Local charity the Oakland Foundation, which supports children in Redditch and Bromsgrove and the surrounding area, has relaunched its website to make it easier for people to find information.

The website’s new clean look means individuals, groups, youth organisations, community projects and schools can easily donate, become a Foundation partner and apply for funding, and since relaunching the uptake in funding applications has increased.

Foundation Trustee, Luke Attwell, commented: “The new website is easier to navigate and provides improved functionality, which put simply means it’s easier to find the information you need and to apply for funding. We are extremely thankful for all the support we receive from the local community, either through individual or group donations, or from businesses choosing the Oakland Foundation as their chosen charity, each and every donation makes a real difference to children’s lives.”

Over the next year the Foundation is planning to increase its match-funding partnerships and opportunities with the council, local businesses and community groups with a focus to support access for all, particularly for those who would not routinely be able to access such opportunities.

Initiatives and activities funded are based on educational, sports and health and nutrition for children under 16 and their families living in Redditch, Bromsgrove and the surrounding area.

The Foundation’s new website is the primary digital channel to apply for funding and will help to raise its profile locally and encourage more people to engage with the charity.

Added Luke: “Keeping it local and working with a fantastic web-design company, who the Foundation has known for many years, has made the whole process that much easier. We can’t thank Graham Biggs and his team at The Naked Creative enough, and we’re simply delighted with the result!”

To apply for Foundation funding or to donate or fundraise, please visit: www.oakland-foundation.com or call 01527 596222.

Redditch’s Active Kitchen project has secured further funding from local children’s charity the Oakland Foundation which will help to ensure their children’s activity programme will go ahead during the summer holidays.

Securing new funding from the Oakland Foundation has been vital and means that the Active Kitchen project can now run at four locations over the summer holidays and reach 50% more young people than previously possible. The Foundation has previously donated a fridge and a new oven meaning this summer organisers will have the opportunity to provide more cooked meals, with the engagement of the young people in this process adding a new element of education based on healthy eating.

Oakland Foundation Trustee, Peter Vaughan commented: “The positive impact of Active Kitchen on our community cannot be underestimated, with last year’s anti-social behaviour incident statistics showing a positive drop of 33%.

“The support Active Kitchen provides is hugely positive for our young people, the communities in which they live and for our Police resources. This summer the Active Kitchen project will provide more young people with a range of activities which will positively impact both on their mental health and physical wellbeing and will ensure they do not go hungry over the holidays.”

The Foundation’s summer holiday funding support is pivotal to the project’s success, as without funding the project would be in danger of cancellation or at least greatly reduced due to insufficient funds. Feedback from projects already held has been overwhelmingly positive, with community partners coming together to support the initiative including West Mercia Police, the YMCA, St Vincent de Paul Society and Street Games.

On behalf of Active Kitchen, Elisabeth Cottam from the Sports Development Team at Redditch Borough Council, commented: “Without the generous contributions from the Oakland Foundation the project would not be the success it has become.

“The food element is key to the project and has ensured that young people across the district do not go hungry in the school holidays. The project has found that food is vital to showing young people that they are cared for in a way that isn’t possible through any other means.”

Eight students from Ipsley CE Academy in Redditch are celebrating their success after completing the Oakland Programme, a structured course designed to provide young people with valuable workplace experience.

The programme is run by local children’s charity the Oakland Foundation, in partnership with key sponsor and local business Oakland International. Over a period of months, Foundation trustees worked with the Ipsley students to deliver a number of sessions, offering pupils the chance to understand where products come from, the safety awareness required regarding vehicles and lorries, as well as taking part in work shadowing within departments at Oakland International’s Redditch facility, all designed to support students’ understanding and identify the key skills needed by certain job roles.

As they celebrated their last session together students enjoyed a team baking session organised and supported by Foundation trustees, with parents and carers invited to see the students each receive their Oakland Programme graduation certificate and gift voucher.

Foundation Trustee, Hayley Smith, commented: “The Oakland Programme is designed to be flexible to best suit the outcome required for the pupils involved, and includes a number of structured sessions covering a range of topics aimed at engaging and raising students’ aspirations.

“Their final food-based team challenge involved the students designing and cooking a main meal and dessert using ingredients provided, which they were then able to take home and share with parents, carers and guardians.”

Thought provoking, this young people’s project offers the chance for students to experience diverse workplace environments and the feeling of ‘being at work’ and understanding of what this involves.

Nicola Beech, Ipsley CE Academy Principal, commented: “We continue to be grateful for the additional opportunities our pupils receive through support from the Oakland Foundation. Pupils gain so much from spending time learning outside of the usual school environment and this project has made a real difference to the young people involved.”

The Oakland Foundation works with children and young people within Redditch and Bromsgrove and the surrounding area through their work in the areas of Health and Nutrition, Education and Sport.

Students from Ispley CE Academy in Redditch and Aston Fields Middle School in Bromsgrove have received financial sponsorship from children’s charity the Oakland Foundation which has enabled them to take part in a 10-week course at the Bonterre Project, based at Top Barn Farm in Holt Heath, throughout the summer term.

Oakland Foundation Trustee, Pete Vaughan, explained: “By providing financial support we can give school students the opportunity to take part in the Bonterre Project and experience a vast array of positive activities and tasks which both support and aid personal and social engagement, as well as providing them with a rewarding educational experience.”

Designed to improve life skills and personal resilience through engagement in the ‘Living Land’ programme, the Bonterre Project works with children to develop relationships, increase personal motivation and self-confidence by taking part in a range of agricultural activities and tasks such as sowing seeds, planting, harvesting and animal care, through to fishing, carpentry, rowing, wildlife and environmental awareness, Celtic roundhouse construction, lighting fires, cooking in the open as well as developing ‘bush-craft’ skills.

Bonterre manager, Mike Stringer, commented: “It has been a real pleasure working with the four students this year. We hope they have had fun and learned some new skills that will help them achieve a smooth and successful transition to High School in September. We are very grateful for the generosity of the Oakland Foundation and their continued support of the work we do.”

The Foundation’s financial sponsorship enabled the school’s students and their teaching assistants to attend the project, covering the cost of transport to and from Bonterre and the food and project materials needed for the range of activities and tasks undertaken, such as providing the seeds and compost, plants and timber.

Nicola Beech, Ipsley CE Academy Principal, stated: “We continue to be grateful for the additional opportunities our pupils receive through support from the Oakland Foundation. Pupils gain so much from spending time learning outside of the usual school environment and this project has made a real difference to the young people involved.”

Aston Fields Middle School Assistant Headteacher, Carole Teer, added: “The support offered by Oakland Foundation has, once again, given two of our Year 8 pupils the opportunity to improve life skills and develop their resilience to every day challenges as they begin their transition to high school in September. On their own reflection, both boys commented that the opportunity to work with the experienced staff at “Bonterre” and pupils from other schools, has enabled them to develop relationships which in turn, has increased their motivation and self-confidence. Liam and Harvey, both aged 13, said the experience at “Bonterre” has helped them back in school too, by giving them belief in themselves.”

The Oakland Foundation supports children living in Redditch and Bromsgrove and the surrounding area through their work in the areas of Health and Nutrition, Education and Sport.

The Redditch Escargots Cycling Collective will take to their bikes on Saturday 2nd September with the aim of raising a whopping £3,000 for local children’s charity, the Oakland Foundation.

Redditch Escargots CC member, Martin Penver, explains: “As a Redditch-based cycling group, a lot of our members already take part in cycling events organised by large charities, and they wanted instead to focus on a local charity for local people.

 

“Twenty-four of our members have signed up to take part in the event, with other members who can’t join us due to previous commitments kindly agreeing to donate and sponsor us, which is fantastic.”

Setting off at 7.30am from their base at Bramley Cottage, the ‘snails’ will challenge themselves to complete one, or all three, set routes around Redditch. Each cyclist hopes to raise a minimum of £1 per mile, potentially cycling over 100 miles during the day.

After the second circuit, the riders will stop for ‘brunch’, sponsored by Gardner Denver Limited, where all riders will be invited to donate their lunch money towards the groups fundraising target of £3,000, before they once again take to the saddle for the closing circuit and back to base for the day’s final tally.

Oakland Foundation Trustee Luke Attwell, commented: “Our sincere thanks to the members of the Redditch Escargots for their generosity and for choosing the Oakland Foundation as their nominated charity for this event, which is much appreciated.

“The proceeds from this event will help support and provide educational programmes for children living in, and around, the Redditch area.”

The Oakland Foundation supports children, young people and their families living in Redditch, Bromsgrove and the surrounding area, by providing help and support through educational projects and activities based on Health and Nutrition, Education and Sport.

You can offer your support and donate via the Redditch Escargots’ fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/escargots

A children’s charity which supports children living in Redditch, Bromsgrove and the surrounding area, the Oakland Foundation, has announced the appointment of two new trustees.

Ron Whitfield brings to the board over 35 years of experience encompassing leadership development, business change management, coaching, mentoring, information management and professional standards; 30 years of which have been at senior operational and strategic level. Ron also brings his experience as a Trustee of other charities, including as past Chairman of Kemp Hospice in Kidderminster.

Ron Whitfield commented: “It’s a great honour to join the Oakland Foundation as a Trustee and I’m looking forward to working with my fellow Trustees to continue the success of the charity and to help it through its next phase of growth.”

Founder of Evopr.com and a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and Chartered Management Institute, Kathryn Watts has over 25 years’ experience of senior operational and management roles; 18 years of which within the PR and communications sector, working with a variety of industries including education, supply chain logistics, IT and professional services.

Kathryn Watts stated: “I feel privileged to be invited by the Oakland Foundation to join them as a Trustee, and I look forward to working with the Foundation Board and the many businesses supporting the work of the Foundation to further promote the opportunities and educational programmes available for children living in Redditch, Bromsgrove and surrounding communities.”

The Oakland Foundation supports children, young people and their families, by providing help and support through educational projects and activities based on Health and Nutrition, Education and Sport.

Oakland Foundation Trustee, Pete Vaughan, stated: “On behalf of the Board I am delighted to welcome Ron and Kathryn to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and they bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience to support the Foundation as we further develop our engagement and charitable offer within the community.”

Children and young people from Redditch and Bromsgrove are set to benefit from the Oakland Foundation’s inaugural Charity Ball being held at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham on Friday 8th September.

The Ball will help to raise funds to support the Foundation’s work with children and young people, from local schools to youth organisations which provide activities and programmes that help to support and develop self-confidence, build new skills and generally inspire the next generation.

Oakland Foundation Trustee, Hayley Smith, said: “The Charity Ball will be a spectacular event and a fantastic opportunity to celebrate with many of our volunteers, donors and supporters.

“We hope it will also help to promote and encourage more organisations to get involved and support the Foundation’s work with children from the community.”

The Oakland Foundation was created by food distribution firm Oakland International and officially launched in 2013 by Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal. To date the Foundation has supported a diverse number of educational and youth projects based around health, nutrition, education and sport.

A black tie event, entertainment will be provided by guest speaker Kriss Akabusi MBE, music will be provided by local school children, singer/songwriter Sam Ostler and ABBA Tribute Band, Swede Dreamz.

Supported by Barclays Bank, sponsors include Oakland International, Starkey Electrical, Perfect Personnel, One Creative and Lorica. Tickets are priced at £95 each or £850 for a table of ten.

For enquiries and to book please call: 07964 001705 or email: [email protected] All proceeds from the event will go directly to the Oakland Foundation charity.

Ten students from Ipsley CE Academy in Redditch are revelling in their success after completing the Oakland Programme, a structured course designed to provide young people with valuable workplace experience.

Run by local children’s charity the Oakland Foundation and in partnership with the Oakland Foundation’s key sponsor and local business Oakland International, the Programme has been hailed a success by the school and the second time they have enrolled students on the Programme.

Foundation Trustee, Hayley Smith, commented: “The Oakland Programme is designed to be flexible to best suit the outcome for the pupils involved, and includes a number of structured sessions covering career advice aimed at raising students’ employment aspirations.”

Thought provoking, this young people’s project offers the chance for students to experience different workplace environments and the feeling of ‘being at work’ and understanding what that actually involves. Foundation Trustees worked with the students at the school to deliver a number of sessions which offered pupils the chance to understand where our products come from, the safety awareness required concerning vehicles and lorries, as well as work shadowing within Oakland International’s departments, which helped aide their understanding and helped identified the key skills required by certain job roles before then taking part in their final graduation food based challenge; working as a team to design and cook a main meal and dessert using ingredients provided which they then served to parents, carers and guardians at their graduation ceremony.

“The pupils involved in the Oakland Programme have had a fantastic experience, not only learning important work-based skills, but also developing their confidence. Thanks to Oakland, we are able to provide a unique opportunity for pupils of this age that will have lasting impact on their futures,” Nicola Beech, Ipsley CE Academy Principal, added.

The Oakland Foundation works with children and young people within Redditch and Bromsgrove and the surrounding area through their work in the areas of Health and Nutrition, Education and Sport.

Known for innovation and a strong social conscience, supply chain specialist Oakland International has been confirmed as a finalist in the Corporate Social Responsibility Award category of The Logistics Awards, which will be held in London on Thursday 21st September.

Oakland International Chief Executive and Co-Founder, Dean Attwell, stated: “We are absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for the Corporate Social Responsibility Award as it acknowledges our commitment and passion as a forward thinking, responsible family business to the communities in which we operate.”

Oakland operates depots and facilities in the UK, Ireland and has an overseas partner in Spain, providing brokerage, contract packing, storage, picking and food distribution for ambient, chilled and frozen food for the retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets.

The company formalised their charitable activities through the Oakland Foundation, officially launched by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal in 2013. The charity’s aim is to support and help underprivileged children in need by reason of disadvantage or financial hardship in the local Redditch and Bromsgrove communities and surrounding area, through activities based around four core initiatives of Health, Nutrition, Education and Sport.

Through the Foundation, Oakland International donates money and offers all employees the chance to volunteer for the Oakland Foundation in company time. Since launching, every year more of Oakland’s employees participate and support the charity’s work within the local community.

Dean added: “Launching the Foundation meant it gave us more control of how our money was spent and it provided a formal platform from which we are able to support a range of community initiatives for the benefit of many young people.

“The Foundation has also provided positive employee engagement in the work of the charity and contributed to creating a highly motivated team which gains significantly from the opportunity of taking part in a variety of new experiences and helps them to develop new skills through their time volunteering for the Oakland Foundation.”

The Logistics Awards celebrate operational excellence within the industry, with finalists across 12 categories.

Oakland International is a finalist in The National Family Business Awards 2017 in the Big Heart Award category representing the Midlands, with winners announced at the Grand Awards Ceremony at Wembley on Saturday 15th July.

Oakland International CEO and Co-Founder Dean Attwell, stated: “As a responsible family business we feel privileged to be a finalist in the Big Heart award category; recognising our commitment and contribution to the local community.”

Oakland International’s charity, the Oakland Foundation, officially opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal on Friday 28th June 2013, aims to help reduce child poverty within the Redditch and Bromsgrove areas by supporting children and their families through their work with local educational and youth organisations; offering activities, programmes and financial support based around the themes of health and nutrition, education and sport.

Dean added: “Through the Oakland Foundation we have been able to make a real and positive difference to the lives of local children. The Foundation also provides Oakland International team members with a chance to develop their skills through volunteering for the Foundation.”

Now in their 8th year, the National Family Business Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of Britain and Ireland’s over 3 million family-owned businesses and the entrepreneurs who lead them.

Amalia Brightley-Gillott, Awards Director said: “Every year we are blown away by the variety and calibre of family businesses who enter the awards. Few people realise that every time they visit their local hairdresser, stay in a boutique hotel, buy a bottle of wine, have a necklace made or buy cheese in the supermarket that they are in fact supporting passionate, dedicated families who have set up in business together. They might be hundreds of years old or new kids on the block. These awards are our chance to say ‘thank you’ and give recognition for their contribution.”

Oakland International provides multi-temperature supply chain and value added services for the food and drink sector in the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Oakland International by Stuart James Photography