The Derby Conference Centre chop down mowing time by donating a sit on lawn mower to St. Vincent De Paul charity!

The Derby Conference Centre have donated a brand-new sit on lawn mower to their chosen charity, St. Vincent De Paul England and Wales. The Christian charity helps those in need to tackle poverty.

The Derby Conference centre have been supporting St. Vincent De Paul’s since 2013. The partnership came about because of a personal relationship that an employee of the centre has with the charity.

Simon Shirley from Derby, works as a member of The Derby Conference Centre’s maintenance team, and has a personal relationship with the charity. He regularly volunteers his services at St. Vincent’s Summer Camps due to the care he received as a child. From 9 years old to 16 years old Simon was cared for by the charity, and from his experiences he wanted to give something back, and decided to start working for St. Vincent’s to help other children like himself.

Simon who has been working at The Derby Conference Centre for over 8 years commented, “I have been volunteering at St. Vincent De Paul’s for 36 years now, with the Summer Camps being my focus as I maintain the grounds there. Typically, it would take me 7 hours to mow the lawns at the site, whereas with the new sit-on lawn mower kindly donated by The Derby Conference Centre, I can now do it one hour. This means I am now able to start other jobs that need doing with the additional time I have. I’m thrilled at the donation, and can’t thank The Derby Conference Centre enough.”

Early this year, The Derby Conference Centre’s Staff Consultative Committee paid a visit to the St. Vincent’s holiday camp in Mablethorpe to understand how their donations are benefiting the charity, and also assess what the camp still required. It was at this point that the charity expressed their need for a sit on lawn mower to save Simon time mowing the grounds of the summer camp.

The Derby Conference Centre raised £1,500 to buy the lawn mower through a quiz night, bake off, raffles, and other fundraising activities.

Rebecca Prime, Sales & Conference Office Manager at The Derby Conference Centre said, “We are delighted that we have donated the lawn mower to St. Vincent’s, we know how much this will mean to them, and Simon, and how much time it will save. The fundraising efforts throughout this year have been great for the centre and really bought the team here together for such a great cause.”

Paul Willerton, Chairperson of the St Vincent’s Mablethorpe Management Committee noted, “We are extremely grateful for The Derby Conference Centre’s continued support. Their generosity over recent years has allowed us to develop the site and provide more interesting activities for the children. The donation of the sit-on lawn mower will really make a difference to Simon and the maintenance team; it’s great to be able to free up some of Simon’s time.”

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