A DAY care centre in Rochford is back in operation after flood damage last year, thanks to a donation from a businessman.

Forget Me Not centre, which caters for adults with learning disabilities and special needs, was hit by flooding in August and forced out of its South Street home into a temporary base provided by Disability Essex.

It took more than two months for the centre to be stripped, dried and renovated before the day care service could move back on November 1.

New furniture for the home was provided by Mark Bartrip, who owns the McDonald’s franchise in Southend.

He had previously worked with Dianne Griffiths, 63, a director of the centre.

When Mr Bartrip’s restaurants had a revamp, he was left with tables, chairs and office furniture going to waste, so he donated them to the centre.

Centre director Alan Jarvis, 38, said: “It was a bit of a difficult year for us all in all, but it’s going in the right direction now.

“We lost everything. We had a skip outside to dump everything in.

“Mark’s donation was amazing though. It’s all really sturdy and it’s been a big part in us being back where we are now.”

The remodelled centre now has a dual-height kitchen so people in wheelchairs can cook, a mural in the garden painted by graffiti artist Brett Mann, and the centre is set to expand with a new sensory room.

Part of this will be kitted out with a £300 community grant awarded by the Lloyds community fund after a parent of one of the home’s users nominated the centre.

Mr Bartrip said he was happy to help Dianne after knowing the work she puts into fundraising.

He said: “I did not knowmuch about them, but I heard about the centre’s extreme plight and we just tried to help.

“We changed our furniture, so it was surplus to requirements and it was good to try to help it get back in business.”

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