GRIMM & Co’s £1.5m move across town has been brought forward six months due to the pandemic.
The children’s literacy charity will relocate to the former Talbot Lane Methodist Church in August, closing the doors to their current Doncaster Gate site next month.
“We now own the church so it seems crazy not to use it,” said founding chief executive Deborah Bullivant.
The larger space means the team can socially distance, volunteers can be brought back and the magical apothecary can hit the road.
Deborah has revealed she is on the hunt for two vehicles that can be “Grimmified” so that the team can work with children in outdoor spaces over the summer.
She is hoping to turn a campervan-style vehicle with awnings into an outdoor activity zone, and another van into a travelling theatre.
“We also need as much help as possible to get moving,” she said, “Our budgets have gone through the floor with everything that’s gone on with Covid, so we are asking for help wherever possible.
“If there’s a removal firm or people are happy to help in a safe way then we would be over the moon.”
The 350 metre move to the historic church — which closed in April, 2019, due to falling numbers — was approved in September, despite objections from Rotherham Civic Society, former parishioners and members of the Methodist community.
Grimm & Co was granted £499,999 from the Arts Council to buy the site.
The new premises will include a gift shop, The Book & Broomstick cafe, an independent bookshop, and a performance space to showcase young people’s creative work.
The charity will say goodbye to its current home with a week-long celebration during the first week in July.
Deborah said 50 of their regular children will be invited in across the week for a special celebration.
She hopes the new premises will be ready for visitors in December and plans for a Christmas market are taking shape.
“I don’t want people to think we have disappeared, we are still very much happening,” she added.
“The online shop is still available and we will still be out in the community delivering pop-up workshops and writing programmes.”
If you can offer Grimm & Co any assistance with their move or would like to support the charity in another way, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.