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£25,000 charity boost from Ovamill

Posted on December 18, 2018

The plight of charities struggling to maintain vital services in the face of rising costs has touched the hearts of directors at building contractors Ovamill. They have stunned Great Yarmouth-based Centre 81 with an out-of-the-blue donation of £25,000 and a message of thanks for the charity’s work with disabled people.

Mark Everard, of Beccles-based Ovamill, said: “We admire the amazing work of Centre 81, and the commitment of staff and volunteers who make such a difference to people’s lives. It has been our privilege to support this brilliant charity for a few years and we are delighted to continue our association with this further donation.”

Centre 81 operates a skills and activities centre in Tar Works Road, Great Yarmouth, for about 70 members with a wide range of physical and sensory disabilities. As well as attending the centre for activities such as model-making, craftwork, cooking and drama, they also get out into the community, enjoying everything from sailing and swimming to ten-pin and theatre trips.

The charity also has a fleet of ten fully-accessible minibuses providing transport for members and the wider public, who use it for trips to the supermarket or doctors, or simply to visit friends and family.

Mr Everard said: “It’s a difficult environment for charities today, with local authorities having reduced resources and the introduction of the National Living Wage pushing up staff costs, but they carry on providing an outstanding service transforming the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our community.   We thank Centre 81 for what they do. Our donation is made to show our appreciation of the important services they provide for disabled people and their carers.”

Diana Staines, chief executive of Centre 81, said: “All charities face the same challenges today, not the least of which is the National Living Wage, which will add a whopping £30,000 to our wage bill next year, with further big increases in following years. Centre 81’s staff are fantastic and deserve every penny they get. Our job is to manage our resources wisely and continue to deliver first class services for our members.

“This fantastic donation came completely out of the blue and is most welcome from two aspects. Firstly, it is, of course, a brilliant boost to our funds. But equally important, it’s a touching acknowledgement of the work we do from people in the business community whose generosity never fails to move us. I thank Mark and his fellow directors at Ovamill from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

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