Palatine Beds and the Percy Hedley Foundation are working together to build on their existing partnership and offer further benefits to disabled people across the North East.
Palatine Beds, a manufacturer of high quality contract and retail mattresses run by Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), has joined forces with the Percy Hedley Foundation to provide a wood workshop for disabled people.
The Percy Hedley Foundation runs wood working sessions as part of the Able 2 Day Services offered at its activity centres located throughout North Tyneside and Newcastle. The Foundation has recently been looking for new premises for the wood workshop as the service has outgrown the green house initially used.
Palatine Beds is a supported business, with over 70 per cent of all employees having some form of disability. There used to be a wood workshop at its Westerhope factory site but this has been out of use for a number of years.
The workshop will now be used by Percy Hedley Foundation service users who have an interest in working with their hands or who are looking to increase skills and confidence to enable them to access the world of work.
The workshop houses eight machines that used to belong to Remploy, another organisation that works to help disabled people by providing employment opportunities.
Neil Scott, YHN's Director of Tenancy Services, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be working more closely with The Percy Hedley Foundation, an organisation with a very similar ethos to our own and this is a fantastic partnership.
"When the sad news broke about the closure of Remploy, we looked at ways we could try to support those in the region that would be affected. We were invited to visit their factory and found that there were a number of machines that could be purchased and re-housed in the Palatine factory. We also knew that the Percy Hedley Foundation were looking to expand their wood workshop and decided on a joint bid for the Remploy machinery for the use of the Percy Hedley Foundation, which was the perfect fit.
"Palatine Beds is always looking at ways to diversify in order to ensure our business is sustainable and able to continue to support people with disabilities in the region. This is a very exciting time for us, we continue to work on our recently launched luxury retail range, 1907, and we are in talks with a number of other partners. We may even use some of the workshop to expand our own bespoke range."
David Barker, director of adult services and business development at The Percy Hedley Foundation, said: "Working in partnership with organisations such as Your Homes Newcastle is very important to us. We are extremely grateful to Your Homes Newcastle for agreeing to let us use the space at the Palatine Beds factory and are really looking forward to starting in our workshop.
"Many of our service users enjoy wood work and now that we have much more room we can offer many more sessions and enable some people to take part in this activity on a full time basis. This is fantastic news for those who want to participate in meaningful activity for their own pleasure as well as those who would like to increase their confidence in a working environment.
David continued "This is our Diamond Jubilee year and during that time The Percy Hedley Foundation prides itself on facilitating achievement for all and this partnership will certainly help us to realise that for an increasing number of service users."
The products made in the new wood workshop can be kept by the service users who produce them, sold at community craft fairs and in some cases bespoke designs will be sold to retail companies such as garden centres and individuals. Anyone interested in commissioning something from the workshop or wanting to know more about the services the Foundation has to offer should contact Able2 on 0191 238 1300