Hartlepool group set for bumper year as it plans for thousands of pounds of improvements in 2019

The support group's team for the 2018 Great North Run. They have 25 places this year.
The support group's team for the 2018 Great North Run. They have 25 places this year.

A Hartlepool charity is planning thousands more pounds of improvements in 2019 as it looks to build on a momentous year.

Improvements to the kitchen, toilets and main entrance are all on the to-do list for the Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group.

The sensory room at the Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group.

The sensory room at the Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group.

Jamie Allison, from the charity’s core fundraising group, said: “Looking forward to 2019 now we have £11,700 raised so far we are aiming to make further improvements to our premises.

“These improvements are going to include extending and kitting out two fully accessible toilets, improving the kitchen/refreshment area along with the making the main entrance more accessible. All of these improvements are planned for 2019 to help us to continue to support our growing member base.

“Alongside the physical improvements to our building we are also hoping to expand on the regular clubs we are currently running. Part of this exercise is going to be a full rebranding of our charity starting with our new logo in 2019. We are going to be undertaking a marketing campaign to increase our profile and let more potential members know what services we have to offer.

“In 2019 we will also be running our year’s summer programme of events primarily based at High Tunstall School for all of our members to enjoy. 2018 saw one of our busiest summers on record and we expect number to grow throughout 2019 in anticipation of the much needed respite we provide to our members and their families.

We are going to be undertaking a marketing campaign to increase our profile and let more potential members know what services we have to offer.

Jamie Allison

“We are hoping that our Christmas Shopping Extravaganza continues to grow for its 4th year in 2019. In addition we have also acquired 25 charity places for the Great North Run on Sunday, September 8. We will be releasing these places to budding fundraisers throughout January, but we ask for anyone wanting to register their interest early to get in touch at fundraising@hsnsg.org.uk.”

All this comes after a 2018 where highlights included:

* Huge fundraising events such as the ‘wear red for Valentines Day’, a race night, afternoon tea, Great North Run, curry night, Christmas Shopping Extravaganza and annual Christmas Jumper Day;

* Improvements to the resource centre by extending the main hall area and completely refitting the sensory room and renovating the main office.

Christmas Jumper Day is a big fundraiser for the Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group.

Christmas Jumper Day is a big fundraiser for the Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group.

Jamie said: “All of these improvements couldn’t have happened without the £25,000 we received in late 2017 along with the 2017 fundraising total.

“The newly improved hall has also been kitted out with a full set of audio video equipment to allow our members to watch movies, listen to music, and practice for the many shows they put on.

“The improved sensory room is now being used on a daily basis with many of our members enjoying the newly created space. A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who helped during the various stages of the building works.

“If anyone has any ideas of fundraising or offers of help volunteering at any of our clubs then please get in touch with us on 01429 863766 or visit our website www.hsnsg.org.uk for more details.”