TWO of Cumbria's best-known names in the construction business are strengthening their 'family' ties to help local people with mental health problems.

Over the next two years Story Homes and Story Constructing are throwing their weight behind charity Carlisle Eden Mind.

The new relationship is the charity's first corporate sponsorship deal, which has already seen around £40,000 worth of donations and support in kind invested in its vital services and projects.

It includes a major renovation of The Lighthouse, based in Spencer Street, Carlisle.

The three-storey facility provides a safe, calm, homely environment for people who are in mental health crisis and need to find ways of coping, or need help with keeping themselves safe.

Those involved in the revamp, which totals almost £30,000, including staff from Story Homes and Story Contracting and some of the 18 subcontractors supporting the charity drive, were invited to the facility's relaunch yesterday along with volunteers from Carlisle Eden Mind.

Staff from the Story sister companies also presented a £3,000 cheque to the charity, money from their own fundraising efforts.

Fred Story, owner of the two firms, said: "When I do inductions for new starters I talk about the history of it being a family run business, and part of that family value is that we care about each other. "We see ourselves as family and we're in a room here where we've got members of our supply chain who we deal with and who we also consider to be family. We're all here because we care and those family values are important to us and to a facility and charity like this."

The revamp has included the installation of a fully fitted kitchen and appliances, new carpets and flooring, and a new boiler.

Story Homes and Story Contracting are supporting the charity until 2020.

Jason Butterworth, CEO of Story Contracting, added: “People suffering from mental health issues often do not know where to turn next, which is why local organisations, such as The Lighthouse, provide a crucial service within our community. We are very proud of the way in which our employees and subcontractors have offered their time and raw materials to ensure that this renovation project was a success. The refurbished Lighthouse looks fantastic and we hope it will make a real difference to those who depend on it.”

Tara Quinn, chief executive of Carlisle Eden Mind said: "We would like to say a huge thank you to Story Homes, Story Contracting and their subcontractors for the hard work and donations they have contributed as part of The Lighthouse renovation. For those with lived experience of mental health and anyone experiencing a mental health crisis, the world can be a very lonely and scary place, and our new and improved Lighthouse building will ensure that visitors have a warm, safe place to come where they can be listened to and supported with respect and without judgement."

The Story companies also want to increase the awareness and understanding of mental health conditions.

Businesses also supporting The Lighthouse revamp areA&W Irving Painters & Decorators, Arco, Border Brite, Caldew Plumbing, Carlisle Glass, Crosswater, Dumfries Timber, Fine Carpets & Flooring, Ideal Standard, JD Pipes, John Richardson Timber, JT Atkinson, Miers Construction Products, More Handles, Symphony, The Electrolux Group, Thomas Graham and Vaillant.

The Lighthouse, on Spencer Street, is a partnership project between Carlisle Eden Mind and Glenmore Trust and is run by staff and supported by volunteers. It is open from 6pm to 11.30pm every day of the year. Visits to it are by appointment only.

It can be reached on 0300 5610000.