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Volunteering to transform an Age UK over 60's centre

Who needs Nick Knowles when we have Anthony Dillon and his team from the local Willmott Dixon in Oldham?? That was the message from Age UK, following our revamp of the charity’s over 60's centre in Chadderton.

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In March 2021 our team in the North, led by social value manager Nicola Tyson-Lightfoot and her army of volunteers gave up their time to help renovate the Age UK charity’s over 60's centre, in Chadderton.

The team have been hard at work doing everything from replacing broken fence panels, levelling ground (which was a trip hazard), building planters for the garden, replacing the centre gates and giving the building a fresh lick of paint.

They also built a new outdoor allotment and seating area so the centre can welcome back older people when it is safe to do so.

While a bit of painting might not sound like a transformation; to the people that run and rely on the centre, it really did make a huge difference. The team heard so many emotional and personal stories of Oldham people who absolutely depend on the centre and who have really struggled not being able to access its support in-person for the past year.

Maggie Hurley, volunteer and community service manager tells us:

“It’s been bad news and more bad news for older people in the last year, as many have remained at home isolated and alone for over 12 months.

“As we all busily look to new future, here at Age UK Oldham we have had the wonderful gift of a makeover.

“I cannot believe the generosity of Wilmott Dixon, I feel like we are on an episode of DIY SOS! In only two days the centre and outdoor area is being transformed to bring older people back.

“I cannot thank you enough, it’s so heart-warming to have such support not only with materials but also the skills and expertise you have brought to us and lots of smiles.

“Your help will make such a difference to our older people and we can welcome them back with confidence in our new outdoor area.”

Nicola Tyson-Lightfoot, social value manager Willmott Dixon in the North said:

“It’s been a fantastic week and it would not have been possible without all our team of volunteers, and especially the generosity of our local supply chain partners who gave up their time and even donated materials entirely free-of-charge!
“It’s been amazing to speak with service users and really humbling to hear what a huge difference the centre makes and just how many people have struggled without being able to visit. I hope they’ll absolutely love it when they are able to see it!”

Anthony Dillon, Managing Director for Willmott Dixon in the North:

“As a business based in Oldham, we have a purpose to deliver brilliant buildings, transform lives and strengthen communities. We all have friends, colleagues or family members who have been faced with shielding at home over the past year, so we’re hugely proud to be able to play our part in helping our friends at Age UK continue to provide their invaluable support to our community.
“Over the space of a week we have been able to transform the building’s interior and outside space. This would not have been possible without the dedication of our all our team of volunteers, and especially the generosity of our local supply chain partners who gave up their time and even donated materials entirely free-of-charge.
“In these difficult times, we hope the renovation of the centre will be a source of optimism and excitement to everyone who benefits from Age UK Oldham’s amazing care and support, we can’t wait for you to see it in person!”