Originally owned by the Duke of Norfolk in the late 19th century, Dove Lodge became the Lyndhust Hotel in the 1950s. It was subsequently bought by the Christian Care Association in the 1970s who turned it into the Amberley Rest Home.
Fast forward 30 years and in October 2002, Dove Lodge Community Resource Centre was opened.
The name DOVE originates from a project called Dairy Operation for Voluntary Enterprise, which was created to raise funds to upgrade and enlarge the Diary premises which was owned by Littlehampton Town Council and occupied by Arun Council for Voluntary Service and several other voluntary organisations.
As a result of a joint bid by the Boards of Arun and Bognor Regis CVS (who were merging), they were successful in receiving a Home Office Capital Modernisation grant for the project. Unfortunately, the Town Council subsequently withdrew the use of premises at the Dairy. However, following negotiations by Valerie Sharp (former Manager of Arun CVS) and Monica Harris (Small Groups Worker), the Home Office agreed that the money may be used for other premises within Littlehampton.
Gina Watson, who was a member of the Board at the time, heard that a building in Beach Road, formerly Amberley Rest Home, might be available, however, it transpired that the grant was not enough money to buy the building. After several discussions with the Single Regeneration Team and with the support of many people in Littlehampton, in particular from the voluntary sector, the organisation DOVE (Littlehampton) Ltd was formed and another bid for additional funds was successful, which enabled the purchase to go ahead.
It was the wish of the Christian Care Association to see the building used for a Community Resource Centre and not sold for commercial development. The money from the sale subsequently went to build a new wing of the Association home in Bognor Regis.
The transformation of the building was overseen by Valerie Harris and Bill Goostrey who was a CVS Volunteer at the time. It was a huge task and as the grant money did not include a contingency for running costs, a lot of begging and bartering then ensued to secure many items. Contributions were also made by an assortment of people and organisations, from The Body Shop volunteer painters to Bill’s local pub who raised money, and family and friends who press-ganged into painting, cleaning, etc.
The success of Dove Lodge Community Resource Centre has continued to grow over the past 20+ years and the rest as they say, is history!