Every year, charities undertake amazing work to support a whole raft of worthy causes – but they need support to make a real difference

Every year, leading developer and manager of retirement communities, McCarthy & Stone commits to working alongside a chosen charity to help it achieve its important objectives.

And 2019 has seen the company team up with Coram Beanstalk.

It is a small, but brilliantly run organisation that recruits and trains volunteers to deliver consistent, one-to-one reading support to children aged between 3 and 13 to improve reading ability and confidence.

With literacy such a vital aspect of a child’s development, the dedicated work undertaken by Coram Beanstalk ensures that young imaginations are fired through the power of reading.

It is work supported by the charity’s patron, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, a strong advocate for children’s literacy.

After making an initial £15,000 donation, the combined fundraising efforts of all McCarthy & Stone staff will further build on this figure as a series of events, activities and initiatives across 2019 look to raise substantial funds to support the charity’s work.

Staff and homeowners will be encouraged to do what they can – however big or small – to generate cash to underpin Coram Beanstalk’s work.

Already some staff are running in the London Marathon and undertaking the Three Peaks Challenge to fundraise, and many more similar events are being planned.

As well as raising much-needed funds, McCarthy & Stone’s partnership with Coram Beanstalk also opens up other positive possibilities.

Both young and old stand to benefit from the intergenerational connections made during these sessions

It hopes this will go one step further to improving the outcomes of children in communities who may struggle with reading, while at the same time, promoting the dual benefits of intergenerational volunteering.

John Tonkiss, Chief Executive Officer at McCarthy & Stone, explains: “The choice to work with Coram Beanstalk not only gives our staff and residents the opportunity to make a difference by raising vital funds, it also opens up the possibility of participating in the rewarding act of volunteering as a reading helper.

“It is clear both young and old stand to benefit from the intergenerational connections made during these sessions.”

Homeowners from McCarthy & Stone’s Wingfield Court development in Sherborne, Dorset, have been the first to take part, helping key stage 1 children from the local Sherborne Abbey Primary School, learn to read.

Having taught reading and writing for over 30 years, McCarthy & Stone homeowner Jo Vincent, age 77, said it is making a difference: “Every generation has a different mindset, a different history. McCarthy & Stone’s intergenerational project opens doors to new opportunities for me to learn from the current generation of young children while teaching them too.”

Homeowners at Wingfield Court are keen to continue to the relationship beyond reading, with a host of future activities planned for this year including problem solving, modelling and external fieldtrips.

Increased social interaction between the generations in communities is just as important for older people as it is for younger people.

Research shows this can have huge benefits on the mental and physical health of older people including improved mobility, less memory loss, and reducing loneliness.

McCarthy & Stone is the leading manager and developer of retirement communities. All of its properties are designed to make life easier and are built to the highest standards – just two of the reasons why it has been awarded the 5-star rating for customer satisfaction in an independent survey by the Home Builder’s Federation for the 14th consecutive year, which is every year since the awards began.

For more information about McCarthy & Stone and for a list of available apartments and locations, please visit: www.mccarthyandstone.co.uk