Oldbury community centre users on cloud nine

First published in News

HEADACHE-making noise levels at an Oldbury community centre are to be reduced with the fitting of a ‘woolly cloud,’ ensuring a more peaceful experience for its users.

The improvement to the hall at the town’s Oak Tree Centre is being funded by a £5,000 Biffa Award, which support community and environmental projects.

A ‘Woolly Cloud’ – a new green technology made from sheep wool – will be installed to help reduce the reverberation of sound in the hall.

The centre was built with Biffa Award’s support, but an echo in the hall amplifies the sound - especially that made by young children - to such a level that people have difficulty hearing one another.

Volunteer children’s worker Jan Walker said: “I have worked with children in the Oak Tree Centre since 2005. It is a wonderful resource for the community, but I have found the acoustics in the main hall difficult.

“The echo amplifies all sounds, but especially sounds like children shouting and squealing with joy. This makes conversation one to one very difficult.

“When I saw ‘woolly clouds’ mentioned on a farming programme, I immediately thought of the centre.”

Its chairman Rev Mark Timmins added: “With Biffa Award’s support we were able to build an amazing community centre, which has seen so much use it has exceeded all of our expectations.

“New building materials have given us a few headaches with the sound levels, but again with Biffa Award’s help we are now able to install a ‘Woolly Cloud’ which will deaden the noise and help us hear one another much better.”

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