We began working with The Foxton Centre in around 2016. They are an incredibly worthwhile charity that are celebrating their 50th birthday this year; they help vulnerable adults and young people with links to the Preston area.
The charity offer shelter to both rough sleepers and the homeless, and offer them resources such as a ‘care of’ address and access to the right support for their often complex needs. They have recently become a 24 hour service, with beds and washing facilities for a number of guests. Not only this, but The Foxton Centre also has access to houses, in which people with poverty, addiction or mental health issues can be housed to help them while they get the much-needed help they need. During the winter, when temperatures drop below freezing, the centre is open to anyone that needs the much needed warmth of a cup of tea and a roof over their heads. Additionally, they offer support to street sex workers and try to discourage youths from getting in with the wrong the crowd through gang prevention work.
In the June 2018, Service Care Solutions donated £1000 which was matched by Children in Need, meaning that £2000 was given to The Foxton Centre, who decided to use the funds to overhaul an outside area in Preston town centre. They asked for volunteers to help landscape a disused bowling green and woods that had fallen into disrepair and the team at Service Care Solutions were ready with their spades and trowels to try to help! The area in question is only a short walk from our office in South Preston and is known as Smith’s Rec.
A team of around 16 were on hand over the course of two days – which just so happened to be the days that all of the raw materials got delivered and needed lugging to the site, much to the dismay of our mainly desk-bound team! Nevertheless, with some Service Care gusto, members of our staff set to work…
Bushes were chopped down, weeds pulled up and grass mown. As well as this, a brand new pavilion (the Community Cabin) was erected (with decking surrounding it) which is now used as shelter for rainy days, provides kitchen facilities, houses supplies and is a display area for art work done by local youth groups. As well as providing a safe space for youngsters, some older service users also utilise the area and help out with the garden’s upkeep, which gives them a sense of purpose and teaches them new skills.
One year on, and the space is looking wonderful; the lawn is lush, providing a fantastic playground for local children and the surrounding trees are proving themselves as great climbing frames! As well as regular football games, mini obstacle courses and wheelbarrow races, there are also ‘rainy day’ activities such as arts and crafts or ‘taste tests’ for healthy eating education. Laura Budd of The Foxton Centre says, “We want to pass on a huge thank you to Service Care Solutions for making this project possible. We still laugh about those volunteer days – they were the hardest in the charity’s history! We hope that seeing the space being used and looking at the children’s faces whilst enjoying it will make it all worthwhile.”