The Gracechurch Centre supports Purple Tuesday 2020

On Tuesday 3rd November 2020 we will officially join the Purple Tuesday campaign, which focuses on changing the guest experience for disabled people and ensuring we are accessible for all.

Being at the heart of the Sutton Coldfield community, we are committed to ensuring all our guests enjoy their experience of shopping with us. Find out more about accessibility in our centre here.


Following a major refurbishment, made possible with funding from Sutton Coldfield Town Council, The Gracechurch Centre is now home to a new Changing Places facility. The new facility will enable local people with profound learning or physical disabilities to use the bathroom facilities at the centre safely and comfortably.

The facility is fully equipped with adult-sized, height adjustable changing benches and hoists. Every aspect of the design, down to the colour of the tiles and paint, has been carefully selected to create a friendly, welcoming environment. 

The facility is located on the First Floor of the car park, next to Customer Care.

Saving Lives Challenge 2.0 Raises a Remarkable £3,800

On Friday 24th July, Natalie, Simon and a team of walkers set off on their challenge, and we are pleased to announce that they raised a remarkable £3,800 for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity.

The Gracechurch Centre is Supporting Saving Lives Challenge 2.0

The Saving Lives Challenge is raising money for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity and the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity in support of the seriously ill and injured people that the two organisations support.

A former patient of the two organisations, Natalie Queiroz, is undertaking an extreme fundraising challenge for the second time in a bid to raise more vital funds, and we are proud to be sponsoring the joint charity event, which is taking place on Friday 24th July. 

Read Natalie’s story here

About the Saving Lives Challenge 2.0 

On Friday 24th July, Natalie will take on a 34 mile walk from RAF Cosford (where the Midlands Air Ambulance was stationed and set off from) to Sutton Town Centre (where the attack took place and the Air Ambulance attended) to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (where the Air Ambulance transferred her to). She will be starting the walk at around 4.30am so that she can arrive at the QEHB by 4pm to coincide with her arrival time on the day of the incident.

Natalie will be joined by her partner, Simon, representatives from the Midlands Air Ambulance and members from the QEHB’s Royal Centre for Defence Medicine team – all safely distancing as they walk.

Local RAF Wings Appeal ambassador to be honoured by Her Majesty The Queen

If you’re a regular at The Gracechurch Centre, you may be familiar with the Gentleman who sits out in the cold in his RAF uniform, raising funds for the RAF Wings Appeal.

Local man, Douglas Leighton has been promoting the appeal and collecting funds within the centre for the last 15 years and we’re thrilled to announce that his services have been acknowledged by none other then Her Majesty The Queen.

Douglas is set to receive an OBE in June this year and we are beyond thrilled.

Congratulations Douglas!

More information on the RAF Wings Appeal can be found here.

The Gracechurch Centre Food Bank

Did you know?
The Gracechurch Centre has been working with Sutton Coldfield United Reformed Church and local food bank run by ‘Food 4 U’ since May 2019.

It was at a meeting with the church earlier this year, that we discussed many of the issues facing the Sutton Coldfield community, with two of the main areas being homelessness and poverty.

One way in which the church helps to combat these issues is through the provision of a food bank, however there are challenges in the running of this, with food supplies often running low, so we decided to step in and help!

We installed our food bank in the centre on 13th May 2019 and since then we’ve received an abundance of food donations that have been gratefully accepted by the church and members of the Sutton Coldfield community. So thank you to everyone who has donated so far!

If you’d like to donate, you’ll find our food bank within The Gracechurch Centre (just look for the big white box) and we welcome donations of non-perishable items including:

Tinned spaghetti/meatballs
Tinned fruit
Tinned curry/stew/chilli
Tinned sweetcorn
Flavoured rice
Instant noodles/pasta
UHT milk
Cereal bars

Sutton Coldfield’s unsung hero is crowned!

Drumroll please! We’re so excited and proud to announce the winner of their Community Awards programme for 2019…

In March this year we launched an appeal to locals to nominate the town’s local heroes, with the plan being for us to donate £500 to the winning nominee’s chosen charity…

Nominations closed at the end of April and since then, a panel of judges have whittled down the entries to one lucky winner.

Local YMCA volunteer, Abbie Mills was selected by judges, due to her selfless and tireless dedication to the charity - helping many people across the community.  Described by her nominator as “An absolutely amazing young girl who has a huge heart”, Abbie was also praised for going the extra mile to help others as well as her ability to offer people with disabilities the opportunity to thrive.

Abbie will be donating her £500 prize to Sutton Coldfield’s YMCA – a charity clearly close to her heart, to use on a sensory garden. 

Winner, Abbie Mills says: “I was honoured and very surprised winning this award. I am very grateful for the money that will be going towards building my disability group a lovely sensory garden”

Congratulations Abbie! You’re a credit to our community! 

Baby Belle arrives safely after Mum’s waters break at The Gracechurch Centre

Soon to be mum, Jade Lynne was paying The Gracechurch Centre a visit with her mum on 28th March this year, at 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant, when just as they approached JD Sports, her waters broke.

Knowing that due to a pre-existing medical condition, she needed to get to hospital urgently, the worry started to set in. However she was soon introduced to Mark and Jess from our security team who escorted her to meet a family friend who works at Roman, where she was placed in one of the fitting room cubicles, where Mark, who has a professional medical background, put her at ease until the ambulance arrived.

Jade recently paid us a visit with beautiful Belle who made a safe arrival in hospital on 29th March, weighing 7lb3oz. While visiting us Jade had the chance to meet Mark, Jess, Julia and the team at Roman and extend her personal thanks, going on to say…

“I just want to thank every single person involved that day. I honestly couldn’t anticipate what would have happened over the 2 days of being in labour, but you all played a part in making me feel at such ease throughout the start of the birth of my beautiful girl. 💜🎀💕

Local Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities at Sutton Coldfield United Reformed Church

If you are looking to meet new people, gain experience, or do something for the community why not volunteer at Sutton Coldfield United Reformed Church located right by the Gracechurch Centre. They are currently looking for volunteers to work in two of their community projects:

Cafe Oasis

A busy community cafe operating three days each week - Monday, Tuesday and Friday - preparing and serving healthy, good value meals under the guidance of an experienced professional chef. Volunteers are welcome to work in the kitchen or front of house. 

Food4U foodbank 

The foodbank opens twice each week - Tuesday and Friday lunchtimes - to provide food and support to those in our community who need some short-term additional help to better cope with the difficulties they are facing. They help single people, families, those in crisis, and those just struggling to get by. You can volunteer to help collect and pack food parcels or by making drinks and serving soup to our visitors. Normally, volunteers attend two or three sessions per month depending upon availability.

For more information about these volunteering opportunities please contact Alan Eaton, Church Secretary at Sutton Coldfield United Reformed Church -