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Grow wants to share its good fortune with others

Grow wants to share its good fortune with others

Monday 05 February 2024

Grow wants to share its good fortune with others

Monday 05 February 2024

With its redeveloped facilities offering it more opportunities than ever before, Grow is looking to share that good fortune with others to enable other charities and organisations to benefit too.

The charity is now operating out of its new £3.5 million headquarters that it moved back into last year.

The redeveloped space has training rooms and offices as well as the greenhouses, a catering kitchen and other facilities.

Grow CEO Karen Blanchford wants it to become a ‘community hub' with other like-minded organisations.

"We are very fortunate to occupy state of the art accommodation, thanks to the support of our valued donors, suppliers and the local community," she said.

"We can show our appreciation and give a unique opportunity to other charities by inviting them to join us on site."

karen blanchford GDA

Pictured: Karen Blanchford used to work for the Disability Alliance and now runs Grow. The charity now wants other organisations with similar remits to benefit from the multi-million pound upgrade to its facilities. 

The facilities which could be used by other organisations - focused on those which work within the disability sector, or who support the community - includes several rooms of varying sizes which are available at 'affordable rents'.

Included in the rent for co-locating charities is use of the training and board rooms, the canteen for a nominal charge, and free use of the library and kitchen as well as out of hours access. Wigwam Support Group LBG was the first charity to take up the offer and is now based at Grow.

"We are delighted to be part of a community of charities that support people with disabilities, all of us operating from the same building. As a small charity it can feel isolating working alone so the opportunities to share knowledge and experience is very valuable," said Wigwam Family Support Coordinator, Susie Gallienne.

There is a training room that can seat 120 people 'conference style', smaller meeting rooms and a board room all available for hire, along with a fully equipped kitchen.

Mrs Blanchford said other organisations can also rent a 'hot desk' if they don't want to rent a permanent office while another option for charities to share Grow’s facilities is a membership scheme.

For £300 members would receive 10 tokens which they can exchange for room hire all at reasonable rates.

The Health Improvement Commission is the first to sign up to that scheme. CEO, Dr Simon Sebire said it will use some of the tokens for an event exploring our local food system taking place in March.

"The Commission jumped at the opportunity to make use of Grow’s facilities. We share similar values in enabling healthy lives so it’s very appropriate being part of this Community Hub."

Anyone interested in finding out more about accommodation and room hire should contact Grow by email or by calling 711600.

"We appreciate how difficult and expensive it can be for charities to find either affordable permanent accommodation, or rooms to hire for meetings and fundraisers. Our aim in creating the Hub is to share our good fortune with others," said Mrs Blanchford.

Pictured: Grow's successful fundraising campaign during 2022 saw it raise enough money to pay for the redevelopment of its entire site at Les Coutanchez. 

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