Middlesbrough charity gets keys to new home

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Middlesbrough-based charity MAIN is celebrating after completing the purchase of what will become its state-of-the-art new home.

Following a generous donation last year from the Finlay Cooper Fund, the charity, which offers support to people with disabilities, and their families have bought a former community nurse’s station in the town.

It now faces the massive task of renovating the building to become a beacon for families living with disabilities to get the support and skills they need to thrive.

Once MAIN’s Big Build is complete, the Finlay Cooper Centre will provide double its existing space and enable the charity to increase its impact from 400 visits per week to in excess of 700.

Next, MAIN needs to raise £205,000 to fund the refurbishment and hopes to be ready to welcome users to the new, inspirational space in June 2021.

The Finlay Cooper Centre will boast bespoke rooms fitted with specialist equipment for different ability groups.

A sensory garden and outdoor play area will help many visitors experience the outdoors as they’ve never done before and they’ll be able to grow their own produce on the land.

Training and education resources will allow the charity to not only help its users’ development but will also enable MAIN to share its work and learning with others.

MAIN’s current site has suffered six attempted break-ins in the last year alone, so the charity will also invest in better security features to keep all visitors safe and protect its legacy.

MAIN helps people with a range of disabilities, including autism and cerebral palsy, by giving them the skills they need to live an independent life, while having fun and making friends. The charity provides short breaks for children from Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton and County Durham, which in turn gives their parents and carers a break from their caring roles.

MAIN manager Helen Jaques – pictured above with Colin and Julie Cooper along with Finlay Cooper Fund trustees Nick Waites and Graham Fordy – said: “We are beyond excited to have completed on the purchase of this building and eternally grateful to the Finlay Cooper Fund for making it possible.”

“The next challenge is MAIN’s Big Build – to refurbish this building into one offering the best possible facilities that our users need and deserve.

“It will be no mean feat but one that the charity’s team and supporters are already busy planning and I have no doubt we’ll succeed.”

For more information or to donate visit iammain.org.uk