A STRUGGLING children’s centre had its prayers answered when a Sheffield business answered its SOS call.
Facing a tough economic climate, Reach Out Child Care in Hillsborough had little spare cash to carry out improvement work.
The centre, which runs childcare services to around 150 youngsters in the area - many of whom come from low-income and single-parent homes - is forced to spend a large amount of its budget on the upkeep of the Grade II-listed building.
The garden had become overgrown, the hooks in the cloak room needed replacing and the entrance hall was in dire need of sprucing up.
Manager Sharon Beardall sent out a desperate appeal for a company to help via Yorkshire organisation Business in the Community and staff from the city’s Lloyd’s TSB pledged to revamp all three areas.
Sharon said: “It’s hard because any money we raise here goes towards maintenance. We rent the building from Sheffield Council but we are responsible for all the repairs.
“We have to keep our services affordable because we have a lot of parents who are losing jobs or struggling in this financial climate.
“We sent out an SOS and Lloyds got in touch.”
After fundraising and collecting materials and donations from local businesses, a team of 15 bank employees rolled up their sleeves in a day-long challenge similar to BBC series DIY SOS.
They installed new plant beds and vegetable patches, repaired the sand box, made a wildlife pond, painted railings and carried out a host of other jobs to give the centre a much-needed makeover.
Lord Mayor of Sheffield Coun John Campbell dropped in to offer his encouragement to the team during the 12-hour operation.
And thanks to their hard work, it has never looked better.
The improvements were unveiled to the children after the work was carried out and staff at Reach Out plan to invite the Lloyd’s TSB team back to thank them for all their hard work.
Sharon said: “We’re all so touched that they came and gave up their time, along with all the preparation they put into it. It was so lovely and heart-warming.”