Date: 22/11/2022

The kitchen at Northamptonshire Mind has been totally revamped thanks to the hard work of Fortem, who work in the local area delivering repairs and maintenance services to social housing.

The kitchen at the Mind base in Regent Square in Northampton is used for a whole host of group activities for service users.

But the area was run-down and untidy until Mind’s Local Services Manager in Northampton Paul Marshall, teamed up with Fortem and local housing provider Orbit.

Paul said: “Our kitchen in Northampton has now been totally revamped by Fortem through the social value requirements that Orbit has with its contractors.

“We cannot thank them enough for bringing this project to life.”

Northamptonshire Mind CEO Sarah Hillier said: “Wow. What an amazing project. The importance and value of the kitchen to service users cannot be over-estimated.

“It provides a safe place for service users to socialise and learn new skills. They now have a fantastic place to prepare and cook food.”

Employees and service users were thrilled at the transformation.

One said: “I'm amazed, I can't believe this has happened, thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Another said: “I was not expecting it to be like this, I can't believe we have two ovens, two hobs, a brand-new fridge freezer. This is more than I ever dreamed."

Donations and support also came from Fortem’s supply chain, including SR Gill, EM&I, DUO, CEF, Ambiance Flooring and Benchmark.

Steve Rhodes, Branch Support Manager at Fortem said: “When we heard about the great work Mind Northampton do to support the local community, it was a simple step to agree to undertake the works to replace the kitchen.

“We hope that the upgrades we, Orbit and our supply chain partners were able to provide will help to enhance the engagement and enjoyment of those who use the kitchen.

“Our company is always keen to leave a legacy in the communities we work in and from the wonderful comments we have received after completing the project we know we have succeeded in achieving this and look forward to working with Mind again in the future.”

Trudy O’Brien, Health and Wellbeing Lead for Orbit added: “Orbit is not just a housing provider and landlord. We’re committed to investing in our communities and making a positive difference to people’s lives, and we look to our contractors to reflect and support us in these aims.

“We know through our work with Northamptonshire Mind which provides important mental well-being support for Orbit customers as part of our Breathing Space service, that it offers vital help to local people so we were thrilled to support this project and improve facilities for service users.”