Residents of a purpose-built development in Inverurie will be sitting pretty when spring arrives after receiving a new handmade garden bench.

North-east energy industry manufacturer and service provider Flowline Specialists cemented its 18-month long partnership with local charity Inspire by donating the piece of garden furniture.  The hand crafted metal bench was created by one of Flowline Specialists’ welders at its Fyvie workshop.

The Oldmeldrum-based firm has been raising money for Inspire through a series of fundraising initiatives since October 2014, but wanted to provide the charity with a lasting memento to mark their partnership.  The bespoke bench will take pride of place in the courtyard garden of the charity’s St James’s Court development, which is home to 24 residents.

Constructed of hard wearing offshore grade aluminium, the bench is designed to last and will require very little maintenance.  Designing and manufacturing the bench illustrates that using the knowledge and skills of individuals to create items can be as positive a way to support a charity as donating money or undertaking sporting feats.

St James’s Court opened last autumn and is managed by north-east charity Inspire, which supports adults, young people and children with learning disabilities and additional support needs.  The purpose-built development comprises 24 large, self-contained flats that provide residents with the freedom of their own personal living space. 

The new service also features two respite facilities and a number of communal areas where residents can socialise and participate in group activities.  St James’s Court will be used as a blueprint for future similar developments in the north-east.

Jim Smith, Flowline Specialists CEO, said: “Along with supporting Inspire through fundraising, we wanted to provide something that would leave a lasting legacy of our partnership and the bench does this.  St James’s Court is an impressive new service that provides an important contribution to the local community.

“It was important for us to get as many of our employees as possible engaged in our charity partnership.  However, we recognise that not every staff member wants to undertake sporting challenges, so creating opportunities for them to use their skills and knowledge to support our charity partners is vital.”

Inspire’s regional manager, Miles Davies, said: “The bench is a fantastic addition to our outdoor space and we are very grateful to the talented team at Flowline Specialists for creating it for us.  This type of support is invaluable to us and can make a real difference to our operations.

“We are all looking forward to the warmer weather when we will be able to spend time in the garden and fully enjoy making use of the bench."

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