Volunteers help charity kick start Caistor project

Volunteers from M&S: Emerson Bartlett, Pip Brown, on the steps Sue Elliott, Andy Briggs, Director of Rock Foundation Paul Brown, Gary Bruwer, Matt Wooffindin, Geraldene Richardson-Eames and Lynne Philips. (Lin) EMN-170619-095759001
Volunteers from M&S: Emerson Bartlett, Pip Brown, on the steps Sue Elliott, Andy Briggs, Director of Rock Foundation Paul Brown, Gary Bruwer, Matt Wooffindin, Geraldene Richardson-Eames and Lynne Philips. (Lin) EMN-170619-095759001

Caistor’s old Fleece Inn is set for a new transformation to provide supported living for people with learning disabilities.

Most recently, the building was the Caistor site for Lincolnshire Montessori.

Since the school closed suddenly in the summer of 2015, the buildings have stood empty.

Now, they are being purchased by the Grimsby-based Rock Foundation charity, which plans to provide accommodation for some of their students, as well as supportive workshops 
and activities at the site.

“We have a vision to provide good accommodation for our students; somewhere we as parents want our children to live - a nice area for our children to be safe in,” said charity CEO Pam Hodge.

It is planned for the accommodation to be open next year, but before then, a lot of work needs to be done.

The project was given a kick start during National Volunteers Week earlier this month, when employees from Grimsby M&S went along to help with painting and gardening.

Craig Prestidge, store manager of M&S Grimsby, said: “We were really excited to be coming together to support The Rock Foundation.

“Volunteering can make a profound difference to the communities in which we live, work and play - we believe that lots of the small actions from lots of people can collectively have a huge impact.”

Other businesses have also been supporting 
the project, much to Pam’s delight.

She said: “This is a big thing for us to take on and we have been very fortunate quite a few different companies are coming in to help us.

“We could always do with more and we would also be pleased to hear from anyone else who would like to volunteer their time or skills.”

As well as the accommodation, the site will also have a cafe, shops selling items made by the students and have an open garden area.

Pam added: “We want to give as much back to Caistor as possible.

“We will hopefully be able to open up the natural spa area for walkers and create a secure garden area where young families can come and relax.

“We plan to open the cafe as soon as possible.

“We are reliant on grant funds, so we will be having lots of fundraising to see the project through.”

To find out more about the Rock Foundation or to support the project, visit www.rockfoundation.org.uk

Additional information:

As well as applying for grant funding, a number of fundraising events will be held.

Caistor 10k - On Sunday, July 2, Murray Watt will be running in the Caistor Sting in the Tail 10k for the Rock Foundation.

Murray will be easy to spot - he will be dressed as a banana.

To sponsor him, call Rock Foundation on 01472 488026 or email office@rockfoundation.org.uk

Tesco help - Rock Foundation is also currently one of the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ at Market Rasen Tesco, which runs to the end of June.