One of the many benefits that Grovelands offers its employees is the opportunity to take a day off to do a ‘Charity Day’ every year. Many of our staff jump at the chance to give something back to our local community. Last week David Phillips (Senior Marketing Manager) and Liam Bolger (Senior Recruitment Consultant) did just that. They attended the Annual Conference of Grovelands’ official charity partner, Sussex Oakleaf.
The annual conference took place in Burgess Hill. Attendees ranged from Sussex Oakleaf staff, their clients, affiliated organisations, fundraisers and official partners. So it was a diverse collection of people from all walks of life who all have a connection and affinity with the work that the charity does.
It was a great opportunity to learn more about Sussex Oakleaf and it was a real eye-opener in understanding the extensive reach of the charity. The day outlined the intricacies and difficulties we face in dealing with mental health and wellbeing across the region. You might see the words Annual Conference and think it might be a bit formal, but this day was far from dull.
There were ice breaker exercises at the start of the morning and afternoon sessions which were craftily designed to highlight some of the issues clients of the charity face, and focused on the value of getting to know people, and communicating effectively. The day then consisted of a series of talks from: various Sussex Oakleaf teams & departments; organizations affiliated to Sussex Oakleaf; and perhaps for us the most insightful sessions were when clients of the charity stood up to describe how the charity had helped them. The client stories were a poignant tribute to how the charity has helped thousands of individuals over the last few years.
People can wrongly assume that mental health and well being is a problem for someone else to deal with, but Sussex Oakleaf illustrated quickly just how deep in society mental health issues are entrenched. 1 in 4 people will suffer from some from of mental health issue in their lifetime. They work with people across our community with groups set up to help those affected by issues such as domestic violence, substance abuse, perinatal health, Autism, Asperger’s, personality disorders, depression, anxiety – just to name a few. On top of this the charity also has dedicated resources within these areas helping people from minority groups such LGBTQ and black and ethnic minority groups.
We met lots of wonderful people, many of whom give up their own time and resources to help those less fortunate. There was a lot of warmth in the room and a strong feeling of togetherness – we were delighted to be a part of that.
What can you do:
To find out more about the great work that Sussex Oakleaf do and to discover the variety of volunteering options they offer, visit www.sussexoakleaf.org.uk.
With the amount of work they have on, Sussex Oakleaf are always looking at new ways to raise funds. To donate money or fundraise for this very worthwhile cause please click here.