Willow Tree Activity Centre in Harefield has unveiled its final building.

The training and activity rooms at the site were finished in 2012 but money ran out before the maintenance building could be completed.

Hillingdon Council, the Heathrow Community Fund, Communities for Tomorrow and local Freemason groups helped raised the remaining funds.

The mayor of Hillingdon councillor Catherine Dann officially opened the new block on Tuesday, July 1.

"Without their help and support this much-needed building would not have been built," said Dawn Palmer,  part of Willow Tree's management team.

"Tuesday evening was a great success and everyone enjoyed their visit.

"This was a very special occasion for Willow Tree Centre."

In 1997 Guild Guiding Middlesex North West had a vision to have a centre where young people could learn new skills, team build, work and play together regardless of their cultures in a safe environment,

In 2000 a residential training house, tranquil garden, environmental grounds, eco mini sewerage system and trees and hedgerows were introduced to a piece of unused grazing land leased from the council.

Over the past 14 years the area has turned into an flourishing activity base which is enjoyed by around 14,500 young people each year from schools, youth organisations and groups caring for children and adults with special needs.

 

The 15-acre centre is maintained by volunteers from nearby businesses, including British Airways, Coca Cola, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, GlaxoSmithKline, Canon-Europe and Heathrow Airport.

"Without their help this centre would not be in such immaculate condition," added Ms Palmer.

Willow Tree Centre has three fully equipped camping sites, each with their own shower facilities. There is also an archery range, tunnelling, low ropes, a horizontal climbing wall, assault course, night line and various sports equipment.

The residential house is used mainly during the week by those with disabilities or people having respite care.

Pine Lodge is also used for management training and various courses.

Last year Willow Tree won the British Airways charity of the year award which was presented to them by singer Peter Andre.

Looking after the centre takes 30 regular volunteers and more people are always needed. If you can offer your time, visit www.willowtreecentre.co.uk.