Chesterfield News

Chesterfield Housebuilder Avant homes gives a day to make a difference to local community

Housebuilder Avant Homes has introduced a new initiative called ‘Day to Make a Difference’ to support schools, charities and other local groups and businesses, in the communities in which it builds.

All 700 of the company’s employees from construction workers and sales advisors to apprentices and directors, downed tools and stepped away from their keyboards and building sites for the day on June 12 to donate time to 21 organisations across the country. Dozens of Avant Homes suppliers also stepped in to help, donating materials such as paint, transport, timber and more.

In Chesterfield 140 employees from Avant Homes’ head office in Barlborough and its Central regional office based at Holmewood Business Park, spent the day with Clowne Infant and Nursery School, Chesterfield Foodbank, Ashgate Hospice and disabled children’s charity Fairplay.

At Chesterfield Foodbank the team transformed the foodbank’s warehouse offices with new carpets and flooring, new lighting, freshly painted walls and doors and installed a brand-new kitchen donated by Manor Cabinets.

Chesterfield Foodbank project manager, Jim Hopkins, said; “We are delighted and overwhelmed with the support from Avant Homes and their donation of refurbished offices and the fantastic new kitchen.

“Every day thousands of people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to people on low income receiving an unexpected bill. A simple box of food makes a big difference. At Chesterfield Foodbank we provide three-day emergency food packs for people in crisis and we are extremely grateful to companies like Avant Homes who give their time to support us. Their contribution helps to shine a light on the work foodbanks do and why they are so needed.”

At Fairplay, a charity set up in 1992 by a group of parents who wanted accessible activities for their disabled children, 44 members of the Avant Central team undertook a range of different projects across the centre, including gardening, decorating and adapting two of the centre’s rooms to create a larger more accessible space.

Fairplay runs play schemes and clubs for children and parents, activity days, themed groups, and independent living groups for young people. It currently helps more than 400 families across the region.

Fairplay chief executive, Heather Fawbert said: “Working with the team from Avant has been a joy and a privilege. From their first visit to Fairplay they listened to our requirements and have taken on board everything we said about the work we needed doing in the Fairplay centre. It’s incredible that they have such a charity day throughout the country and that they are flexible regarding the type of support they will give to charities.

“This has been a perfect example of how businesses and charities can work together for the benefit of the local community. On behalf of everyone here at Fairplay I would like to say a huge thank you to Avant and their suppliers.’’

At Ashgate Hospice the Avant team undertook a range of different projects including, decorating, landscaping and maintenance and helping support the hospice’s retail outlets.

Ashgate Hospice partnerships manager, Alison Ward-Foster, said: “Avant team members arrived with a smile on their face and a bag full of ponchos!

“The determined team were not put off by the weather and managed to achieve so much more than we expected. We rely heavily on the support of our community and volunteers to help keep our gardens looking beautiful. We cannot thank the team from Avant enough for their support.”

At Clowne Infant and Nursery School, the team transformed both classrooms and outdoor spaces for children and staff to use, enjoy and learn in. Clowne Infant and Nursery School business manager, Paul Hallam, said: “We massively appreciate the whole initiative, and this definitely has been a Day to Make a Difference, and what a difference it has made to us. I’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the whole team from Avant.”

Avant Homes chief executive officer, Colin Lewis, said: “Our ‘Day to Make A Difference’ initiative was created with the mission of supporting those in our local communities who need it most and to make a real difference to their lives. We were honoured to spend the day working with Chesterfield Foodbank, Ashgate Hospice, Fairplay and Clowne Infant and Nursery School and do our bit to support them in the outstanding work they do.

“Everyone from Avant really enjoyed seeing first-hand what goes into making these fantastic charities and organisations operate and it was great to see all of our employees getting stuck in together. The passion and energy that colleagues from across the business put into these projects was astounding. Knowing that we were all making a real difference motivated us even more.

“I’d like to thank all four organisations for allowing us to step into their place of work for the day and our suppliers and subcontractors for their generous contributions which helped us achieve so much. I’d also like to congratulate everyone at Avant Homes for all the hard work put in. What a difference a day can make.”

Avant Homes - Day to Make a Difference at  Fairplay

Avant Homes - Day to Make a Difference at Fairplay Clowne Nursery Primary School Chesterfield Foodbank Ashgate Hospice Copyright Paul David Drabble 12 June 2019

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