Grace Little Centre teamwork!
TEAMS from two well-known local firms rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in to help spruce up the front of a charity’s children centre in Carlisle.
Staff from the Cumberland Building Society and Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors gave up their time to spend a day cutting, pruning, digging, sawing, sweeping and weeding to give the front area of Carlisle Mencap’s Grace Little Centre in north Carlisle an autumnal makeover.
They were helped by members and staff from the Independence Studio which is based at the Grace Little Centre.
Every year, building society staff swap their office jobs and computers to go and help a local good cause with a project. The idea is very similar to the popular Give A Day To The City projects that take place in the first week in July and involve companies and their staff giving up their time to help charities.
Laura King, one of the six-strong building society team who descended on the children’s centre armed with spades, forks, hedge trimmers and secateurs, said: “We always like to help local charities and this year we were particularly keen to help a charity connected with children – which is why we plumped for Carlisle Mencap.”
Another member of the building society group, Sarah Blaylock, added: “It was particularly poignant for me to help out Carlisle Mencap because our family suffered the loss of someone who was autistic at the early age of 21 and he would certainly have benefitted from a facility like the Grace Little Centre.”
Cassie Bradley, one of the three employees who made up the Cartmell Shepherd team, said their company often got out and about to help worthy causes, adding: “We enjoy working with other companies too on projects like this. Rather than just donating £50 here, £50 there, we like to get out and about and actually provide physical help for charities’ projects.”
Carlisle Mencap’s events and fundraising officer, Phil Taylor, was full of praise for the combined efforts of everyone involved on the day.
“We are delighted that the building society and Cartmell Shepherd staff should give up a day to help us. Our staff and members enjoyed rolling up their sleeves and helping them too,” said Phil.
“It is particularly fitting that they are here to tidy up the front of the Grace Little Centre because our main fundraising focus for the rest of this year and 2020 is to raise £30,000 to help us maintain the highly-specialised and much-needed facilities here at the children’s respite centre - so this all helps to turn the spotlight on Grace Little, as well as saving us money on gardening bills!”
The centre, next to the main entrance of Kingmoor Park North, was built in 2012 after £1m was raised through public appeals plus a legacy from Grace Little, mother of Frank, her son who had Down’s Syndrome. It is a fully accessible building which provides for people with even the most complex disabilities. It is also home to the award-winning Independence Studio which has won national acclaim for its films highlighting such topics as hate crime, mate crime and sexual exploitation.
So a big thank-you once again to the following: Emily Graham, Bethany Walton, Gillian Baker, Laura King, Sarah Blaylock and Jackie Craib – all from Cumberland Building Society – and Lydia Jones, Emma Blamire and Cassie Bradley of Cartmell Shepherd.