Greenoak Housing Association Ltd - latest sponsorship

latest sponsorship

Helping Woking Mind reach our Community

Woking Mind is an independent mental health charity associated to the national charity Mind. It is one of the smallest Mind affiliates and the only local Mind in Surrey, and are responsible for funding their own services. They provide a variety of advice, support and training in the form of drop-ins, support groups and referrals for people struggling with mental health challenges.

The demand for mental health support has been unprecedented since the coronavirus outbreak. A high and rising proportion of people have experienced a mental or physical health problem as a result of the pandemic, with isolation and loneliness, job loss, financial problems and the pressures of family and home schooling pushing many people to breaking point.

Woking Mind reported their staff at full capacity managing the significant increase of people accessing their services, as well as as influx of referrals from partners, namely to support the mental health needs of those most vulnerable and isolated in the community. They have been trying to raise funds to expand the organisation to meet this growing need, and have struggled with the current climate obstructing all community fundraising and partnerships.

In response to the Covid pandemic they adapted and launched their Community Wellbeing Service that steps up their capacity to support up to an additional 600 calls per month. Fully trained volunteers provide first line support for low level mental health concerns including befriending, wellbeing advice and simple signposting. Second line support is delivered by experienced members of staff to help individuals with more complex or challenging needs. They are also working with GP surgeries in North West Surrey for in-house referrals as GP appointment times of 10-15 minutes are not long enough to provide adequate mental health support.

In support of Woking Mind’s efforts Greenoak Community focus sponsored £3,000 to help the Charity in getting the Community Wellbeing Service off the ground and further increase their capacity to support many more people in the local community.

Mandy Dhingra, Marketing & Fundraising Director thanked GCF and said ‘we cannot stress enough how much your support means to us. We can only be there to help those in need with the support of organisations like yourselves.‘

Woking Mind are hoping to broaden their services with a text and web chat facility to reach out to those who are still hesitating to reach out for help, either with debilitating shyness and social anxiety that stifles their voice for telephone or virtual calls, or those who struggle with privacy or live in stigmatised environments.

New Monument School’s outdoor courtyard gets a FreshStart

Children at New Monument Primary School in Maybury, Woking are enjoying a newly refurbished courtyard area with the help of Greenoak Community Focus and Barnabus Freshstart.

The open-air concreted courtyard is situated in the centre of the school building and was empty and neglected. Headteacher Mandy McDowell had dreams of repurposing the space to extend the library and classrooms to enable students to enjoy quiet reading time and outdoor learning.

Eager to assist as part of its Covid Relief drive, GCF reached out to Freshstart, a charity who work with the community and Councils on local refurbishment projects to renovate or clear outdoor and indoor spaces for the community. Founder Mark Richmond was keen to be involved with the project.

Over the summer school holidays Mr Richmond worked with Ms McDowell and Helen Orton, the School Business Manager to makeover the courtyard. In just over 3 weeks Mr Richmond had built a sensory landscape, with raised beds for herbs, fruit trees, grasses and a living wall. Wildlife was encouraged with the introduction of insect friendly, flowering and strong scented plants, birdboxes and feeders on walls. The well established pond with flowering plants and fish was made secure so children could enjoy a water feature. And trailing plants were grown up and over the space create dappled light and shade for reading.

The successful project now offers students a safe, rich outdoor learning and sensory environment, extending classroom space, and allows them a new place to relax, play, socialise, be active, was well as nurture and engage with nature.

Cream teas for Greenoak HA residents

Greenoak Housing Association recognises that the past year and a half has been a difficult time due to coronavirus. Especially for many of it’s sheltered residents who have had to stay indoors for the majority of the period, and have been unable to socialise with each other or loved ones.
Following the recent easing of restrictions during the summer, the Association wanted to send a gesture to its 130 Woking based sheltered residents to lift their spirits and remind them that Greenoak were thinking of them and were committed to supporting them in the uncertain times ahead.
Staff from Greenoak visited its sheltered schemes and hand delivered cream tea hampers to each resident to enjoy in the comfort of their own home. These gifts were received with much appreciation, and staff were delighted to brighten their resident’s day with the surprise.

Though the staff endeavoured to deliver a hamper to every resident there were a few that were left over by the end of the week . These were not left to spoil and were donated to the homeless Charity York Road Project who were thrilled with the gift.
David Hall, Head of Housing said that ‘while Greenoak is aware of the challenges the coronavirus has presented to everyone in the country, it has been especially challenging for our older population, in particular those living in our schemes, who before covid has access to communal events and activities our schemes. We hope this small gift will be the restart of our communal actives from September.’