New garden and kitchen help transform day centre

A charity that supports older people and young adults is to celebrate £23,000 work to improve one of its centres, thanks to fundraising and donations from the Aspire Group.

The project for the Grocott Centre, in Heron Cross, Stoke-on-Trent, has been jointly funded and supported by the Aspire Group’s charity The Realise Foundation and by Aspire Housing’s maintenance teams and contractors.

The Grocott Centre provides services to meet the needs of older people and younger adults who have physical needs, dementia or learning disabilities.

The charity approached the Realise Foundation for support to improve its garden, but when Aspire Housing’s maintenance staff saw the scale of work that needed doing to the centre’s kitchen they also volunteered to help.

The work completed includes:
• Installation of seating, planting, disabled access, raised beds, a rockery, shed and barbeque area in the centre’s garden
• Complete refurbishment of the kitchen for the centre including electrical upgrade, catering wall panelling, new floor coverings, decoration and replacement windows

Aspire Housing’s responsive repairs team, who carry out repairs on a daily basis, used the volunteering time they are allowed by the Aspire Group to carry out the work.

Labour for electrical works and the supply and installation of UPVC window replacements were donated by Aspire Housing contractors.

The garden project was funded by a £10,000 grant from the Realise Foundation, while the kitchen materials and labour were donated to a value of £2,000 from Aspire Housing’s contractors. The kitchen work saved the Grocott Centre £13,000 on what it had been quoted for a contractor to do the work.

Will Nixon, chief executive of the Realise Foundation and deputy chief executive of the Aspire Group, said: “The Grocott centre staff and volunteers do amazing work in supporting local people and their families.

“We are delighted to have been able to transform both the garden and the kitchen so the centre can provide a better experience and better services.”

Derek Capey, chair of the Grocott Centre’s trustees, said: “The works to create pleasant, calming, safe gardens for our service users have made a real difference to everyone at the centre. 

“We are grateful to the Realise Foundations for funding the outdoor work.

“When we explained that we had received a grant to refurbish the kitchen but that most of this would be spent on labour costs Aspire also very unexpectedly offered to donate their tradespeople for a week. 

“We are delighted to now have a fully operational kitchen thanks to the fabulous work of Aspire.”