|22nd June 2012|
Knight In Shining Steel Armour Rescues Centre
A knight in shining steel armour has ridden to the rescue of Redcar and Cleveland Real Opportunity Centre, providers of a vital Shopmobility and information service, after organisers were devastated by a break-in and burglary.
The disability-led organisation’s service in Pybus Place on the town’s seafront is now safely protected by solid steel security grilles after UK Steel Enterprise, the business-support subsidiary of Tata Steel, heard of ROC’s plight and stepped in with £5000 from its Community Support Fund.
UKSE Regional Manager Simon Hamilton said: “ROC provides a wonderful service to thousands of local people and visitors to the area every year. Our Community Fund was set up to help improve the life of people living in steel communities so we were more than happy to help such a worthwhile cause.”
Around 2,500 people use the ROC’s services every year and it is an invaluable support for disabled people, their families and friends. It provides information on everything from aids and welfare rights to leisure activities as well as equipment, a Shopmobility scooter and wheelchair hire service and a Credit Union collection point.
ROC Director Jane Reast said: “UK Steel Enterprise is, without doubt, our knight in shining armour. Not only did UKSE fund the full cost of the security grilles but I just couldn’t believe the speedy response. There was no question of waiting for meetings to be held months ahead, just an immediate assessment of our plight and a decision to help.”
The break-in was a real blow to all ROC users, staff and volunteers. The thieves not only took cash, including a donations tin, and a lap-top but caused substantial damage to the main door, cupboards and filing cabinets.
“We provide a vital service not only for local disabled people and older people but also for visitors to Redcar and we needed to act fast” explained Jane Reast. “The fact that UKSE acted so generously and speedily meant that our services were maintained without disruption and everyone felt reassured and more confident again.
“I am honestly not sure what would have happened without UK Steel Enterprise as, in common with many community organisations, our funding has been badly hit by cutbacks. Despite the continued support from Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council and Coast and Country Housing, there is just no budget to cover unforeseen incidents like this one. It was a devastating blow but the silver lining has been realising just how much great support there is out there in the community.”
PICTURE CAPTION: Simon Hamilton (right) of UK Steel Enterprise with ROC Director Jane Reast and Chairman Stephen Proudman, who is also a user of the service, and the new steel shutters.