DIY SOS’ Billy Byrne among the guests as Letchworth centre for adults with disabilities throws open the doors at new home

DIY SOS presenter Billy Byrne (centre) with volunteers and users at the opening of the new Jackie's

DIY SOS presenter Billy Byrne (centre) with volunteers and users at the opening of the new Jackie's Drop-In Centre in Broadway. Photo: Alan Millard - Credit: Archant

DIY SOS mainstay Billy Byrne was among the dozens of people who turned out in Letchworth today as a cherished centre for adults with disabilities opened its new premises for the first time.

DIY SOS presenter Billy Byrne and North Herts District Council chairman John Booth shake hands at th

DIY SOS presenter Billy Byrne and North Herts District Council chairman John Booth shake hands at the opening of the new Jackie's Drop-In Centre in Broadway, with Jackie Nealon (far left) and others looking on. Photo: Alan Millard - Credit: Archant

Jackie’s Drop-In Centre – which used to be on the ground floor of St Michael’s House in the middle of town – has moved into a two-storey former North Herts College building at the corner of Broadway and West View.

The work to convert the site has cost thousands of pounds and taken about 28 weeks – and some 76 members, volunteers and relatives were there for the big opening this morning.

Jackie Nealon, who founded the self-funded charity five years ago, told the Comet that the highlight of the day was the joy on the members’ faces.

“It’s been amazing – the reactions have been great,” she said.

Jackie's Drop-In Centre. Photo: Alan Millard

Jackie's Drop-In Centre. Photo: Alan Millard - Credit: Archant


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“Billy was really impressed, he thought it was fantastic.

“It still seems like a dream, but we’re there now. Before we had to make do with this, make do with that – now everything’s colour-coded, it’s so modern. It’s just perfect.”

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The fundraising efforts for the new site were supported by celebrities such as singer Boy George and Billy’s DIY SOS colleague Nick Knowles.

Other contributors included Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation and the Letchworth committee of North Herts District Council – whose chairman John Booth was among the guests today.

The move to the new building and the centre’s fifth-year anniversary are set to be celebrated together at a lunch later this year. Today’s opening is also due to be featured on BBC Look East from 6.30pm this evening.

Jackie’s Drop-In relies totally on donations – if you’re interested in helping them out, come in and see them at their new premises between 11am and 3pm from Monday to Friday, find them on social media or see jackiesdropin.org.uk.

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