Unexpected makeover for St Albans health charity’s offices

Steve Baker from St Albans Masorti Synagogue, projects manager Lois Carter, publishing assistant Ali

Steve Baker from St Albans Masorti Synagogue, projects manager Lois Carter, publishing assistant Alison Jones, admin & finance assistant Caroline Harris, chief exec Madeleine Bates, Andrew Levy from St Albans Masorti Synagogue - Credit: Archant

Charity workers could not believe their eyes when they turned up at work to find their offices had been given a surprise makeover.

Volunteers and local companies banded together in a show of support for Fleetville-based international health charity Teaching Aids at Low Cost (TALC).

Unsuspecting TALC staff arrived at their offices in Sutton Road to find they had a much-improved working environment.

Local firms Howdens Joinery Ltd and Homebase in Hatfield Road donated a new kitchen and paint and a small army of volunteers from the St Albans Masorti Synagogue in Campfield Road gave up their weekend to clean, paint and reorganise the offices as part of their marking of Mitzvah Day and Interfaith week.

TALC chief executive Madeleine Bates, said: “We work in a beautiful Listed building but TALC’s offices had seen better days.

“Our staff and volunteers are our most valuable asset and they work tirelessly to improve the health of people in developing countries. We are delighted that local volunteers and firms have rallied round to donate their time and skills to recognise TALC staff’s amazing contribution to improving health worldwide and to give them the fresh and vibrant working space that they deserve.”

Her comments were echoed by chair of TALC, Prof Sandy Cairncross, who said, ‘We are delighted at the ongoing support shown by the local community in St Albans for our work and are looking forward to increasing the impact of our vital work in our 50th anniversary year in 2015 and beyond.’

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TALC aims to improve the health of people worldwide by improving access to health information, particularly in developing countries, and has distributed hundreds of thousands of health books and teaching materials worldwide.

The charity’s latest publication, A Community Guide to Environmental Health, translated into Portuguese and aimed at community groups and health workers in Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa, will be launched early next year in Maputo, Mozambique.