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

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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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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Three young children in green leaves outdoor learning spaceDonations

The Friends of Collett School

Creating forest learning space for children with Special Educational Needs

The Friends of Collett School approached the Axis Foundation to help convert an overgrown, unused forest area to a forest school area for children with Special Educational Needs. And we were delighted to make a donation of £540 to create learning packs for the project.

“This is such wonderful news! On behalf of everybody at The Friends of Collett School, thank you very much for your donation and support – it is really, really appreciated” – Rhea Dickman , Fundraising Lead, The Friends of Collett School

More about the Forest Learning Space

The forest learning space for children with Special Educational Needs will include outside blackboards, a fit pit for cooking, sensory equipment, a mud kitchen and bug hotel, a trim trail, a living fedge and a den-making area.

All these fun and educational work stations will help Collett’s children with Special Educational Needs engage with nature in a safe and supportive space. The children will learn transferable gardening skills, develop communication and cognitive skills and improve their self esteem and confidence.

The Collett School for Special Educational Needs in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire will also invite local community groups and special and mainstream schools to use the forest learning area.

And there’s more about the school here

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Gardening for people with disabilityDisability

FarmAbility

Transporting people with disabilities to beneficial farm-based tasks and outdoor activities

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £7,000 to FarmAbility will provide minibus, taxi or car transport for a year to ensure co-farmers (people with learning disabilities, many also with autism) can get to FarmAbility’s outreach partner farms, landed estates or gardens in a COVID-safe way.

Here co-farmers, many of whom are who are almost entirely excluded from workplaces and from employment, will engage in an outdoor, purposeful day sessions focusing on their needs and ability levels.

 “We know from our eight years’ experience that a regular weekly outdoor, active session involving practical, farm-based tasks has a lasting, positive impact on the mental and physical health of people with disabilities. So, a HUGE thank you to the Axis Foundation for the donation: it means a great amount to us – particularly during these challenging times. Working day-to-day with co-farmers and the team I know that being able to support the transport needs of co-farmers and staff will have a positive effect on our programme” – Jason Warner, Programme Manager, FarmAbility

More about FarmAbility

FarmAbility enables co-farmers (people with learning disabilities, many also with autism) to develop skills and competencies for purposeful living through participation in programmes on farms, estates and growing spaces. FarmAbility is based in Oxfordshire and runs programmes primarily from the Blenheim Estate in Woodstock and on a number of ‘outreach’ partner farms and growing spaces around the county. These include: FAI Farms (Wytham), Fair Close Community Farm (Wolvercote), FarmEd (Shipton-u-Wychwood) and Harcourt Arboretum.

FarmAbility’s programme is run by experienced, committed Programme Leaders who work with small groups of co-farmers with an approach that focuses more on ‘enabling’ than ‘supporting’ and which is informed by occupational therapy. They offer co-farmers a changing seasonal schedule of farm and gardening activities, guided by personal choice and individual needs, which includes activities such as vegetable gardening and orchard management, an organic egg enterprise, woodworking, basic animal husbandry, woodland work (coppicing, tree planting) and seasonal farm tasks.

More here 

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Man and wheelbarrow standing in front of polytunnelCare

Green Health Thames Valley

Helping people with mental health difficulties

Green Health Thames Valley (GHTV) helps people with mental health difficulties through horticulture-based programmes and activities.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £4,450 purchased a polytunnel, raised beds and green roofs for the sheds for their community garden in Whitley. 

“We are thrilled with the support from the Axis Foundation. Our new polytunnel is fantastic. It enables us to extend our growing season and provide warm dry space for clients. We have installed new raised beds and have finalised designs for a new green roof which will be created very soon. It’s so exciting seeing these improvements. Thank you to all at Axis Foundation. Your support means so much to us all at GHTV” – Richard Byard, Chair of GHTV

More about Green Health

The horticultural programmes at Reading-based Green Health help marginalised and isolated clients. Here they can engage with nature, create projects and participate in physical activities. They can also socialise with other clients and locally-based volunteers. As a result, they become more confident, less socially isolated and develop new skills that move them closer to economic activity and independence.

In addition to helping people with their mental health, GHTV also aims to protect physical health through encouraging  horticulture-related physical activity and promoting healthy eating.

The charity additionally aims to improve the places and spaces of their local communities.

Find out more about the work of Green Health Thames Valley here.

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Group pictures of volunteers at one of WellChild's Helping Hands projectsCare

WellChild’s Helping Hands project

Making homes and gardens accessible for young people with exceptional health needs

Many children and young people live in homes which are not suitable for their needs. The Axis Foundation has donated £6,250 to WellChild, supporting children and young people with exceptional healthcare needs. Their Helping Hands project regularly enlists volunteers to create safe, stimulating gardens in the homes of sick children.

A donation like this will allow us to offer more help to families who really need it. We are very grateful to Axis for this kind donation to the WellChild Helping Hands programme.”- Lorna Pedersen, Head of Wellchild

Our funding will give at least four more children accessible sensory areas to enjoy. A sensory garden can be a haven for children with complex needs because it’s a place that allows them to develop. It is also a familiar environment, so children get the opportunity to actually enjoy playing outside.

More About Wellchild

Having children with complex conditions often makes going out as a family impossible. So Wellchild’s projects are a lifeline for families who need an outdoor space to spend time in together. The project offers organisations a unique opportunity to have a direct impact on their local community. Through volunteering days companies can have fantastic team building experiences, while improving the lives of many people. WellChild has already worked on over 390 gardens UK wide and has over 90 successful London projects.

To find out more, visit www.wellchild.org.uk.

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Two women at Rohan Gardens care home with gardening equipmentCommunity

Rohan Gardens Support Group

We preserve and maintain gardens at Care Home

The Axis Foundation has contributed £1000 to the Rohan Gardens Support Group. The group preserves, maintains and improves the outdoor areas at Rohan Gardens Care Home in Warwick. The donation will also help put on events, like barbecues and tea parties. Because of their work on the garden, more residents will be drawn in to enjoy the fresh air and engage with the community.

The team at Rohan Gardens has been building on the work of a small group of residents led by Sylvia Avery. Sylvia said, “I first came to Rohan Gardens over 6 years ago and my apartment overlooks the main community garden. Looking out I was less than inspired by the bland, no colour vista. So I decided to do something about it.”

Since then, the group has volunteered their own time and money to grow a relaxing space for residents. They have improved the garden by introducing a summerhouse, water feature, gazebo and garden furniture. The group won a gold medal in the Community Gardens category at the Warwick in Bloom horticultural awards 2018/2019.

Secretary of the group, Gary Hawkins said: “Over the past two years we have worked hard to establish the garden as a place for residents to relax in and enjoy the outdoor space. We are investing the money in equipment, topsoil, future planting and other related items. We would not have been able to do so without help from the Axis Foundation.”

The garden is an environment that provides sanctuary for 70 residents living at the care home. It’s a safe outdoor space where people can walk around as well as sit and interact with others. All of this means a higher quality of life for residents making the care home a much brighter place to live.

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People bee-keeping at bee urban charityCommunity

Bee Urban

Improving facilities at a London bee-keeping social enterprise

Bee Urban is a honeybee-centric social enterprise promoting ecologically-sound practice around urban greening, building, farming and particularly bee-keeping.

It’s not just about bees however! Over 4,000 people a year visit the site in Kennington. At Bee Urban they work with disadvantaged, vulnerable people including those with mental health needs and learning difficulties. Local pupils learn about the environment, regeneration and wildlife in curriculum-relevant workshops and Volunteers are always welcome.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £5,000 will contribute to making important improvements at the premises of this valuable local resource. These include: creating more planting space – to support the honey bees and to increase local biodiversity; improving the hardstanding to make the site safer and more accessible – particularly for those with mobility issues – and supporting a new aquaponics system.

“The funds from Axis Europe will help us to improve the accessibility of our garden space, enhancing the experience for elderly and disabled people who wish to access the grounds. We have wanted to make these improvements for a while but have lacked the resources to do so. The funds will make this possible and will improve everyone’s experience at Bee Urban. Thank You Axis.”
Barnaby Shaw, Bee Urban

The Axis Foundation reached a decade of donations this year. Read more about our 10th Birthday here and share the good news #10YrsGiving

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Community Event at Culpeper Community Garden in IslingtonCommunity

Culpeper Community Garden

Local community gardening project is Eden in Islington

Islington’s award-winning Culpeper Community Garden works closely with local organisations who support vulnerable people. Many schools come here to learn about nature. There is a wealth of activities and workshops for adults and thousands of members of the public also visit this haven every year.

The RHS has warmly praised Culpeper, a registered charity, in their London in Bloom competition. “Culpeper is an outstanding example of community gardening in the city… It’s social and therapeutic horticultural at its best.”

“The money from the Axis Foundation, £2,000, will be used for environmental education and gardening sessions with groups and local schools. I am so happy that the Foundation’s grant can further support our projects at Culpeper.

“Culpeper’s a wonderful green community centre in the heart of London where people from every background, advantage and disadvantage can relax and work together in a beautiful green space. I call it a ‘little garden of Eden’. The garden has been a source of pleasure and inspiration to me for over 30 years” – Margaret Pitt, Trustee

More about Culpeper

Culpeper Community Garden is close to several large housing estates in Islington and is run by locals on organic and sustainable principles. It is one of London’s oldest city parks / community gardening in the city projects and land here comprises 46 plots for local residents and groups, communal areas (including a pond, wildlife area, lawn and rose pergola), a community building and a tea hut for members.

Supporting vulnerable people

Culpeper supports the Elfrida Society, the Stuart Low Trust, Room to Heal and Islington Mind. These local organisations help vulnerable people including those with learning difficulties and mental health issues as well as isolated people and asylum seekers. Each organisation has a weekly session at Culpeper and a plot of their own to cultivate.

“This garden is like paradise for us. When I came here, I was very depressed and without hope. It was winter and now for me it’s spring,” – Garden Volunteer

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