08:00 Monday 28 January 2013

Lottery furnishes charity with £8.5k

Written byBY ADRIAN JENKINS

Bank House - Swadlincote Bank House - Swadlincote

A MENTAL health charity has bought furniture and white goods with an £8,500 grant awarded by a National Lottery scheme.

South Derbyshire Mental Health Association is installing the equipment at their new premises in Alexandra Road, Swadlincote, which they plan to move into this week from Bank House, in Midland Road, across town.

“It’s going to make a huge difference,” said manager Denise Shillabeer.

“Now, when there are 24 service users here we can all sit down and have dinner together.

“We are not going to have to balance plates on our knees anymore.

“It’s going to improve our whole environment, which will be good for service users and staff.”

The charity, known as Bank House after its existing base, secured the Awards for All cash after proving it was going to a good cause.

Mrs Shillabeer said: “I was excited because it meant we could buy nice things for our service users – new furniture – without having to make do with the stuff that’s been knocking around here for years.

“We’ve really made do for such a long time that it’s going to feel really special having all this new stuff.”

Bank House has used the money to buy two 8ft solid oak dining tables and matching chairs, which arrived on Friday.

The charity has also bought new settees and armchairs for the lounge, as well as a cooker, fridge-freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher for the kitchen.

“We are planning to move on Friday and have most of it in place by then,” Mr Shillabeer said.

Barbara James, Bank House’s premises and service development officer, said the grant had been spent with local suppliers, including Castle Gresley-based Toons.

“We are delighted with this award,” she said. “It is wonderful to be able to fit out our new premises with furniture and equipment that is not only fit for purpose but also that our service users have chosen.”

Bank House’s new base will include office space, an open entrance hall, counselling rooms, three toilets, a fitted kitchen, dining-cum-meeting room and a large activities area.

The charity helps people referred by GPs and themselves who have conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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