Businesses join forces to help Sunderland’s Grace House Hospice

(from left) Neil Henry and Daniel Rosindale of HLA Services, Victoria Brown from Grace House and MacDonald Martin's Andy Trafford.
(from left) Neil Henry and Daniel Rosindale of HLA Services, Victoria Brown from Grace House and MacDonald Martin's Andy Trafford.

A pair of kind-hearted North East businesses have teamed up to support Sunderland’s respite care centre for sick children and young people.

Sunderland-based fire and security experts MacDonald Martin and South Tyneside’s building maintenance specialists HLA Services have joined forces to provide a year’s worth of free support to Grace House.

To enjoy the support of these two brilliant local companies is fantastic for us and enables us to ensure that the investment we would have had to make in security, fire safety, plumbing and heating will now all go towards ensuring our visitors have the best possible experience during their stays with us.

Victoria Brown

The companies agreed to work together after learning of the life-changing work being carried out at the Southwick centre.

MacDonald Martin will be providing maintenance and call-out cover for the fire alarm, fire extinguishers, emergency lights, CCTV, security alarm and door access systems, while HLA Services will provide a similar service for the facility’s heating, plumbing and ventilation systems.

Andy Trafford, owner and director of MacDonald Martin, which is based on Leechmere Industrial Estate, said: “Every year we support a charity, giving a percentage of our earnings to a good cause.

“We partnered with Epilepsy Research UK, a wonderful charity that enables ground-breaking research into the condition, last year and managed to raise £13,000 for the organisation.

“It was fantastic to see how all of the employees came together to back the fundraising drive, and we wanted to do something similar this year, so when the opportunity came to help Grace House, we jumped at it.”

Grace House children’s charity welcomes children and young people from across the North East, with complex disabilities, health needs and life limiting conditions. The facility provides a fun, safe, exciting environment where children can visit and live life to the full.

Specialising in overnight short breaks, it delivers service in partnership with Sunderland Care and Support.

Victoria Brown, Grace House chief executive, said: “To enjoy the support of these two brilliant local companies is fantastic for us and enables us to ensure that the investment we would have had to make in security, fire safety, plumbing and heating will now all go towards ensuring our visitors have the best possible experience during their stays with us.

“We are a small local charity and rely on donations and goodwill to deliver the services we provide, services that are genuinely life-enhancing, so to know we have a year’s free support is invaluable.”