A CHARITY that helps people with special needs achieve their full potential has officially opened its new kitchen and socialising area.

Where Next Association, which has a base in Redditch town centre as well as in Millsborough House, and Spernal Ash Nurseries in Studley, received £4,700 from the Redditch Advertiser which helped go toward a new kitchen space at the charity's headquarters in Easemore Road.

The money was from the parent company of Newsquest Media Group and owner of the Advertiser.

The old kitchen was tired and dated and in desperate need of a revamp.
Now, it is bigger, with all new storage, modern fixtures and fittings, specialist flooring, and new tables and chairs.

Jo Wood, from the charity, said she was thrilled with the end result.

"The space we have now in amazing," she said.

"It's a struggle letting people know that we are here, especially younger people.

"It's about trying to remain relevant. We're hoping with this new space we can do that as well as attract new clients."

She added: "Personally I love a challenge, so it's great to see it finished. We can't wait to start using it.

"It will make a huge difference to people's lives."

She said it would not have been possible without the help and support of a number of local businesses and grant making trusts, including Gannet/Newsquest.

The aim is for the space to be used as a kitchen, but also as a meeting place, social area, and a space to hold events.

Redditch MP Rachel Maclean cut the ribbon to open the new space.

The MP said: “It was a huge honour to be asked to officially open Where Next’s brilliant new kitchen facilities. Thank you to all the Redditch businesses, and to the Advertiser, for donating vital funds to make this project a reality.

“This new facility will help the charity go from strength to strength and continue to make us all proud of everything they do to support people with special needs.”

The cash is from an annual grant application scheme run by Newsquest Media Group.

Nationally Newsquest, one of the country’s biggest regional publishers, is handing out more than £300,000, taking its charitable giving over the last 10 years to more than £3m.