The work of Guildford-based mental health charity Oakleaf
PUBLISHED: 09:57 12 June 2018
Oakleaf Enterprise supports those living with mental health issues in Guildford to restore their confidence and get back to work. Fundraising and partnership executive, Camilli Roberts-Da Breau, tells us more about the charity and the support it provides to 500 clients each year
Tell us a bit about the charity...
Oakleaf is based in Guildford and is the only mental health charity in Surrey to double as a social enterprise. We provide vocational training in horticulture, upholstery, IT and print finishing, and enable people to acquire new skills, gain qualifications and improve their confidence enough to return to work. We also offer a number of social inclusion activities and sell high-quality gardening and print finishing services at competitive rates.
What’s the most important thing that’s been achieved so far?
We are currently supporting more than 500 people each year. Witnessing a client’s journey towards better health, and helping them to sustain and live a meaningful life, is testament to the service we provide.
Describe your volunteers to us...
Our volunteers come from all walks of life and bring invaluable experience. Their effort and dedication is essential in ensuring that we can offer the support, training and advice it does to the community.
Do you have any well-known supporters or patrons?
Our patrons are Dame Penelope Keith and Shaun Attwood.
If readers were to give £10, how might that be spent?
It would help us to continue our support to those suffering with ill mental health, from providing vocational training, one-to-one counselling or helping our clients to engage in our social inclusion activities such as our weekly art group.
What can they do if they’d like to get involved themselves?
There are lots of ways to get involved, from donating time, services and money to supporting our events and activities by completing a sponsored walk or holding a bake sale. You can also sponsor an individual client through a training programme, or support their return to work by donating clothing vouchers for a job interview.
What is your top fundraising tip?
Tell people what your fundraising target is and what their contribution will help achieve for your charity.
How important is philanthropy in our county?
Because Surrey is generally considered to be a wealthy county, it can often be overlooked by national funders just as the number of people needing support increases so it’s incredibly important in ensuring that organisations like Oakleaf survive.
What do you enjoy most about being based in Surrey?
The community spirit of Surrey is truly remarkable, and their support allows Oakleaf to exist.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
To continue offering support to the hundreds of clients referred each year, providing them with the best possible service. We help people turn their lives around and also seek to reduce the stigma, promoting positive mental health for all. Longer term, we’d like Oakleaf to secure its own permanent premises and provide long-term stability to its clients.
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