Charity hit by storm finds itself new home

W46864h13   Freddysmile moving to their new home at 40 Chartwell Road, Lancing on Tuesdsay.
W46864h13 Freddysmile moving to their new home at 40 Chartwell Road, Lancing on Tuesdsay.

A CHILDREN’S charity forced out of its headquarters by storm damage has found a new home, just a short distance away from its current base.

Lancing-based charity Freddysmile were given no choice but to abandon their building after the insurance company said it was unsafe.

But the charity will remain on the Lancing Business Park by moving to a premises previously occupied by Garden Extras, only a few hundred yards away.

Co-founder Warren Street said: “We are absolutely over the moon. We are so happy to be moving forward in the right direction to bigger and better things.

“We were considering staying in the old building and using the ground floor as a temporary base, but on Saturday water started coming in and we made our final decision.”

Warren said he and his wife Kelly, along with a team of volunteers, including teenagers from Durrington High School, had worked non-stop all weekend, moving stock to the new building at number 40, Chartwell Road,

Warren and Kelly said they were sad to be cutting short the five-year lease at their old headquarters.

“I’m gutted for the landlord because we have had such a good relationship,” Kelly said.

“Francis has been fantastic but I have to think about the charity and what’s best for that.”

“There was no disabled access and no disabled toilets and some customers couldn’t get up the stairs.”

The new warehouse is all based on the ground floor and is more accessible for disabled people.

Kelly said the insurance company had refused to pay out for the damaged stock, as the policy was for a shop, not a warehouse.

“We are devastated. It’s caused us a lot of heartache,” she said.

Kelly said the charity had been forced to get rid of three rooms full of ruined clothing.

Among other ruined items were Christmas decorations and cards, prams, Moses baskets and office equipment.

“We are losing out on money every day but we are looking forward to a fresh start,” she said.

“We will be having a grand opening on Monday November 25 at 10am, and everyone is welcome for teas, coffees, biscuits and cakes,” said Kelly.