Community

Rebuilding Lives

Axis employee applies to helps family rebuild their life after tragedy

Axis Resident Liaison Officer Sandra Chipato applied to the Axis Foundation on behalf of a family who lost their son/brother in a house fire in March 2023.

The family also lost all their belongings. So, Sandra asked the family what they needed most – a mattress, a bed and a tv – and asked the Foundation to help them. So the Trustees of the Foundation arranged to purchase these goods and deliver them to the family in their new home provided by their local council.

Thanking the Foundation Sandra said: “I was neighbours with this family for six years: our children were friends. It was heart-breaking to hear what had happened to them. I felt so helpless as I was not able to help.

However, I remembered our Axis Foundation! So I reached out to the Foundation team who were very supportive and helpful: they advised me to fill out the form and they would pick it up from there. I was so glad when I received the call that the application had been approved and that we can help the family. I called the father to tell him the good news. He broke down in tears, that’s how much this meant to him.

“I am so proud to work for an organisation that not only build people’s homes, but they transform lives.”

The father said: “I just want to thank the Axis Foundation for the help they have given to me and my family: the past few months have been really challenging. We are trying to rebuild our lives as well as mourn the loss of our oldest child. My wife is still in hospital, so I have not been able to work. And because I am self employed if I do not work, I don’t get paid. When Sandra first told me that there is a chance your company could help, I was hopeful but at the same time was prepared for the worst.

“I had been sleeping on the floor with my daughter for weeks and it was a relief when I heard the application was approved and we could get some help.

“Thank you so much for your help and reminding us that all is not lost. Yes, we lost all our belongings and our son but your generosity has given hope and the strength to carry on. Words cannot express how grateful we are.”

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disadvantaged

Richmond Furniture Scheme

Helping refugees in Richmond

Richmond Furniture Scheme supplies newly-housed refugees and disadvantaged people with essential items.

The Axis Foundation donated £5,625 towards Richmond Furniture Scheme’s Kitchen Starter Kit Programme which provides vital basic items so that families can cook and eat (often accommodation comes unfurnished). As Richmond has been declared a ‘Sanctuary’ for refugees, with an additional influx of refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine, the need to help these families start their new lives is even greater.

“This fabulous donation will help disadvantaged people from all sorts of backgrounds including the homeless, people with mental ill health, refugees, people affected by domestic breakdown and violence. This is practical help that goes straight  to people who need it. Thank you ’’ – CEO Simon Westgarth

The 35-piece set our donation provides contains kitchen essentials for a family of two, plus a toaster, kettle, and iron and (sometimes) a microwave which greatly helps them keep energy costs down.

More about Richmond Furniture Scheme

Richmond Furniture Scheme is based in Twickenham and serves both London Boroughs of Richmond Upon Thames and Wandsworth. In the year 2021 to 2022 they helped 329 local households in need; supported 55 volunteers who worked within the scheme; cleaned, refurbished and recycled 94 tonnes of furniture which was then delivered to those in need and the local community.

They work closely with the local authorities, local charities, churches and schools who are also their main sources of referrals and of information concerning what is needed and what services are required in the disadvantaged segment of the community.

There’s more here

 

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Demelza

Fundraising and Volunteering for Foundation and Demelza

There really are no limits to what our own Axis People will do to help the Axis Foundation and Demelza!

Everyone who works at Axis cherishes the Foundation and Demelza. We’ve been up (and got down) to many activities, Fundraising and using our Volunteering Days to support both causes close to our hearts. Here are just a few examples!

 

Fundraising for Demelza and the Axis Foundation

  • Ben Ibrahim, Divisional Manager, ran the London Marathon. Ben raised £14,600
  • Our Oldbury Team organised a fiendish Treasure Hunt for Halloween. Their devilish enthusiasm raised £45
  • Kellie Turner, Head of  Community Investment, and Oliver Refson, Head of Sustainability and Quality, abseiled down the ArcelorMittal Orbit in Stratford Olympic Park. Kellie and Ollie raised £1,500
  • With Croydon Council, our team in Croydon hosted an 11-a-side charity football match, raising £640

Volunteering to help our Foundation charities

  • Colin Norwood, Projects Supervisor, Joseph Hayes, Business Development Manager, and Kemeisha Brown, Resident Liaison Officer, all volunteered at Arts for All, a creative charity based in London which runs art therapy sessions for people with special needs.
  • Marketing crew Tim Aslett and Kurt Mussell volunteered at The AHOY Centre which helps disadvantaged children in Deptford learn life skills on the water.
  • HR Intern Grace D’Souza volunteered at Hope in Depression,  supporting individuals managing depression and/or anxiety.

Volunteering to support Demelza

At the Warehouse: RLOs Sarah Cooper, Martine Hales, Adila Gredelj, Donna Tryhall Adila Gredelj, Elma Gredelj, Christina Castle and Ben Nitsch, Electrician, sorted donated items at Demelza’s warehouse in Maidstone, Kent for delivery to Demelza’s charity shops.

And In the Garden: Lorrae Mannering, Commercial Manager,  Katie Hayes, Team Leader, Gary Weaver, Multi-trader, Bradley Emms, Groundworker, Michael Kitts, Multitrader Steve Hogben, Electrician Jake Remon, Apprentice Electrician, Emily Nisbett Commercial Analyst,  Stuart Carlow, Plumber, Thomas Darling, Apprentice Plumber, Ryan Kelly, Plumber, Louie Attaway, Plumber, Anthony Veal, Supervisor, Geoffrey Collins, Multitrader, Michael Kitts, Plasterer, Stephanie Hendry, Administrator and Amelia Randall, Scheduler, all spruced up the gardens at Demelza’s Sittingbourne Hospice.

Two Sittingbourne operatives, Nigel Blackshaw and Dave Day, helped Demelza by collecting Christmas trees in Tunbridge Wells, Bromley, Medway and Swale. Demelza will use the trees for topping up bark pathways, mulching underneath trees and hedges and composting in the grounds of the Sittingbourne Hospice.

Main picture: Francesca Fordham, Rositsa Kormeva, Tanya Edwards, Sarah Cooper and Connor Ritson from Projects volunteered to raise funds at Morrisons in Thamesmead for Demelza.

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Community

Hands of Hope

Equipping children to learn hands-on about the the natural environment

Through a number of schemes and activities including biodiversity and food growing programmes, Hands of Hope tackles food poverty, rural isolation and loneliness in Rother, Hastings and West Kent.

The charity told the Axis Foundation: “Many children who engage in our activities arrive on site ill-equipped. We are seeking funding to purchase 20 sets of children’s waterproofs as well as 10 children’s bee suits.”

And so, our Trustees were delighted to donate £1,000 to purchase both waterproofs and bee suits.

“As many schools prepare for a new addition to the national curriculum with the launch of Natural History GCSE in 2025, Hands of Hope are already leading the way in climate and sustainability education with a wide range of activities that offer children and young people hands-on, practical learning about the natural world around them so they can have a greater connection with the natural environment and in turn, play their part in making sure future generations can enjoy a cleaner, safer, greener world.

“The donation from the Axis Foundation is fundamental to supporting these activities and ensuring that the children are equipped for an enjoyable, safe, and educational experience” –  Mandy Doran, Trustee

More about Hands of Hope

Supporting local communities throughout Rother, Hastings and West Kent, Hands of Hope creates positive social connections within diverse groups whilst tackling mental health, isolation, and food-related issues. Since 2020 the number of people engaged in activities at Hope Farm Community Garden has increased with over 300 adults and children benefiting from onsite activities during 2022 as well as 1000s engaged via their Get Growing project regionally. Hands of Hope are restoring and developing a neglected walled kitchen garden and 22 acres of AONB land, creating “Hope Farm Community Garden”, a Soil Association Accredited community garden containing 2 large market gardens, a small heritage orchard with Apiary, a Gill Woodland, 7 ponds and 2 large wildflower meadows. In June 2022 the charity was awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

Hands of Hope delivers the following practical projects: Helping Hands Lunch Clubs; Men in Sheds; traditional bricklaying training; Bee in Company biodiversity programme; Growing Buddies community gardening; Living History including  Rural Crafts, environmental heritage, conservation skills and market gardening; and Get Growing delivering fresh, in-season produce to local food banks.

There’s more about their work here 

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disadvantaged

Off the Fence

Donation saves lives of homeless people

Off The Fence supports vulnerable and socially excluded people in Brighton and Hove in Sussex. Antifreeze, is the charity’s day centre for the homeless, part of an emergency outreach.

The Axis Foundation donated £7,000 to Off the Fence Trust to purchase 200 Vango Atlas Heavyweight sleeping bags for the rough sleepers who use the services of Antifreeze.

“We are so grateful, as are our clients. Until they are housed, each of our clients uses at least two high quality sleeping bags a year, demand fuelled by wear and tear or theft. £7,000 enables us to purchase 200 military quality sleeping bags that will undoubtedly prevent deaths from exposure, illness and the cold through the Winter months. This is helps us meet a significant proportion of our outdoor budget in this area”  – Roy Stannard, Head of Income-Generation and Comms

“Thank you for your compassion and generosity. Lives will be saved” –  Jane Leaver, Office Finance and Individual Giving Co-ordinator

More About Off the Fence

Celebrating its 25th year, Off The Fence Trust works with vulnerable and socially excluded people in the Brighton and Hove area. Over 700 people use Antifreeze, the charity’s day centre for the homeless. Some users (for example if they own a dog,) have elected to remain rough sleepers. In 2021-22 Antifreeze’s services were used 1,775  times. Whilst many rough sleepers can be accommodated in the City’s hotels and B&Bs, this is only a temporary solution, and the numbers are rising steeply.

Off The Fence Trust tackles social and spiritual poverty, and help members of the community who are facing crisis situations with little or no support. Their priority is to provide a practical, emotional and psychological safety net through three projects:

  • Antifreeze, a day centre for the homeless – part of an emergency outreach to rough sleepers
  • Schools’ programme for 6-18-year-old children
  • Gateway, a women’s centre supporting women in crisis

There’s more about their work here

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Community

Beyond The Wall 

Our donation increases accessibility in community gardens

Beyond The Wall is a two-acre walled garden in Suffolk for people with additional needs ranging from physical or learning disabilities to mental health conditions or low self-esteem.

The Axis Foundation donated £5,000 to help Beyond the Wall to enable the charity to grow and develop their kitchen garden, providing accessible paths, raised beds and a communal sun shade area.

“The clients and staff at Beyond The Wall are absolutely thrilled to have received a grant from the Axis Foundation. The grant will help us achieve so much in the coming months, which will benefit all of our current clients as well as future proof the garden for future clients. Without this grant, we would not be able to achieve so many of our plans to make the garden more inclusive and accessible for all of our users” – Rozelle Bettesworth, Centre Manager

The raised beds will enable more clients to access the garden independently and with greater ease. The kitchen garden provides Beyond The Wall’s clients with the opportunity to grow fruit and vegetable to cook with, take home and share with families and friends and also sell at markets to generate further funds for the charity.

There’s more about Beyond the Wall here

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disadvantaged

Centred Horseplay

Helping hard to reach youngsters open all year round

With specially-trained horses, Centred Horseplay helps hard-to-reach young people. The Axis Foundation donated £7,091 towards building an indoor arena in a barn. Once built, the new premises will enable Centred Horseplay to stay open all year round. They will then be able to help even more hard-to-reach youngsters: many are experiencing drug and alcohol misuse, anxiety and eating disorders, neglect, abuse, aggression, and bullying.

“Thank you so much! This is going to make such a difference! This vital new facility will allow the charity to stay open all year round. Many of the young people who come to us are suffering from social exclusion and depression. All of this is exasperated in dark and cold winters. Our new arena will be well ventilated but also partially undercover so these very lonely young people can still participate in our courses throughout the winter. Our new location is incredibly peaceful and with your help we will be open all your round” – Marie Longstaff, Fundraiser

More about Centred Horseplay

Centred Horseplay describes itself as ‘often the last resort’. It helps young people referred to them by professional support workers and partners. Crucially these are children who are not progressing within conventional services, who may be ‘stuck’ or disengaged from talk-based support. Their fun and busy ReStart behaviour-change programme transfers successful behavioural training techniques for equines into the human world.

Centred Horseplay was founded in 2015 and is based in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. It is the approved Gloucestershire Hub for world renowned charity TheHorseCourse. Centred Horseplay’s work has helped reduce re-offending and improved attendance and engagement with school/work/training. Multiple external, independent and academic reports testify to the efficacy of this equine-assisted approach.

There’s more about Centred Horseplay here

This donation was made utilising the Travis Perkins Community Fund.

 

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Community

Onward Homes

Supporting Onward Homes’ important learning and leisure site for local community.

The Axis Foundation is donating £3,540 to purchase Bee habitats and planters and other pollinator friendly items.

We’re really excited to see the difference that this new community space will make to the lives of our residents on North Hill Street. And we are delighted to have the support of the Axis Foundation with this project. Urban green spaces are so important in boosting health and wellbeing. The items donated by Axis will help bring nature nearer to our customers, whilst supporting pollinators in the process” – Sajida Kerbalai-Blackburn, Social Investment Specialist

More about the project

Onward Homes is creating this new community space from derelict space in direct response to resident feedback and research.  And, as well as building a stronger community the new space will help improve mental health and wellbeing, particularly of those who are isolated or lonely. Residents with no outdoor space will be able to enjoy the planted area. And there will also be educational benefits for community groups and local schools. Onward estimates about 1,000 local people will enjoy the new space.

More about Onward Homes and Axis

Onward Homes is a leading provider of 35000+ homes in the North West. The Axis Foundation’s parent company, Axis, is Onward’s Repairs Contractor. The Axis Foundation was therefore delighted to support this application.

There’s more about Onward Homes here

More about Axis’ work with Onward Homes here

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baby with hand Frankie and OliviaCare

Funds For Frankie’s Family

Supporting a young family

The Axis Foundation was delighted to support Frankie’s family when he received bad news about his health and was unable to work. We donated £1,000 to help support their baby, Olivia, who was born in June.

When Frankie and his partner were expecting their first baby, Frankie found out he had Stage 4 Melanoma cancer. He received the news on Christmas Eve 2021. And in January 2022, he underwent an operation to remove lymph nodes and afterwards started his chemotherapy. Frankie is self-employed, an electrician by trade, and is not able to work because of the treatment. His family is on a low income and unable to help him financially.

Sarah Cooper, Senior RLO at Axis, applied for this grant for Frankie: his family are Sarah’s neighbours, and Frankie was in the same class as Sarah’s son, so Sarah feels a close connection and wants to help.

Thanking the Foundation, Sarah Cooper said: “I spoke to Frankie’s Mum on Christmas Eve when she told me his cancer had progressed from Stage 1 to Stage 4. I went home and was really upset. Then I thought, ‘I can help’ – so I applied to the Foundation for some money to help him whilst he was unable to work. I was absolutely overwhelmed to hear that my application had been successful. Vouchers for the new baby will really help this young family. Frankie’s prognosis is good but he will be monitored for the next ten years. All his family, including his grandparents are extremely grateful to the Axis Foundation for their donation.”

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Care

Mindful Peak

Support for young carers

Mindful Peak helps young carers to improve their physical and mental wellbeing through boxing and mindfulness. The charity has recently developed BAM! which fuses non-contact boxing training with mindfulness through one-to-one sessions, video and a specially developed App. They developed BAM! with help from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Barnardo’s.

The Axis Foundation donated £1,250 towards film videoing and editing as well as skipping ropes for boxing training.

“I’m delighted that the Axis Foundation saw the value in this project that supports a group of young carers who need this support now more than ever. Thank you and we look forward to delivering this project and sharing the impact” – Luke Doherty, Founder and MD

Helping Young Carers

Young carers face extra responsibilities at home often leaving them feeling lonely or as though no one else understands. They can feel isolated and often miss out-of-school activities or meet-ups with friends. And they often become anxious about the person they care for when they’re away from them. Mindful Peak helps young carers become better able to respond to the specific challenges they face.

More About Mindful Peak

Working in the London Boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Newham Mindful Peak is a not-for-profit enterprise dedicated to sharing a mindfulness-based approach to performance.

Luke Doherty founded Mindful Peak in 2019. Luke played Rugby for England. He gained a postgraduate degree in Law and Community Leadership and then trained as a mindfulness instructor.

In addition to supporting disadvantaged young people, Mindful Peak teaches mindfulness to elite athletes.They have worked with Saracens and Harlequins rugby clubs, Brentford football club, the GB Skateboarding and British Weightlifting teams among others.

More here

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