she needs residents to help!

Over the next year Annie, who is one of the world’s most respected paint and colour experts, and her team will celebrate the brand’s 25th anniversary.

To celebrate, they will transform 25 community spaces. Not only has East Oxford Community Centre been chosen as one of the spaces, it has also been chosen to be filmed for the celebration.

The project will see The Lounge – which is used for parties, community events, film screenings and band rehearsals, as well as being the home of the famous Catweazle Club – completely transformed.

Annie and her team will provide all the materials and expertise for the transformation, but they are searching for local residents to volunteer and help make it happen.

Later this month they will run training sessions at the community centre for volunteers to learn how to reupholster chairs, make curtains and cushions, and dye fabric. Each session has eight spaces.

The sessions are:

Chair upholstery workshops:

  • Tuesday 15 December, 1.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Wednesday 16 December, 10.30am to 2.30pm
  • Thursday 17 December, 1.30pm to 5.30pm

Cushions and curtains workshops:

  • Monday 21 December, 1.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Tuesday 22 December, 10.30am to 2.30pm

The transformation itself will take place on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14 January from 9am onwards.

To volunteer and take part, East Oxford residents need to contact:

Annie Sloan, who lives in East Oxford, has a shop in Cowley Road and used to run workshops from East Oxford Community Centre.

She now has 25 internationally-sold books; her paint is sold in more than 1,400 independent stockists in more than 40 countries; and she was described by The Telegraph as one of “Britain’s most influential female designers”.

Annie said: “I’ve lived in East Oxford for over 15 years and had a shop on the Cowley Road since 2010.

“I’ve always loved the East Oxford Community Centre. I’ve been going there for dance workshops and life drawing classes, as well as hosting my own paint workshops there.

“I’ve always been intrigued by the wide number of activities held there. Now I’m thrilled to be a part of breathing new life and beautiful colour into the space."

Oxford City Council took over the running of East Oxford Community Centre in September and, since then, has invested £15,000 refurbishing the building and launched a series of new activities.

The refurbishment included: replacing dance mirrors in the upper hall, decorating the upper hall, replacing windows on to Cowley Road, improving the front notice boards, and replacing the back gate and bar door to improve security.

Councillor Christine Simm, Oxford City Council Executive Board Member for Culture and Communities, said: “I am utterly thrilled that Annie Sloan, her team and East Oxford residents will help us redecorate East Oxford Community Centre.

“I cannot wait to see The Lounge transformed. Not only will it become one of the best spaces in Oxford to hold an event but The Catweazle Club, which is already one of the best nights in Oxford, is going to be raised to a new level.”