As proud supporters of the Stuart Halbert Foundation – a charitable fund set up to commemorate the role that the late Stuart Halbert played in the evolution of Kilfrost from a family business into a global brand, as well as the support he gave to the people of the North East of England – we were delighted to celebrate the official launch of the Stuart Halbert Drop-In Centre at The Alnwick Garden last week.
The £90,000 centre has been specifically designed to provide the region’s older people with a place of sanctuary and an opportunity to meet new friends and socialise, and has been developed as part of The Alnwick Garden Trust’s Elderberries Programme which aims to address loneliness, isolation and financial hardship among Northumberland’s older generation. The free drop-in centre, which includes a comfortable living room, games area, and dedicated cooking facilities, was funded by the Stuart Halbert Foundation, the Rank Foundation, and Sir John and Lady Hall.
Kilfrost’s Chief Executive, and Chairman of the Stuart Halbert Foundation, Gary Lydiate, was at The Alnwick Garden to witness the opening of the facility which was officially undertaken by Mrs Maureen Halbert, wife of the late Stuart Halbert and her daughter Louise Halbert.
Gary commented: "As long-standing supporters of the Elderberries Programme, we're delighted to work alongside the wonderful team at The Alnwick Garden to help launch this very special facility. Loneliness can be devastating, and so we know that this room will make a very real and tangible difference in many lives. We're very proud to be able to give something back to the community in this way."
The Stuart Halbert Foundation seeks to help people and causes at the appropriate time and place, and is funded by a mix of private donations from the Halbert family Trustees and from Kilfrost. In addition to the Elderberries programme, the Foundation has provided significant support to the Sage Gateshead, Opera North, the Haltwhistle Community Campus, and Northumberland's SSAFA which assists armed services personnel and their families.