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This week saw the completion of Area’s ‘DIY SOS’ project for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices. 

A team of 80 volunteers from across Area and the wider Fourfront Group worked alongside Area’s sub-contractors to transform a tired ‘80’s service station look’ in to a vibrant and fun lounge for children and their visiting families to enjoy – all within a two-week programme!

The newly refurbished space now provides a modern lounge and dining area, which was carefully designed to ensure it was suitable for the nurses, carers, staff, children and their families who would be using it. Wanting to make it a fun and exciting environment for the children, the space features magical trees, hot air balloons and clouds. It also provides a seating area for families to enjoy meals together, as well as comfortable seating space.

Ahead of his UK tour with Take That, Rick Astley made a very special appearance to perform for supported families who saw the newly transformed space for the first time. 

Jane Magowan, Head of Estates for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, said: “We want to thank you so much for your ceaseless hard work over the past fortnight and three weekends. Come wind and rain, through thick and thin, with ups and downs and with your sheer dedication and perseverance, you have all achieved such an amazing sensory space for the children, their families and staff at Shooting Star House!

The positive response from staff, families and children has been phenomenal – everyone loves it and really appreciates your creative skills in designing, painting, cleaning, stencilling, threading, building, demolishing, splicing, budgeting, planning, fundraising, programming, volunteering… and the compassion that ‘Team Area’ has shown throughout this project and over the years is incredible. We are all so very, very grateful. It’s an absolute pleasure working with you all. Thank you.”

Gary Chandler, CEO of Area and the wider Fourfront Group, adds: “I am immensely proud of what the people of Area and the Group have achieved here, but a special shout out has to go to Justin Lewis, Area’s Head of Client Support. He is the person who made this whole project happen and has given up his time and weekends to transform a space that means so much and will make a difference to many individuals. It’s people like Justin who make me proud to lead this business.”

Justin Lewis adds: “We’ve had the most wonderful feedback from the staff and the families who are supported by Shooting Star. Soon after we had finished the project last weekend, a little boy staying there spent an hour mesmerized by the hot air balloons, the trees and the clouds. The look on his face that day has made this entire project worthwhile. This project wouldn’t have been possible without the support of colleagues from Area and the wider Fourfront Group, as well as our amazing sub-contractors who generously gave us materials, furniture and accessories for free, so for this, I thank them all.”

Our special thanks go to the following sub-contractors who helped make this happen: 

Amtico, Artworks, Aztec, Bents, Bridgegate Electrical, Carters, Clerkenwell Rugs, Davison Highley, Desso, Edward Williams Furniture, Eltec, Encore, Eurotec, Flortec, Forza, Frovi, Hawk Scaffolding, Interface, Interiors Europe, Interior Solutions London, Lawmens, JBL Furniture, JHB Services, MEP Hire, Profixed, RSR,  Southern Fire Protection, Sterling Site Supplies, Synergy Lighting, Vantage Spaces, Vivid Finishes, Zing Clean, Zip.

Area and the wider Fourfront Group have been supporting Shooting Star Children's Hospices since 2008 and through various fundraising events, has raised £400,000 for this fantastic cause. This project is the first in a series of events planned for 2019 which we hope will see our fundraising efforts exceed £500,000. Shooting Star Children's Hospices do an incredible job and we are pleased to be able to help the children and families that they look after.

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices is a leading children’s hospice charity caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families. Visit www.shootingstar.org.uk to find out more.

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