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Leicester, 10 April 2015

Leicester arts charity receives makeover from local Gallagher team

Partnership projects with local charity kick off in Leicester
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An enthusiastic team from the Arthur J. Gallagher branch in Leicester this week donned overalls and wielded paintbrushes to help a local arts charity ready its newly refurbished centre for opening later this month.

Having just named Soft Touch Arts as one of its two ‘charities of the year’, the team from Leicester wasted no time in rolling up their sleeves to offer their time and decorating assistance, in one of three early initiatives to mark the start of the new partnership — all of which are designed to provide the charity with practical support in the areas it needs most.

Established in 1986, Soft Touch Arts uses arts, media and music to engage with disadvantaged young people, helping in excess of 1000 youngsters each year. One of its latest projects is the £1.1 million refurbishment of the arts centre in New Walk, which will include a healthy eating kitchen, multi-sensory performance space, a craft and textile room and more.

The second initiative has seen two Gallagher team members in Leicester — Rachel Shipman, private clients team leader, and development executive Bhavin Patani — join a panel of local business representatives from diverse backgrounds and specialisms, set up to assist Soft Touch Arts in reaching its long term strategic growth ambitions. Activity began earlier this month with a round table advisory session on sustainability and how the charity can reduce its dependence on government funding.

Another initiative already up and running, offering ongoing support, is Arthur J. Gallagher’s commitment to using the charity’s ‘Well Cool’ food project, which teaches young people how to cook and eat healthily. The broker has pledged to use the team to cater for some company meetings and staff social events.

Peter Matthews, Regional Managing Director for Arthur J. Gallagher, comments on the partnership: “Soft Touch Arts is an award winning local charity, which provides disadvantaged young people with exciting new creative opportunities. We are proud to be offering Soft Touch Arts support in areas that will offer real value – and we’re also looking forward to a rolling programme of activities to help with vital fundraising.”

Christina Wigmore, Business Development Director for Soft Touch Arts adds: “We are delighted that Arthur J. Gallagher has decided to support us in such an active way. From getting their decorating overalls dirty to letting us cater for their meetings, they really have pulled out all the stops to help Soft Touch Arts.

“Donating their professional financial and business experience, and hard-earned spare time, also means we can really focus on securing the charity’s future, safe in the knowledge that we have the very best panel of experts behind us.”

Soft Touch Arts works in communities throughout Leicestershire, delivering a range of arts, media and music activities to disadvantaged young people. Working with a wider support network of children’s support agencies, health and social professionals, the charity’s work tackles problems like gang culture, anti-social behaviour and unhealthy lifestyles, using creativity to give young people more positive choices in their lives.

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