Our Work in the Community

The Crane Citizenship Committee, established by James and Nick Crane, stands as a testament to their commitment to the wider community, with a promise to allocate 1% of the company's turnover per year to charitable causes. This employee-led committee collaboratively determines the distribution of this fund with employees across the company nominating charitable organisations that mean something to them, embodying a collective effort towards making a positive impact. Our commitment to giving back has manifested in support for various causes, including donations to organisations such as Care for the Carers, The East Anglian Air Ambulance, The RSPCA in East Winch, Yorkshire Aid Convoy, and Swaffham Town Youth FC.

Beyond external contributions, we recognise the importance of investing in the well-being of our internal community. The allocated funds have been instrumental in financing in-house quality of life improvements, reflecting our dedication to creating a positive work environment. Initiatives include the establishment of a nature walk at our headquarters, the installation of bird feeders at our show sites, organising staff activity days, and facilitating paid volunteering days. By leveraging our resources in this holistic manner, we strive to foster a culture of giving, both within our organisation and in the broader community, aligning with our values of corporate social responsibility and employee engagement

Some of the charities we’ve helped so far…

RSPCA East Winch

Staff from Crane Garden Buildings making the hedgehog hut and installing it with the team from the RSPCA

Our Crane Citizenship Team proactively engaged with the local RSPCA branch in East Winch in early 2023 to identify meaningful ways to contribute to both the community and wildlife. Recognising a pressing challenge faced by the charity – the rehabilitation of injured or sick hedgehogs, their primary patients with over 700 admissions this year – we eagerly sought ways to assist. Learning of the urgent need for new hedgehog huts, essential in the rehabilitation process, we embraced the opportunity to collaborate.

In a concerted effort, we designed two specialised hedgehog huts tailored to the needs of these creatures. The dimensions, measuring 0.8 x 1.2 meters, elevate the hedgehog houses to keep the inhabitants safe from predators and provide ease of access for staff. These unique huts serve as comfortable and secure homes for rescued hedgehogs. Each hut will accommodate one hedgehog at a time and play a crucial role in the final stage of rehabilitation, allowing the creatures to readjust to outdoor conditions before release.

As a Norfolk-based business deeply rooted in rural values, we are committed to preserving the natural environment and supporting local wildlife. Encouraged by the success of our hedgehog hut project, we look forward to an ongoing partnership with the RSPCA. Stay tuned for more details on our next collaboration, which we will unveil in 2024 as part of our ongoing commitment to community and wildlife welfare.

The Magpie Centre, Riding for the Disabled Association

Twiggy the horse purchased by the local RDA using money donated from Crane Garden Buildings being ridden in competiton.

The Magpie Centre, which is a Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) equestrian centre in Norfolk, was nominated by Crane HR Manager, Carol. As a charity she holds close to her heart we were keen to explore ways in which we might be able to offer our support. The RDA is a nationally recognised charity that has centres across the UK, they offer equestrian activities like riding and carriage driving to those with physical and learning disabilities as well as autism. Among their pressing challenges is the acquisition of horses and ponies suitable for the crucial role of assisting individuals with disabilities—a demand that consistently outpaces the available resources.

As a contribution to addressing this need, we pledged a generous donation to facilitate the acquisition of a new horse urgently required by the centre. This contribution also covered the essential training required for the horse to seamlessly integrate into the RDA team. In early 2023, the centre purchased a 14-year-old cob mare with a fantastic attitude to life and they gave us the privilege of naming the latest recruit as a thank you gesture. A decision reached through an internal vote that resulted in the endearing moniker "Twiggy." She has fit seamlessly into the team and become a valued and much-loved member of the RDA community. Her calm nature and good schooling meant she was able to be swiftly integrated into lessons, Twiggy's remarkable journey extended to representing the centre and the region at the regional competition organised by the RDA. In this competition, Annabelle Glegg, who initially joined the RDA as a participant and ascended to the role of an instructor, rode Twiggy. Their exceptional partnership triumphed in their class, leading to their participation in the RDA Nationals later in the year—an inspiring testament to the positive impact of our collective contribution.

Swaffham Men’s Shed 

Men's Shed Swaffham was donated by Crane Garden Buildings and erected by its members.

Crane Garden Buildings director, Nick Crane, has always been a keen supporter of the Men’s Shed Association. The charity has over 900 registered Men’s Sheds across the UK and has an overarching mission to combat male loneliness and isolation by providing a place to get together to create connection, conversation, and be creative. 

After speaking with the chairman about how we could potentially help the group, the old pigeon shed that was being used as the social area was identified as a pain point for the members. The uninsulated building was cold, damp, and in constant need of repair. The group wanted a warm and comfortable place for their meetings especially as many of the members were older and grappling with escalating bills. 

As garden buildings are our speciality, we enthusiastically seized the opportunity to offer an extra-large, fully insulated, Superior Shed to replace the old pigeon shed to become their new social area. As part of the project, the members were very keen to get involved in any which way they could. In an unprecedented move for our business, we agreed to make the building in kit form, and under the guidance of Nick Crane and Robert Kascak, an experienced factory operative at Crane, the men’s shed members worked together to erect their new headquarters. Once the build was complete, the new Swaffham Men’s Shed was officially opened by the Mayor of Swaffham. 

We proudly documented the project and the hard work put in by all involved, watch it here

The project is such a success that we have since provided a Superior Shed to Halstead Men’s Shed, and even more recently we donated to Brighton Men’s Shed for them to purchase new extractors for their workshop.