The Sure Start Centres in Headingley and Horsforth provide a safe and secure environment for families in Leeds.
To help improve the facilities for the many people who visit the centre, 18 colleagues from our IT department spent a day tidying up the garden area, revamping the old sand pit and transforming the space by adding ball runs, mud kitchens and chalkboards, as well as painting all the fences. In Headingley, they also raised funds to help pay for the paint and decorations as well as revitalizing the interior and making mobiles to hang from the ceiling for the children to enjoy.
Claire Birch, the Headingley and Horsforth Children’s Centre Manager, told us about the impact our colleagues had on the centre. "We’re very grateful to the volunteers from Leeds Building Society. Many of the families we serve live in poor environments, and have fled horrendous situations such as domestic violence, trafficking etc. Some share accommodation or live in refuges with very little space or opportunities for their children to play.
"We pride ourselves in trying to offer the best possible service to children and families which includes a safe inviting and stimulating environment with access to play opportunities and somewhere trusting relationships can be established in order to improve outcomes for those most vulnerable.
"The work under taken by the Leeds Building Society has had a huge impact on our families. They noticed straight away the change in décor, the bright fresh paint, the mobiles made by the team hanging from the ceiling. The children loved the new revamped outdoor play area and use it on a daily basis, the mud kitchens being a particular favourite. We feel very proud of our centre and what we have gained through the generosity and support from Leeds Building Society."
Volunteering also has a positive impact on our colleagues. David Hassall, from IT Software Delivery team, said: "So many groups and families use the Centres and it is really important for them to have a fun, safe and secure environment for the children to play. The Children’s Centres have a vision that every child should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and I hope the work we did will play a small part achieving this.
"My wife works at both of the Centres, so I know what a tremendous job they do on limited resources. It was also obvious they just didn’t have the time to revamp their gardens and outside spaces and this is when I thought it was a perfect opportunity to take a team of volunteers to take care of it on their behalf."
The Society also donated furniture to both the children’s centres following the recent branch refurbishment programme.