Thursday, 27 May 2010

Encouraging news

For months now we have been applying to charitable trusts for capital grants for the WEYES building project. These things have a long lead in. For most trusts there is no set time to apply nor are there closing dates. You make the application but then have to wait until the people who award the grants have considered it (along with all the other applications they receive) and make a decision. The meetings may not take place until several months after you applied. As far as we can tell most trusts receive many more applications than they can possible make grants to, they have to make choices but it is not clear how they decide between applications. A lot is left to the person applying, we have researched those trusts which say they are willing to support capital projects for young people in the north east of england and applied to those to give ourselves the best chance, but in the end there is a lot of luck involved.
So I am pleased to say that our application to a large national foundation based in London is looking hopeful. First we applied to the North East committee earlier in the year who supported the application and forwarded it to the national committee for consideration. Just this week we have been invited to a meeting in London later in June where we will be asked to make a presentation to support our case and answer questions. This is one of the larger applications we have made so I am particularly hopeful that it will be successful.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Think Pink

Rob and Diane Charlton, directors of _space architecture and building management in the North East hosted their annual 'Think Pink' charity ball in aid of WEYES at the Marriott Hotel, Gateshead last Friday. It was a fabulous evening hosted by TV personality Wendy Gibson which raised over £20,000 towards the cost of the building programme. To raise so much is an incredible achievement when so many businesses, are struggling in the present economic climate especially in the building industry.

We in Children North East are very grateful to all the people, too numerous to mention who came to the ball and were generous in their support of what we do and our work at WEYES in particular. This big contribution brings the total raised from local sources for the WEYES building project to £85,000 (the target is £100,000 by the end of 2010).

Thursday, 13 May 2010

WEYES fundraising website

_space have launched a new website to support fund raising for the WEYES building project. The front page says 'We are supporting WEYES, will you?' and includes pictures of Tim Healy and Denise Welch at the project when the building work started earlier this year. The website says that WEYES is supported by the _space Foundation.

This launch of the website coincides with the _space 'Think Pink' charity ball tommorrow night which this year is entirely for the WEYES appeal. The website includes photographs of the interior before work started and a virtual tour of how parts of how it will look when it is finished in July.

The website is at: uk

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Fourth site meeting

Fourth site meeting today. All seems to be going well. Young people from the WEYES project have met an interior designer from _space to select colours. They also chose floor coverings, paving and railings for the front garden. Some of the staff have visited the site too and suggested some minor changes that will create some more storage cupboards from what would have been 'dead' space.

All the windows are in place. The new frames for the old building at the front had to be 'coaxed' into spaces which are no longer 'square' due to the age of the building but look nice and neat. All the stonework on the front is going to be repaired with some 'super substance' which is painted on and fills in the gaps.

The brick parapet on the front is a bit worrying. It leans forward a couple of inches so it is proposed to tie it back with 8 long metal rods secured to the parapet at one end and the roof at the other; but then also drill vertically downwards into the brickwork for a metre or so and insert steel rods there too. We wondered if the old bricks would take that or whether they would crumble. Anyway the plan is to try it and if it looks too dodgey to stop and instead take down and rebuild the parapet reusing the original bricks.

Inside the health rooms are taking shape, the downstairs one in particular at the front looks set to be a lovely room complete with one rounded corner. The upstairs health room also has 'character' - the floor slopes slightly due to the age of the building! The kitchen is a huge room and set to become the heart of the whole place. The new group room in the extension is a good size room too. Upstairs many of the rooms and the stairwell have been plastered. Many of the windows have large, deep sills.

None of the ceilings are in place yet, they are all going to be suspended ones with tiles and they will be put in place at the very end after all the decorating so nothing gets splashed on them.