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…

Norfolk Blood Bikes 

New Triumph purchased using a donation made by CRane Garden Buildings. Here, the motorcycle is at our head quarters stood next to the Crane welsh slate sign

In 2024, our elected charity was Norfolk Blood Bikes, which was put forward by a staff member after he spotted them raising funds in the local supermarket. 

Norfolk Blood Bikes’ primary purpose is to transport urgent or emergency blood & blood products throughout the county of Norfolk, servicing the three primary hospitals and other ‘satellite’ locations that operate under the same NHS Trusts. What makes this especially challenging is that there are no motorways, yet the county is home to over 900,000 people and is the sixth largest in the UK. Run entirely by volunteers at no extra cost to the NHS, Norfolk Blood Bikes operates a fully livered fleet of 11 motorcycles and 4 cars and their monthly running costs sit at around £5000. 

Our community initiative was established with the vision of making a tangible difference for charitable organisations close to our hearts. The work that Norfolk Blood Bikes undertake seven days a week, 365 days a year is an important reminder that, at any time, it could be one of us needing that lifesaving delivery. 

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.

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.