A CHARITY will be sitting comfortably after scooping a £50,000 grant to further its work.
The Lisa Dixon Centre, the base for Haswell and District Mencap, will use the cash to build a purpose-built showroom for its furniture project, which has doubled in size in the last two years.
It has been using a weather-damaged building, putting stock at risk of damage.
The windfall is from the national Enterprising Communities awards, which is led by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, which helps community groups in former mining communities.
The centre’s chief executive, Hayley Hood, said: “I was so nervous when I was asked to present, but was absolutely adamant that we give it our best shot.
“We are desperate for a new showroom for our furniture business and this was the ideal opportunity to share our story and showcase what we want to do moving forward.
We are desperate for a new showroom for our furniture business and this was the ideal opportunity to share our story and showcase what we want to do moving forward.Hayley Hood, chief executive of the Lisa Dixon Centre
“Not only does this award mean that we can invest in our future business and create a more sustainable model, but also that we can extend our services, which in turn means that we can provide more programmes and activities for our service users.
“This is such great news for us – it is literally life changing.”
Andy Lock, head of operations in England for the trust, said: “The Lisa Dixon Centre was a very worthy winner of the Enterprising Communities award.
“The dedication and commitment shown by the team was outstanding, and their plans for the future mean that they can continue to have a lasting and positive impact on those they engage with.
“This is a great example of an organisation that is so much more than a charity supporting people with learning disabilities.
“With a full programme of events, along with qualifications and work opportunities, they are a best-in-class example of what can be achieved when you work corroboratively with the community.”