We couldn’t be happier with our new home so wanted to give you a mini tour, as well as take this opportunity to say “thank you” to everyone who has helped us reach our Reigate destination.
We knew straight away that 51a Albert Road North was the new site for the Stork when we saw it at the end of 2018 – a ground floor open warehouse with the space we need as a growing operation.
Once the negotiations were complete it was fantastic to know that it was finally going to be the new home for Team Stork.
May was moving month, with so many tasks to ensure moving from Redhill to Reigate went as smoothly as possible. It was also important that our core service was kept up and running without disruption.
We needed our fantastic Team Stork more than ever and once again they were on hand to make it a fun and successful month!
The majority of the move happened over May half term. We were overwhelmed by the willingness and determination of our volunteers and local community to make this happen. Sleeves were rolled-up and everyone got stuck in – fuelled as always by tea and biscuits!
New skills were learnt, and new friends made along the way.
We know Team Stork are amazing but that didn’t stop us being overwhelmed with pride at times when we could see everyone pulling together and the staggering progress being made. A great community coming together to support a cause that so many of you clearly feel so passionate about.
The support we also receive from local businesses never ceases to amaze us, from going that extra mile by working out of hours to get the job done, to insisting their services be pro bona or discounted because they want to do their part for the community they live and work. They’ve all played their part – see below for the list of shout outs.
We can proudly say that from day one, we had a fully operational two-level site which is making optimal use of space.
There is organisation like we’ve never seen it before; all items are categorised and accessible, stock has been streamlined and it’s easy to access. As well as being a more pleasant environment to work in, most importantly more referrals can be fulfilled in a timely and efficient manner.
The large roller shutter doors are one of the features we’ve been most excited about, making it so easy to help load/unload items to/from the cars parked in our designated parking spaces in front of the warehouse.
The journey of a donated item
What better way to show you the warehouse is through the journey of a donated item…
The ‘donation trolley’, situated by the warehouse entrance. Where items go when they first arrive on a donation day. Our team can now welcome you at your cars and help you unload items. Being on the ground floor makes it easier to move bulky items and get them back to the volunteers who check and sort them.
Just a reminder to please familiarise yourselves with the Donate Items area on our website, where you’ll find a step by step process on donating items, our current wish list and donation days, a reviewed list of what we generally can/can’t accept and other useful information.
We can’t stress strongly enough how helpful it is to wash/clean, check, bundle and label donations before bringing them to us. We’ve made a decision since moving that we will no longer wash donated clothes so bear in mind that if you’re items have been in storage for a long time or haven’t been washed that they will most likely end up in recycling rather than getting to a family that need them. Putting that little bit of extra effort in at home ensures your donations will reach our shelves and be quick to reach the families who really need them.
The bundling table
If the kitchen is the hub of the home, then the bundling table is the heart of Stripey Stork. This is where all clothes and equipment are checked-over and our clothing packs are made-up. It’s always a hive of activity and no more so than on a Thursday when there’s usually a corporate group here to help us out.
Storage of items
Next stop is the designated place on our shelves. Most will find their way onto our well organised shelving system ready for referral requests to come in.
On the ground floor we also have a storage room for items such as nappies, wipes, baby/teenage/parent toiletries.
On the mezzanine level we have a large selection of toys, games and books which cover all ages from 0-16. This is also going to be a great space for team meetings, volunteer lunches and running our projects.
On the way to a new home
Each referral request which comes in is overseen by Sonya our Referrals Coordinator. All requests are prioritised and once the items have been gathered for each referral, they are bundled together and labelled so they are ready for collection. The trolleys come back into action again as the items leave the warehouse.
So, that’s the mini tour complete, but we’d love for you to come and see for yourself. With this larger space there will be plenty of opportunity to get involved as a volunteer [firstname.lastname@example.org].
A big thanks
A massive thank you to all those who made it happen.
- St Faith’s Trust – for their commitment of £45,000 across three years towards our rental costs.
- Raven Housing Trust – for contributing £5,000 to our rent appeal from their Brighter Community Fund.
- Councillor Thomson and Councillor Grant-Duff – for pledging to fund £1,500 each from their Surrey County Council Members’ Community Allocation grant.
- The staff at AIG Ltd – for allocating £2,585.73 from their charity fundraising towards our moving costs.
- Redhill & Reigate Round Table 119 – for donating £1,500 towards the new racking system, meaning we are making the most of the higher ceilings by storing as many items as the space allows.
- The Reigate Soroptimists – for donating £1,000 towards our new ladders and the storage on the mezzanine level.
- To all those who have made a contribution so far to our ongoing rent appeal, to help cover the increase in rent.
- A very special thank you to Gill (one of our Horley Tangent ladies) and Margarida (one of our trustees) who project managed the move from start to finish.
- Nancy from Serene Spaces – for doing a fantastic job in ensuring we have made the most of our new space by undertaking the job of space planning. This means that going forward we will be able to work as efficiently and as easily as humanly possible.
- Pat – one of our long term volunteers who worked really hard packing up items so carefully and sorting the books on the new mezzanine level.
- Pete – a husband of Angie, one of our regular volunteers, who did lots of helpful jobs like fitting blinds and transforming our workshop table.
- Kate – from Reigate Hill Golf Club, a new volunteer for #TeamStork who we are so pleased to have on board.
- A collective thanks to all of the volunteers who gave up their time, especially during half term and on weekends, to pack, sort, transport, build and unpack. You know who you are, you’re awesome and #TeamStork has never been so strong.
- To our core team and volunteers who kept our usual service going through this extremely busy time, meaning requests for items were still answered with the care and efficiency that our referrals partners have come to reply on.
- Simon Bland at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council – for helping us to identify the new site when we realised we had to find a new home.
- Sophie McCarthy at Healys LLP – for supporting us through all the legal work.
- Martin Seymour at Crow Watkins – for supporting the lease negotiations.
- Fairclough & Dyer Ltd – for offering a charity rate on the commercial building survey and schedule of condition.
- Martin Burr – our landlord at Quarryside who supported our move to the new site
- Like2Lift and Like2Box – our neighbours at Quarryside who were flexible and helpful whilst we were moving out. We are going to miss you guys, and our new neighbours have a lot to live up to!
- Karl Hyder (Man and Van Services) – for helping us with the initial stages of the move, which enabled us to make early progress in getting setup so we were ready for when the bulk of the stock was transferred.
- ASD Harrison (removals company) – for transporting the majority of stock from our old to new site. ASD Harrison (Domestic) and ASD Tramnsport (Commercial).
- KF Flooring, Keiran – for supplying and laying the new flooring which such efficiency and under a very tight schedule.
- Gary’s Gardens – for offering to cut back some overgrown hedges on site, which ensured our signage was visible to all.
- SOS Painter, Paul – for giving up his Sunday morning (the day before we were operational) to repaint the white lines which mark our allocated parking spaces.
- Spelthorne Borough Council – for donating some second hand office furniture.
- Surrey Office Supplies – for delivering the donated office furniture and assembling on site.
- Oh Creative, website designers – to Faye and Matt, for pulling out all the stops to ensure our new website was launched in time for the move.
- The Sign Workshop – for producing and fixing the new signage, meaning the new wayfinding was in place from day one.
- Horley Tangent – for their hard work in preparing for the move and helping us to setup ‘shop’. We are truly grateful for their continued support and reliability; we really don’t know what we’d do without them!
- Fidelity UK, IHS Markit, GTI and Willis Towers Watson – for all their hard work in helping us when we needed them.
- JLT Group – for their help over the week of the move. No one can build a bookcase faster than this crew. A special thank you to Emily who rose to every challenge, even bringing her Dad along to assist with repairs to our bundling table and getting the washing machine back into action.
- Horley Lions Club – Kathy, Jean and Neil.
- Caterham Round Table – thanks Dan for all your help.
- Caterham Rotary Club – thank you Geraint.
- Outwood WI – thank you Caroline.
- Loveworks – thank you to the two Ians.