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Story transform vital Carlisle Lighthouse service for mental health charity Mind

Local businesses Story Homes and Story Contracting have joined forces to renovate Carlisle Eden Mind’s Lighthouse, as part of their two-year commitment to support mental health charity Mind.

18 subcontractors who work alongside both the local housebuilder (Story Homes) and civil engineering infrastructure company (Story Contracting) have kindly offered their materials, labour and time to help renovate The Lighthouse to make it a more comfortable area for those who need to use the facility. A number of staff directly employed by the two businesses have also donated their time to help with the refurbishments, with the overall investment in the project equating to almost £30,000.

The Lighthouse, which is based in central Carlisle, offers a safe, calm and homely environment for people who are in mental health crisis and need to find ways of coping or need help with keeping themselves safe. Those involved in the renovations were invited to a re-launch event yesterday where they visited the newly refurbished Lighthouse and chatted to some of the volunteers who work there.

The Lighthouse renovations that have been completed include; a new fully fitted kitchen and appliances, new carpets and flooring, a new fully fitted boiler, new sanitary ware and much more, as well as labour time throughout the duration of the project and cash donations.

Mind is a mental health charity that provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem, campaigning to improve mental health services, raise awareness and promote understanding, and sister companies Story Homes and Story Contracting will be supporting Mind as their charity partner until 2020.

A recent ONS study (March 2017) found that, in England, the risk of suicide amongst those working in construction roles was three times higher than the male national average. The two-year Story charity campaign also ties in closely with the local companies’ wider business goal of increasing the awareness and understanding of mental health conditions and removing the associated stigma.

Fred Story, owner of Story Homes and Story Contracting, said: “We’re very pleased to have been able to help refurbish The Lighthouse. Construction is an industry that suffers from higher than average mental health issues and we cannot ignore these statistics. There can be a certain stigma associated with mental health and wellbeing, but it is a subject that we need to continue talking about and ensure that we have the right support networks in place across our businesses. We have to step up and ensure our employees know that nobody has to suffer in silence.”

At the re-launch event, Story Homes and Story Contracting also presented Carlisle Eden Mind with a cheque for £3,000 which has been generated from the two businesses’ ongoing fundraising efforts for the charity.

Jason Butterworth, CEO of Story Contracting, added: “Mental health is just as important as physical health and it’s vital that our two businesses keep working hard to increase awareness and understanding of this subject. People suffering from mental health issues often do not know where to turn next, which is why local organisations, such as The Lighthouse, provide a crucial service within our community. We are very proud of the way in which our employees and subcontractors have offered their time and raw materials to ensure that this renovation project was a success. The refurbished Lighthouse looks fantastic and we hope it will make a real difference to those who depend on it.”

Tara Quinn, Chief Executive Officer of Carlisle Eden Mind, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Story Homes, Story Contracting and their subcontractors for the hard work and donations they have contributed as part of The Lighthouse renovation. For those with lived experience of mental health and anyone experiencing a mental health crisis, the world can be a very lonely and scary place, and our new and improved Lighthouse building will ensure that visitors have a warm, safe place to come where they can be listened to and supported with respect and without judgement.

Story Homes and Story Contracting would like to thank the following businesses for their support with The Lighthouse project: A&W Irving Painters & Decorators, Arco, Border Brite, Caldew Plumbing, Carlisle Glass, Crosswater, Dumfries Timber, Fine Carpets & Flooring, Ideal Standard, JD Pipes, John Richardson Timber, JT Atkinson, Miers Construction Products, More Handles, Symphony, The Electrolux Group, Thomas Graham and Vaillant.

The Lighthouse, on Spencer Street near Carlisle city centre, is a partnership project between Carlisle Eden Mind and Glenmore Trust and is run by staff and supported by volunteers. It is open from 6pm to 11.30pm every day of the year and visits to The Lighthouse are by appointment only. It can be reached on 0300 5610000.

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