Richard Kennell, CEO and Founder of SOFEA, tells Oxfordshire voice about his Educational Training Charity ‘SOFEA’ and about its roll, redistributing surplus food from supermarkets to charities, so they can reduce their running costs and also young people can get training through working for SOFEA, enabling them to change their prospects after school.
You HR is working alongside an Oxfordshire based charity to raise awareness for the work they do supporting the homeless of Oxfordshire.
The number of rough sleepers in Oxford has risen by 175% since 2012.
Providing support for over 30 years Homeless Oxfordshire are the largest accommodation provider across the county. With a 56 bed hostel and 144 beds across the local community in 24 properties offering a full range of support.
Homeless Oxfordshire create individual solutions to individual needs. They provide health and wellbeing support via the Luther Street Medical Centre.
They influence public provision and policy by highlighting the social impact of our work. They raise awareness and reduce the stigma of homelessness, becoming the charity of choice for local people.
You HR Consultancy recently volunteered in the kitchen at O’Hanlon House and some of the team will be taking part in their charity bike ride to raise funds in May and also participating in the Oxford half marathon in October.
CEO Jonna Mundy said “It has been a humbling experience to volunteer with Homeless Oxfordshire and we are investing more than 100 hours of our support to develop the future aspirations of the charity and those they assist”
SANE, a mental health charity, will be bringing a four-foot-tall statue of a black dog called Sirius to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, from Monday, 8th April – Tuesday, 22nd April as part of their Black Dog Campaign.
The campaign aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and encourages people to seek help early, rather than suffering in silence.
Sirius will be on display in the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site’s Pleasure Gardens.
The Black Dog has been used from classical mythology through medieval folklore to modern times as a universal metaphor for depression: Sir Winston Churchill is famously reported to have used it to describe his darker moods.
Imposing sculptures of Black Dogs wearing coats designed by artists, celebrities or others and standing on a plinth featuring SANEline and other sources of help have been placed in business foyers, public parks and shopping centres in towns and cities throughout the UK.
The campaign is also touring schools and universities, encouraging people to find a more accessible language in which to express their inner feelings of anxiety, loneliness or despair. The tour of Oxfordshire has been spearheaded by High Sheriff of Oxfordshire 2018/19, Richard Venables who comments ‘In my last week of being the High Sheriff I am delighted to be able to bring Sirius to Blenheim to highlight the issue of mental health which is pervasive throughout society and bring awareness to staff and visitors to Blenheim’.
Megan Carter, HR Manager Blenheim, said: “Staff wellbeing is incredibly important and something we are absolutely committed to here at Blenheim.
“We have set up a number of initiatives aimed at making it far easier for people to discuss any issues or worries they may have with other team members and we’ve introduced a range of activities designed to improve overall wellbeing and also to enable team leaders to identify signs of stress and depression,” she added.
She continues: “We are pleased to welcome SANE who are bringing Sirius the Black Dog to Blenheim highlighting mental health. There is a poignant link between Churchill’s ‘Black Dog’ and Blenheim. I am pleased that we can help raise awareness of depression, anxiety and mental health. The wellbeing of our staff is of the upmost importance to us at Blenheim and we pride ourselves on the initiatives that we provide to everyone, some of which also reach out to the local community. We offer Yoga, health checks and mindfulness courses and a free employee assistance confidential helpline for all staff which is available 24 hours a day.”
For more information on SANE and the Black Dog Campaign visit www.sane.org.uk
Jayne Woodley from Oxfordshire Community Foundation gives her opinion on what needs to change in Oxfordshire, from Educational attainment and falling the young to housing and homelessness.