Richmond charity launches winter appeal after landowner’s £50,000 match-funding pledge

Lord Ronaldshay and Steve Biggs with Just the Job team members.

Richmond charity Just the Job has announced a winter appeal to raise £50,000 which will unlock a further £50,000 in match funding.

The charity says the £100,000 — £120,000 with Gift Aid added — will be a major boost to its Big Green Build fundraising campaign to raise the £600,0000 needed to build a new base.

Just the Job Environmental Enterprises helps adults with disabilities to achieve their potential by doing work in the community.

The match funding would be provided by the Earl of Ronaldshay, from Zetland Estates, who has already agreed to provide the land for the new, state-of-the art eco-building near the charity’s existing base on the Gallowfields Trading Estate in Richmond, North Yorkshire.

The land owner has now stepped in to help find the money to build the base by agreeing to match funds raised up to £50,000.

Lord Ronaldshay said he was delighted to be in a position to help the charity.

“Just the Job is such a wonderful charity and makes a huge difference to people’s lives.

“They had a horrible burglary a few years ago and the way the whole town rallied round to help afterwards shows just how much people value what they do — I’m thrilled I can help them build a new future.”

Just the Job has already received support from a variety of groups and organisations to help raise the £500,000 it needs to build the base, which it hopes will become a community hub for the whole of Richmond, as well as providing its users with the facilities they need.

Steve Biggs, Just the Job general manager, said: “This is a great opportunity to boost our Big Green Build funds with every donation whatever the size being doubled.

“With lots of support, we can unlock the £50,000 generously offered by Zetland Estates and with Gift Aid we could raise an incredible £120,000.

“It’s brilliant to think that with this campaign we can maybe start the groundwork in the spring and start to see our dream come true.

“Everyone here will be excited to see the work begin and with the last couple of years it’ll be good to have something positive to look forward to.”

Steve said the charity had outgrown its current building, with, for example, team members having to eat lunch right next to the crafting and woodwork activities.

The charity says many of the team members find some situations stressful and need a quiet room to escape to that’s peaceful and calming.

“They currently have nothing like this but the new build has been designed taking all these areas in to consideration.

“There will be separate rooms for crafting and woodwork activities and lots of storage as currently there is clutter everywhere.

“We want the new facilities to help integrate other community projects requiring accessible space and there will be lots of opportunities for local people to be involved with the fundraising and the build itself.

“The project is as much about our whole community as it is Just the Job.”

The appeal has the support of local councillors.

Richmond district councillor and former mayor Lorraine Hodgson said: “Just the Job are a wonderful organisation which does great work in our community.

“This appeal will make a big difference to their aim of building a state-of-the-art base, which will become a community hub as well as being used by the charity.”

The timber frame design incorporates modern green technology with more traditional methods, including straw bale insulation, and aims to be one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the region.

For more information on the match-funding initiative and the Big Green Build appeal, visit https://just-the-job.org.uk/

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