Taunton-based developer Summerfield has supported a Christmas project helping under-privileged children across Taunton and Wellington this Christmas. The property developer has donated presents to the Christmas Sparkle charity as well as offering much-needed office space for present wrapping.
The Christmas Sparkle project works alongside local charities across Taunton to identify children, aged up-to-18, who would appreciate an unexpected Christmas gift. Teams of volunteers then wrap the presents that have been donated, which are then passed on to the children.
Gill Harrison founded the project last year as a trial run after noticing the poverty in the area. “Here in Somerset there are hard-working people doing their best to make ends meet and they are struggling. Christmas is a difficult time of year to find money for celebrating and after seeing how grateful two little girls were for a chocolate coin last year; I decided I needed to help.”
Summerfield heard of the project’s plight for donations and volunteers, and offered them office space at Victoria House, Taunton, to use as a base for volunteers to wrap presents. James Holyday, Divisional Director at Summerfield, said; “At this time of year, it may be easy to forget there are people living in difficult circumstances. Once we heard of this campaign, and the wonderful work they were undertaking, all of the team at Summerfield were keen to help. Offering them space at Victoria House seemed a great way to meet their need for somewhere to wrap the presents that were so kindly donated by generous members of the public.”
Abbey Thresher, who helps to run Christmas Sparkle, said; “We are extremely grateful to Summerfield for not only donating £200 for wrapping paper and presents, but also giving us a large space to set up a volunteer base for wrapping the unbelievable number of donations we have received this year. It really has made all the difference to the smooth running of the project. We would also like to thank the businesses who collected donations for us such as Odette’s Tearooms, Taunton Dean Borough Council and Taunton Visitor Centre.”
Victoria House, previously the Van Heusen shirt factory, has been owned and managed by Summerfield as an office centre for close to twenty years. The company has invested in excess of £1 million into transforming the building, with work including the creation of a new entrance, the replacement of all of the windows and the installation of photovoltaic cells on the roof to offset the carbon footprint of the building.
The large, open-plan office space at Victoria House currently houses a range of local businesses, from sole traders through to large organisations such as Diabetes UK and the Community Council for Somerset and is currently 95% occupied.