500 Club - Supporting local charities

Published: 07/01/2021

Decembers Donations.

The Castlegate Centre

The Castlegate Centre in George Street, Colchester is a charity which caters for adults of all ages with a variety of complex difficulties. The centre not only provides educational, art and therapeutic therapies for it's service users but gives valuable respite for parents and carers offering support and a friendly environment to meet.

The centre is an independent charity which like so many other small organisations works tirelessly and quietly to provide an essential haven for many that need it whilst being unsupported or financially supported.

When Sandy French, one of our members, who works at the centre teaching pottery nominated Castlegate as they wish to upgrade the sensory room there, it seemed evident that there was a real need for them to get as much help as possible.  Initially, we planned to purchase them a music system to play calming music in the sensory room but we managed to find one for them without cost.  We are now in the process of purchasing a new Fridge/freezer and vacuum cleaner so that they can focus their funds on redecoration.  As you will see from the correspondence below from Sandy, your donation is very much appreciated.

"On behalf of the Castlegate Day Centre, I would like to offer a huge Thank You to the 500 Club for your proposed donation of a compact music system. This will be so useful in our Sensory Room, helping, among other things, to block out the noise from the main hall. The Sensory Room is very small. It has not been updated in 25 years so our aim in 2021 is to update the entire room to make it even more of a safe, secure, relaxing sanctuary. Our therapist Liz was hoping to use your donation for a new massage chair to make it easier to transfer people from wheelchairs into a comfortable position. However, the chair required is mega expensive, so we thought the music system would prove to be a relaxing alternative. Because the room is small, we do not have space for speakers so a compact system will be absolutely ideal. Music plays such an important roll to all our Service Users, Carers and Tutors/Staff. Castlegate aims to provide a safe, secure and happy place for all. So many people say it is like coming home. The Sensory Room is an inner sanctum where our Service Users can safely relax and let go of the challenges life gives them. We hope to completely redecorate, with the help of another Organisation, replace the outdated lighting system and specialties and generally make an even more restful space. First we must find funds for a new 'fridge/freezer and vacuum cleaner (so boring but necessary), then the Sensory room is our priority. It is an exciting challenge and your very kind and welcome donation has given us a real boost. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank You".

The Exceptional Food Company
During December we ran a 'Lockdown Hero' campaign on social media. Our followers were asked to nominate a person who has gone above and beyond to help others during the COVID-19 crisis to receive a hamper from The Exceptional Food Company. It was humbling to hear of the many wonderful, giving people who dedicate their time and energy to support others.  After much deliberation from Committee, Peter Dutch, who founded the Anti-Loo- Roll brigade in Colchester received the hamper.

Christmas Jumper Day with a difference!

Thank you to all our Partners, Paul Devereux, Simon Clow, Jon Gallop, Brady Rackham and James Linnett who all agreed to allow their staff members to dress them in these amazing outfits as long as they received at least £50 each in pledged donations.  I am pleased to say that this campaign went beyond our expectations and we managed to raise over £500!  Our partners obviously need to dress like this more often!!

Thanks to the generous money pledged we are able to make a generous donation to 'Next Chapter' (The Women's Refuge). We have purchased 50 x £10 supermarket vouchers which will be issued to women and their children who are living and being supported by the refuge in the Clacton on Sea area.
"Next Chapter would like to give a heartfelt thank you to Palmer and Partners 500 Club on behalf of our many service users who will benefit hugely from your generosity.  We support a considerable number of domestic abuse victims and their children in the Tendring area, many of which who are struggling to make ends meet for the most basic items as a consequence of their situation, and this is on top of the significant trauma and abuse they have been through.  To be able to provide a supermarket voucher to a family in need at a time of crisis will make a world of difference.  Thank you. (Sally Harrison, Director of Adult Services)".