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Story businesses work together to improve vital housing facility for young people

Story Homes and Story Contracting have joined forces to kick start renovations to a housing facility which will be available to vulnerable young people in Carlisle.

As part of a team building exercise, around 50 employees from the two companies spent time clearing gardens, stripping wallpaper and creating a project programme for the full renovation of the 11-bedroom house which – as part of an initiative run by local charity Carlisle Key – will provide a safe space for 16-25 year olds facing homelessness.

The two businesses undertook the community project as part of ‘Give a Day Carlisle’ and Hire Station at Rosehill provided equipment to help with the work.

Carlisle Key works with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The organisation provides assistance and support within its drop-in service to alleviate the hardship and distress caused by homelessness, housing, financial and other related difficulties. Carlisle Key empowers young people by giving them the knowledge, support, and confidence they need so that they can live independently and take an active role in the local community.

The companies currently work together across seven housing developments and the Carlisle Key project was the second part of an event designed to build collaboration, encourage open communication and focus on problem solving together.

Emma Porter, Construction Director at Story Contracting explained: “The key to any successful project is being able to communicate well and work together to solve problems and add value in a collaborative open way. Structured team building events are nothing new, but we wanted to use the energy, time and effort that goes in to them to benefit a good cause. We’ve been involved in Give a Day in the past and so I contacted Andy Fearon who suggested Carlisle Key. I’d encourage more companies to consider doing the same. It’s fun, rewarding, you learn a lot and you’re helping people.”

John Story, Managing Director for Story Homes in Cumbria & Scotland, said: “Carlisle Key is a great charity doing really important work in the local area. Everyone really enjoyed being able to help out on the day and we’re glad that we were able to support such a great cause.”

Iain McNee, Operations Manager for Carlisle Key, said: “Seeing everyone from Story getting involved and helping out was amazing. Without the help of volunteers we would not be able to realise our ambition of opening supported accommodation for young people in Carlisle aged 16-25. Everyone from Story got right to it and wasted no time fixing up the front yards and stripping the wallpaper ready for our next phase of renovation.

“We cannot thank Story and the volunteers who helped out on the Give a Day to the City programme enough for the hard work they put in. It really makes all the difference to our charity.”

Carlisle Key is based on Fisher Street in Carlisle city centre. Anyone aged 16-25 who is experiencing problems relating to housing can access the drop in service without an appointment between 12.30pm and 3.30pm, Monday to Friday.

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