Pageant winner Rebecca Dobson has unveiled a Durham youth charity’s state-of-the-art kitchen following a collaboration between property developer Citrus, GMI Construction, and its supply chain partners.

The reigning Miss Pure International United Kingdom helped mark the installation of the kitchen, new appliances and flooring, at Bowburn Youth Project.

It will enable youth club members to prepare their own food while supporting the charity to provide free packed lunches for up to 150 children a day during school holidays.

The collaboration followed a chance discussion between Citrus, GMI, and Durham county councillor, Jan Blakey, who is chair of the Youth Project.

She said: “I happened to mention our old kitchen was decades old and not really fit-for-purpose, and they immediately offered to not only replace it but install it free of charge, saving us many thousands of pounds.”

Both companies have developed strong links with the charity since Citrus appointed GMI Construction as its principal contractor on the 650,000 sq. ft Connect warehouse and logistics development at the Integra 61 business park, near J61 of the A1(M) at Bowburn.

GMI provided a skip, staff and paid for the new kitchen, while supply chain partners Vaughan Group provided an electrician and plumber, and Howell Cummings donated two joiners to install it. Local supplier Factory Carpets & Laminates of Bowburn fitted the new vinyl flooring.

Durham county councillor Gary Hutchinson, a committee member of Bowburn Youth Project, said: “The old kitchen was on its last legs, and we were starting to wonder how we could afford to replace it when Citrus and GMI kindly stepped in.

“They, along with their supply chain partners, have allowed us to make a huge saving. It will make a huge difference to our youth club members, the wider community association, and our work in providing free packed lunches.”

He also thanked Rebecca, from Trimdon, for agreeing to open the new kitchen at the youth centre, where she has previously volunteered for the food surplus redistribution initiative, The Bread and Butter Thing.

James Taylor, Regional Director at Citrus Group, added: “Citrus Group is committed to supporting initiatives that contribute to the welfare of our community and we are pleased to be a part of an initiative that makes a real difference to so many lives.”

Gary Oates, GMI Construction Group’s Divisional Managing Director North East, said: “This was a real collaborative effort which has allowed us to support and make a difference to the community in the areas where we operate.”

Last November the GMI team at Intergra 61 donated £500 to Bowburn Youth Project after being awarded the cash for operating the best run site in the company’s North East division. It was used to provide free packed lunches, and a selection box, to local children in the Christmas holidays.