We were recently invited down for a tour around the Alan Shearer Centre by our charity partner, the Alan Shearer Foundation.
Since we had a good number of runners in the Great North Run this year, contributing up to £2,000 raised as a group, on top of the £12,000 we have already raised as a business, the Alan Shearer Foundation wanted to say thank you for our support and show us where the funds we raise actually go to – the maintenance and running of the centre.
What is the Alan Shearer Centre?
The Alan Shearer Centre is a highly specialist, respite, residential and social facility for people with complex disabilities and acute sensory impairments.
The centre is a specialist recreational, sensory and social resource for disabled people of all ages, catering to a wide spectrum of needs. Facilities are completely free to use and include a hydrotherapy suite, sensory rooms and cave, a giant ball pool, a music room, seasonal activities and a café . Overhead tracking and hoists are fitted throughout, enabling full accessibility to all areas for those with limited mobility.
During our tour we were astonished to the quality and facilities on show available to use all for free. There were schools of children arriving, some with disabilities or impairments, and just seeing the smiles on their faces makes every penny we donated worth it.
You could tell the centre was a positive outlet for these families and children. With the Christmas festivities also on the go during the tour it made it that bit more special all decorated, and with a Santa’s Grotto too.
Alan Shearer himself also turned out to thank us for our support in person too which was great. We managed to have a few photos taken with Big Al and a little chit chat which was nice too.
But one of the best surprises of the tour was at the end when we were leaving (and I am sure the children at the centre will probably agree with us also) was Troy the reindeer outside. We bet he will bring an extra smile to the kids faces down at the centre, such a nice touch.
As a group we felt really proud to have contributed to this great service, but as a business we all want to continue our growing support for the foundation and help keep the centre alive year on year.