A Community group is celebrating its third birthday by announcing that it will be moving into a “phenomenal” new centre.

Colchester Council has announced the Anti Loo Roll Brigade is the preferred tenant for the new Lakelands Centre, which is currently being constructed on the Western Bypass, Stanway.

Peter Dutch, who is the founder of the Anti Loo Roll Brigade, was delighted to hear the news, which is still subject to final legal agreement.

He said: “We genuinely can’t believe our luck and that we’ve been given this opportunity.

We’ve worked really hard in the community to find out where problems exist and trying to fix them where we can.

“This beautiful facility gives us the opportunity to pull it all together and have an impact in these areas.”

The group is partnering with other organisations to provide free therapy and counselling services for children who have experienced trauma, which Peter hopes will make “a real dent in NHS waiting times”.

Colchester-based veteran support group Phoenix Heroes will also be among the partners working at the centre. Together, they hope to build the only hub in the area for veterans, offering support for post-traumatic stress disorder, and re-training and re-skilling opportunities.

The Anti Loo Roll Brigade, which is well known for its annual festival the next of which is scheduled for September 8 and 9, was founded during the first Covid lockdown in 2020 when shoppers were raiding the shop shelves for toilet rolls.

Mr Dutch had had made it his mission to help Jake, a young man with cerebral palsy, who couldn’t find any custard in supermarkets.

Peter explained: “After I posted about it online, Jake ended up with lots of custard and I danced around the kitchen. That sparked something inside me which led me to do what we’ve achieved.”

A firm opening date is yet to be announced, but the groups founder expects that the facility will be handed over in early-to-mid May this year.

A playground, sports hall and community café will also form part of the centres offering.