MARCH-based charity FACET celebrated its 10th anniversary this week with an open day to mark the important milestone. Refreshments and a buffet lunch were served and there was a number of stalls and activities going on over the course of the day.
The charity also celebrated the completion of a two-year major refurbishment programme, which has seen a total transformation of the premises in Marwick Road.
The refurbishment cost a total of £425,617, which was made possible by the award of a grant from the Social Enterprise Investment Fund, which benefits voluntary sector organisations working in the health and social care sector.
The charity opened its doors on Friday to give those interested could learn more about its work.
Visitors were also able to see the wonderful plant centre, woodwork shop, catering kitchen and other facilities where the students, all of whom are adults with learning disabilities, gain the skills they need to help them reach their full potential in life.
The charity issued a grateful thanks to all the local contractors who have supported them throughout the building refurbishment programme, often by carrying out work during the evenings and over the weekends as without this support, it would not of have been possible.
The charity’s Chairman, Andrew Pugh, who is the current Deputy Mayor of March said: “FACET is not just a name it’s a way of life that’s full of character and feeling. The staff who work at the centre are a family, the students are part of that family, moving freely and safely, and learning about the things in life we all take for granted. The building looked old and tired, the wooden doors worn and the windows shabby; it was very cold in the winter and the building was difficult to heat, but that didn’t make any difference to the staff and students, who carried on with their roles, wishing for better, but putting up with what they had as true professionals. However, the first impressions today are very different. The staff are the same, truly professional, committed, determined and hard working, but now they have a pride in their step, with new rooms, new equipment, better facilities, double glazed doors and windows, bright and roomy surroundings which look and feel like the hub of the community enterprise that it is.
“These changes have not happened overnight and are not due to the efforts of any one person, but by everyone working together as a team. There is now a bright place of learning, a place of sanctuary for the students, which has become the living role of the CEO Linda Ingram, who has committed her life to improving the building, facilities and services for all to benefit, the Board members who have put many hours into improving, painting and preparing the new rooms and the staff who have worked throughout the changes and guided the students with very little fuss to end up where we are today.
“As Chairman I am extremely proud and privileged to have been a part of this change and to have watched the transformation from what it once was, to what it is now, a unique centre of learning, staffed by professionally committed staff members who have the interests of their students as their number one priority”.