A Durham youth charity can now fund several days’ worth of packed lunches for more than 300 youngsters over the Christmas holidays, thanks to a £500 donation from a construction site management team.
The 15-strong team from GMI Construction Group was awarded the cash in recognition of it operating the best run site within the company’s North East division.
They decided that, rather than splitting the money between them, they would gift it to Bowburn Youth Project, which holds children’s clubs during the school holidays as well as regular evening youth club sessions for 11 to 18-year-olds.
Currently it provides free packed lunches for up to 150 children a day during the school holidays, excluding Christmas. The £500 gift will allow it to provide at least two days’ worth of packed lunches, together with a selection box, during the festive break.
Durham county councillor Jan Blakey, who is chair of the Project, said: “This is a purpose-built youth centre at the heart of the community which supports and inspires young people through projects and activities that raise self-esteem, confidence, and promote valuable life skills.
“Hunger is a significant challenge in the current economic climate which is why we provide daily packed lunches every day of the school holidays. This donation will allow us to extend this into part of the Christmas holidays.”
The GMI team is based at the nearby Integra 61 mixed use project at J61 of the A1(M) where the company is principal contractor on the 650,000 sq. ft Connect warehouse and logistics development.
It was awarded the £500 by GMI’s North East Operations Director, Gary Oates, for exceptional standards of health and safety and quality assurance.
David Brown, GMI’s Senior Project Manager on the Connect site, said: “Our reward was having our high standards recognised, so we got together and decided to donate the £500 to this fantastic community facility.”
Gary Oates added: “As an independent company, GMI is keen to support the community in the areas where we operate, reflected by its decision earlier this year to become a long term charity partner of the Great North East Air Ambulance Service, so it’s fantastic to see our team at Integra 61 continuing to display these same values.”
Gary Hutchinson, a Durham county councillor and a committee member of the charity, added: “Everyone connected with the Project would like to express a huge thanks to David Brown and all the team at GMI for their very kind and thoughtful gesture.”
Bowburn Youth Project is based at Bowburn Youth Centre, which includes a community gym which also provides fitness sessions for young people and hosts a range of community events.