On behalf of Came Women and Girls development organisation, I would like to express our sincere thanks for giving us free storage space at 120 Bridge Road Chertsey. Using the storage, we have been able to store and ship things to Cameroon, have made material donations to blind children in Buea, helped women living with disability and HIV/AIDS in Douala, assisted orphans in Limbe and Kumbo as well as helping the poor communities in Cameroon.
We have been able to provide material support to 12 women in the refuge and to 5 homeless persons.
In Cameroon, we have developed opportunities for poor women to continue with their education through scholarships, material and social support by promoting the continued education of young girls and women to become valuable contributors to their families and communities.
As you know, it is difficult for small charities like ours to raise money for rent. We estimate that the value of the free space you have given us is worth £500 per month over the last 30 months = £15000.
Because of Centric, we can keep helping disadvantaged people both here in the UK and abroad. Support from a caring organisation like Centric has helped us make up for cuts in grants and local government funding.
Your support has had a greater impact and will change people’s lives. We are truly very grateful to Centric. We could not have done this without Centric’s support. We, and all the disadvantaged people we serve sincerely appreciate your generosity.
I am writing to say THANK YOU for the service Centric have delivered to our charity Help our Homeless MK in providing us with our first official home!
As you know we needed a place where our clients can ‘drop in’ during the day to have a cup of tea or coffee, put their feet up and take a break away from the elements for a few hours reading a newspaper or just generally chilling. We know that if we offer this service – we can also start to build upon the already strong relationships we have with our MK Homeless and undoubtedly now take huge steps forwards offering further support and assistance to enable them to improve their conditions and circumstances.
In addition to this fantastic space we now have all in the same location, at long last, a big enough storage space for all the kind donations of items of clothing, sleeping bags, tents, shoes, hats, gloves, sleeping bags, etc etc. This is a wonderful break through for us as we have relied upon our volunteer’s garages and sitting rooms up to date. Now we can also take furniture donations and other household items, so that when we are able to assist a client into their new home (as we are doing this week) we have the capacity to provide them with as good a start as possible.
You have given us a proper office where our team can now ‘go to work’ and progress and develop our service in a business-like environment.
Above is a picture of Laura opening the door yesterday carrying in the first bags of donations for sorting and storing in our new space…. The team have already started to make full use of the new premises.
Please also pass on our thanks to Hannah and the rest of your team – and of course the landlord/owner of the building without whom this would not have been possible.
With very best wishes
When I was initially approached, by Centric Community Projects, about the space in Chertsey, I had no idea that such an incredible opportunity existed for charities, especially small charities like myself.
I was overwhelmed with their generosity and struggled with how best use the space as my aim was to take advantage of this gift in the most optimal way in which my charity could benefit.
I saw others using it for storage or the occasional meeting, but knew that I could transform this blank canvas into something spectacular. And something spectacular is what it has become! I created ‘Suite 109’ (my initial room assignment number at the Bridge Road location) which is a pre-loved dancewear, drama and theatre wear, fancy dress and accessories shop filled to the brim with donations of unwanted/unused items and supported by those seeking to purchase these treasures at a discounted price.
Having 4 daughters who have danced their entire lives, I was keenly aware of the hordes of pre-loved costumes filling lofts all around the country as well as the exorbitant cost, to parents, of purchasing new. I noted the importance of recycling these items while allowing the charity to benefit from the proceeds. I started the shop with a small handful of personal costumes and just a short time later, as the word was spreading, I required more space. Centric accommodated my new needs and let me move to a larger unoccupied room upstairs in the same building. I now boast a ‘proper’ shop containing over 4000 donated items and have earned upwards of £5000, for the charity, in the past year!
I sell online as well as onsite and have even been invited to take Suite 109 on the road to local dance festivals and Christmas fairs. People across the country are now aware of the charity mainly because of the popularity of this shop. I was only able to take this leap because I knew there were no negative repercussions, commitments or financial strain and I am indebted to Centric for providing me this ability to try. I am eternally grateful to the lovely people at Centric for reaching out to me and for their kindness and incredible generosity in offering ‘Peterson’s Fund for Children’ truly an opportunity of a lifetime.
Founder Peterson’s Fund for Children
Thank You Centric
Our Shop and community Café, Hinkley
Since launching the Café, we have been amazed at the level of local support.
It has given us the ability to sit down and talk with people about HIV and our work supporting local people and their families. We have also opened the café free to local groups to hold meetings and gatherings, we also run our own “Memory Café” for people with and those supporting people with dementia.
The Cafe has created a fantastic opportunity to sit with potential donors, in an informal setting. Instead of handing out flyers that most people stuff into their bag or throw away, most will read them in full whilst they drink their coffee.
It also enables us to tell them about our charity shop next door, often they will go and have a look around after they have finished their refreshments we are also seeing that the regulars will 9 times out of 10 bring donations on future visits to the café.
The tables and chairs that are used in the café have been repaired and restored by our volunteers in a ‘shabby chic’ style, and are all available to buy. We are expanding our range of takeaway foods which will include Jams and deserts sourced locally. We will even sell small gifts and momento’s.
All of this allows us to generate an additional income, reach out to and work with the local community and do something unique as we are the first community café of this kind in the area.
Dear Hannah & Julie,
Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells
It is with gratitude I write on behalf of Empathy Action for the past 10 months of being able to stabilise and grow the freshly incubated charity that we had just become last July.
We have greatly enjoyed being able to use a property like this for this past period. It has come at a critical time in our development and allowed us to achieve so much. Where we are today we could not have achieved without “community big sister” like Centric and especially the staff for being so helpful, accommodating and kind along the way.
Thank you once again for all your assistance to Empathy Action. Please stay in touch and we shall keep you updated too.
Ben Solanky | Co-founder & Director
As a small, but busy charity we found ourselves with a lot of “stuff” taking up valuable space in the office. Some of these things were clearly destined for the rubbish or recycling bins but some of it (such as records and other paperwork) we need to keep.
Unfortunately storage facilities aren’t cheap and as a charity we have to keep a close eye on our funds. Which is why we were thrilled when Centric Community Projects offered us free storage in their Southampton facility and we jumped at the chance to have a good clear out.
We’re not sure all of the staff agree, but we think that having a spring clean and moving some boxes around is a great team building exercise!
We would like to say thank you to everyone that helped us with “The Big Move” and thank you to Centric Community Projects for giving us the storage space.
Golden Lab Studios was set up as a non-profit music and arts hub specifically to cater to individuals creating non-hegemonic works of art. It began with the record label Golden Lab Records, which releases music by ‘outsider’ and otherwise off-radar artists, and gives a necessary platform to those making music and sound art that would otherwise struggle to see the light of day.
We moved into the fourth floor of Mauldeth House in February and set-up a recording studio, where we have since made two full albums: ‘Interpenetrating Dimensional Express’ by 8-piece Manchester free-rock collective Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura and ‘Switching Centre’ by three-piece improv group Chalaque, both of which were released on vinyl to rave reviews in the underground press.
We are currently also working on a new LP release for Manchester improv guitarist Tom Settle, which will be released in September of this year. All of this has been done for absolutely no cost to the musicians, which means they have been able to carry out their art unimpeded by financial constraints.
I addition to musical activity, we are also carrying out a huge amount of work in the visual arts field. Our free space in Mauldeth House gave us, first, the room in which to screen print, dry and cut out the hand-made covers for the Chalaque LP release and all future records produced will be completed in the same way. it has also allowed us to create a huge body of papier-mache sculptural work for an upcoming exhibition of papier-mache works in Glasgow (with a second event in Manchester on the horizon) and we are also running a clay modelling workshop where individuals can come and learn how to sculpt, glaze and fire their own earthenware. In addition to this, the space is currently housing a free-to-the-public exhibition of works by Detroit, USA based ‘outsider’ artist Thelonius Bone, which has had a great deal of footfall in the month it’s been up. This has encouraged us to put together another exhibition, this time a group exhibition, which is still in development. We now also house our very own jewellery making workshop within the studios.
The future will see us collaborating with several external charitable organisations to offer arts workshops to their services users. This will not only have a positive effect on those communities, but will also give us a funded income that will enable us to continue making our works of art without having to worry about the cost of doing so. In short, Mauldeth House has been an absolute blessing to us and we cannot thank Centric enough for all its help in enabling us to achieve the huge amount we’ve achieved in such a relatively short space of time. Long may the project continue!
Nick Mitchell, Director, Golden Lab Studios
We are saving about £30,000 a year on storage space for all of our donated items.Sharon