A COMMUNITY is being asked to invest in one of its facilities - by sponsoring parts of the building.

In a novel attempt to increase membership, Firthmoor Community Centre has launched the Building Communities At Grass Roots campaign, which aims to encourage people to support their community buildings with actions rather than just words.

Firthmoor and District Community Association, which runs the centre, is hoping the campaign will attract 500 new members before the charity's annual meeting on July 27. The charity is asking all residents to get behind their community centre and support it in a practical way.

Supporters can sponsor any part of the building, or a community project, or make a general donation.

The charity is asking people to come up with suggestions for donations, with the best ideas appearing on their website.

They would also like people to be photographed with the parts of the building they have sponsored. The pictures will be posted on the internet.

Centre development manager Martin Landers said: "People often think that only grand gestures make a difference, and we want to show that's not the case.

"Small gestures are just as important, and this idea adds a bit of fun into the mix - it would be great to see photographs of people in front of a carpet, door handle or drainpipe they've sponsored."

Charity chairman Kevin Nicholson said he would like to see Firthmoor put the Government's Big Society concept to the test.

"This is a bit of fun, but with a serious side, " he said.

"Here at Firthmoor, we're building communities at the grass roots.

"The object of the exercise is give people the opportunity to help us overcome the difficult financial times.

"It's very much about people supporting the things they value, moving away from direct government and council support.

"I want to urge anyone who cares about the local community to make a donation, have a bit of fun, and become a part of something really worthwhile."

People wishing to donate can text FIRT23 and the amount they wish to donate to 70070, then text their full name and the part of the building they wish to sponsor to 07709-804580. Sponsorship can be as little as £1.

The community centre can also arrange for photographs of the sponsor and their sponsored building part to be taken. Anyone who would like this, should mention it in their text.

Photographs will appear on the website and on the Firthmoor Community Centre Facebook page.