Scottish Galvanizers pulled out all the stops to support a special charity project that touched their hearts.
The opening of Whiteleys Retreat, in Ayrshire, last month marked the completion of a mammoth six-month project to build a holiday home offering therapeutic short breaks for children and young people suffering life-altering illnesses, together with their families.
More than 40 companies in the area provided materials and services free of charge, while hundreds of volunteers lent a hand in an initiative resembling the BBC’s DIY SOS programme.
Their work has resulted in the complete renovation of two old farm buildings and the launch of a facility now offering a vital respite service for people all over the UK.
The Retreat, near Alloway in Ayr, welcomed its first families last weekend and a series of open days coinciding with the opening of a children’s play park at the 30-acre site will take place in November.
Scottish Galvanizers, based in Glasgow, became involved in the project thanks to long-time customer Robert WH Brown (RWHB), which manufactures agricultural and industrial buildings.
Paul Tait, Commercial Manager at the plant, said: “They brought the volunteer initiative to our attention and we were only too happy to help out.
“Many people connected with Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd, myself included, have lost family members and friends to life-limiting illnesses, so when we heard they were building a retreat for youngsters and needed services free of charge, there was no hesitation.
“RWHB designed and built bespoke decorative fencing, gates and balustrades and we had all of that steel galvanized to prevent corrosion and give the work a nice finish.
“It was nice to play a small part in a project that will hopefully make a difference to a lot of people.”
The renovation programme was put together and organised by Maxine Allan, chief executive of the Whiteleys Retreat charity.
She said: “It has been an amazing project to be involved in because we’ve relied so much on the help of local businesses and members of the community.
“Thanks to their fantastic efforts, their donations of materials and expertise, we’ve been able to complete virtually all of the renovation work free of charge.
"They’ve been absolutely amazing and we just couldn’t have done it without them.
“We were hoping to create a high-quality finish because we want the young people who come here with their families to fully enjoy their time with us.
“But the businesses who got involved have gone above and beyond for us and I can’t thank them enough – it has been a very humbling experience.”
More development work, paid for by supporters and fund-raising activities, will turn another of the outbuildings at the site into a sensory play barn alongside the inclusive wooden play park, which will feature a crow’s nest swing and totem pole along with a host of sensory items.
There’ll also be outdoor recreational areas, pathed woodland walks, a Garden of Wellbeing including a horticultural section and, ultimately, a Centre of Excellence for children and young people.
By Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd