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Autumn/Winter 2016

cutive Chief Exe e by d o o says g

ProHelp spend a day in the garden

Flying Fish success See page 7 Interview Techniqu


Readers, who know Leicestershire Cares, will recognise that only the first two remain and form part of the sixteen projects run by Leicestershire Cares.

Monica Stark

Chief Executive says goodbye… This Christmas will be my last at Leicestershire Cares as I retire after thirteen years in the post of Director/Chief Executive.

When I started on 7th January 2004, we were part of a network of 37 Cares partnerships across the country, an initiative of Business in Community, brought to Leicester by Nicholas Corah DL OBE. We had been given an office and use of facilities by the Leicester Mercury. At that time there were two part time staff members, one for Education, one for team challenges and ten members. Our offer was: • Team Challenges • Collect for Christmas • Partners in Leadership –PIL (A mentoring project of senior business leaders, who partnered Head Teachers • PILCOM (similar, but for CEs of Not for Profit organisations) • E-pals: a mentoring service for school pupils via e-mail

Everything that has been developed since we went independent of Business in the Community in July 2004 has been based on identifying and understanding the needs of the local community. So in my first year, much time was spent talking to everyone in the criminal justice field to try to understand what we, as an employers’ organisation, could do to support ex-offenders into work to give them a second chance in life and to change the mind-set of employers. The project was developed, launched at Glen Parva YOI in September and our first client went on placement at Walkers Snackfoods in March. We now have over fifty companies willing to take people on placement and over two thousand clients have been referred to the project. In 2006 I went through the same process to develop a project to support careleavers onto the next steps in life and the Flying Fish project was born. Now with three staff members dedicated to this project, it goes from strength to strength. Also in 2006, we came under pressure from Leicester City Council to introduce a project for the homeless. How sad, that they are now having to make cuts that will probably include our grant. I shudder to think how those people who have been supported through our intense support will fare without us. In the last financial year, 65 Team Challenges were completed, £20,000 worth of gifts and donations were raised for Age UK through Collect for Christmas and 6,444 pupils benefitted from a mock interview

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with a business volunteer. I know therefore, that I can leave the charity safe in the knowledge that incredible things are being achieved daily through the immense hard work of a superb staff team who give their all and enable the wonderful 1000 + volunteers who give their time so generously to address such significant needs in our communities. I have loved every minute of my time at Leicestershire Cares and feel immensely proud of all that has been achieved over the years. I believe that the best is yet to come when the new CE takes the organisation forward to the next level. I have merely laid some strong foundations on which to build. I will stay in touch through my new volunteer role as WIRE project coordinator for Rutland and wish everyone involved with this wonderful charity, the very best of luck! I can be contacted at

The winners are... Huge congratulations to all our winners and finalists at this year’s Annual Celebration event held at City Hall, Leicester. Leicestershire Cares Company of the Year and winner of the Nicholas Corah Memorial Cup is Alltruck PLC. The company have done a tremendous amount in the past year including providing 13 work placements in Leicester, Loughborough and Nottingham. They have also been involved in Team Challenges, mock interviews for school pupils and raised money for Collect for Christmas. The finalists were Ford & Slater and Sytner.

“This award will show everyone at Alltruck how their hard work helps the community. We will see even more colleagues wanting to volunteer” Andre Leal, Continuous Improvement Manager, Alltruck plc Volunteer of the Year is Carla Loughrey, from Hinckley & Rugby Building Society. Carla has been an outstanding Number Partner for three years and is adored by the children she supports. All activities undertaken by Hinckley & Rugby are due to Carla’s drive & passion as she cares deeply about the impact that projects have on her local community. The finalists were Bryan Carter from Colton Packaging and Jodie Hancock from Kettleby Foods. Team of the Year is Cambridge & Counties Bank for its transformation of the garden at Barleycroft Primary School in Beaumont Leys. More than 20 bank staff members descended on the garden for a day. The finalists were Access Group and Hinckley & Rugby Building Society. Placement Provider of the Year was won by Bowmer & Kirkland who have given seven exoffenders training and work Award winners from this year’s Annual Celebration event

experience at its Crescent development in Hinckley. All seven of which went into paid employment. The finalists were Cooke e-Learning and Saffron Hill Cemetery. The ProHelp Firm of the Year award, for companies who support community groups with pro-bono help was won by Slyvester Cheung Architects. Sylvester, who has been a ProHelp member for 10 years, goes above and beyond in everything that is asked of him. The finalists were Pick Everard and rg+p. The Kelvin Irons Memorial Award for Outstanding Partnership went to Leonard Cheshire Disability. They have been fantastic partners for over 10 years, in which time hundreds of volunteers have had the opportunity to do team challenges at their care homes in Sileby and Anstey and volunteers are always made to feel really welcome. The finalists were Y Support and Beaumont Leys School. The President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Leicestershire Cares was presented to Katharine Lightbown who recently left the charity after 12 years. Katharine built the Community Development and ProHelp functions from small beginnings and her hard work, dynamism and outstanding commitment to Leicestershire Cares makes her a really worthy recipient of this highest award.

“Congratulations to the finalists and winners who have all proved to be fantastic supporters of the work of Leicestershire Cares. Thousands of individuals and community groups are helped each year through your outstanding contributions to the community” Monica Stark, Director, Leicestershire Cares

Champions Award Congratulations to Ashley Robson from Walker & Son who has been awarded our Champions Award for outstanding achievement and dedication to engaging employees in Leicestershire Cares’ projects. Ashley has been working tirelessly over the last few months and has engaged colleagues from Walker and Son in Team Challenges, Number Partners, Go for Reading and Interview Technique.

“I’m very pleased and a little overwhelmed to be given this award. I really enjoy what we do with Cares. It brings our people together. But the real winners from what Leicestershire Cares does are the people it supports” Ashley Robson

Welcoming new members We are delighted to welcome two new companies that have recently joined Leicestershire Cares.

“Spearing Waite are delighted to have joined forces with Leicestershire Cares and hope that we are able to make a valued contribution in assisting with the great work that they do. This will not only benefit the youngsters that need help and assistance but it will also give our staff a great sense of achievement” Michelle Newman, Spearing Waite “Joules is absolutely delighted to be working with Leicestershire Cares. Our business was born here and this is where our Head Office remains. We are thrilled to be working with Leicestershire Cares moving forward and to helping support our local communities continue to grow and prosper” Kate Heslegrave, Charitably Joules Manager, Joules Ltd 3

“It was a great experience. The school was amazing and it was a joy to meet with the pupils” The 2015-2016 academic year has been fabulous for our Interview Technique project with a phenomenal 447 volunteers providing 6,444 students with a one-to-one mock interview and feedback at 41 events in 37 schools and colleges. We were thrilled to have been shortlisted as a finalist for the East Midlands Chamber, Skills and Employability Award 2016, for our work in this area. Employee volunteers have helped students on their journey to employment, further education or apprenticeships. It is has been wonderful to work with such inspiring volunteers who have ensured that every young person involved, regardless of their abilities or barriers, has had the opportunity to develop their employability skills.

99% of volunteers rated the project as either excellent or good and 97% of volunteers felt they had gained valuable professional skills from their involvement with Interview Technique.

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“Interview Technique is a great experience for our staff to gain a huge sense of satisfaction and develop their own skills and confidence in interviewing. In particular for less experienced managers, it challenges how to encourage candidates to open up more and give as much detail as possible when answering questions. This skill transfers back into the workplace and improves the levels of engagement within our workforce” Alltruck Volunteer “It was a great experience. The school

was amazing and it was a joy to meet with the pupil” Office Depot Volunteer

“Thoroughly enjoyable morning made by the welcome we received from the school and the participation of the children!” Cambridge & Counties Volunteer Despite being nervous, the students have found the mock interviews extremely beneficial and the schools have been delighted with the outcomes for students;

“I found this interview very rewarding as it gave me an overview of what a real interview would be like, increasing my confidence for the future” Charnwood College Student “The students absolutely loved the experience and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Those who went in nervous came out really pleased and happy, and the employers’ professionalism and expertise was fantastic!” Countesthorpe College Teacher


If you would like to find out more, or get involved, please email georgina@ or telephone 0116 275 6490

Welcoming Raheema Caratella Raheema Caratella has joined the Community Development Team as a Co-ordinator supporting Team Challenges, Festive Challenges and Collect for Christmas. Raheema has several years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector particularly in Youth Development.

“I am really enjoying my work with the Community Development Team, it has been amazing to go on site and see Team Challenges happening first hand. I am impressed with the instant impact for the Community Group and beneficiaries” Raheema

Transforming your local community through Team Challenges From developing community gardens to brightening up playgrounds and clearing the City’s waterways, more teams than ever have been making a positive impact across the City and County through participating in Team Challenges.

“The volunteers have made a huge impact in areas of the garden where work would otherwise have taken weeks to complete. We have a highly committed team of clients here whose morale will be greatly raised when they come and see the result of today’s work” John Beckett, A Place to Grow supported by Sytner Group “The team were one of the most hard-working teams we

have had at Fosse Meadows to date. The challenge that they completed will be appreciated by many of the park users and I would like to give them a very big THANKS for all of their hard work” James Ponyton, Fosse Meadows supported by Blueberry Foods Walker & Son at Outwoods

Terex Pegson Ltd at Sence Valley Forest Park

“We are really grateful for all their hard work. Our residents and their families appreciate the new look and are enjoying making good use of it. We would like to thank Stepnell and all the staff who took part, for their efforts in helping to make a difference to the lives of our residents. It would not have been possible to undertake the project without their support” Susan Hough, Activities Co-ordinator, New Wycliffe Home for the Blind

“The team were extremely motivated and upbeat throughout the challenge. They managed to remove over 20 bags of rubbish from the river which has helped us with our commitment to maintaining the state of the River Soar” Ed Sibson, Leicester Outdoor Pursuit Centre supported by MNBS “The volunteers were brilliant, really friendly and willing to get stuck in. They have revitalised our provision for all of our children. They have created exciting learning areas with focused literacy and numeracy decals that enhance the children’s education both in the short and long term. This work would otherwise not have been completed for 2 years, which would have deprived the children of these wonderful learning aids” Trudie Colotto, Croft Church of England Primary School supported by ASA “The team worked really well together, were friendly and

understood the needs of the playground.. We don’t have enough staff hours outside of face to face work to complete tasks like these. Thank you very much” Pat Roberts, New Parks Adventure Playground, supported by Office Depot

Gately Plc at Whetstone Community Harvest

Cambridge & Counties Bank at LCiL


Welcome back to Karla James Karla has recently returned from maternity leave and has joined the Flying Fish team as Project Support Officer.

“It’s great to be back in a working environment and being productive again! I’m enjoying working with young people still, but in a different way, through the Flying Fish project” Karla

ProHelp volunteers get busy in the garden Ten members of ProHelp spent a day in the garden at A Place to Grow in Enderby making planting troughs, which are an ideal height for wheelchair users to use to grow flowers, herbs and vegetables. The volunteers constructed three troughs before they were painted and filled with soil and compost ready for planting. A Place to Grow, supports wellbeing for people with health-related problems. Crops grown include beans, potatoes, onions, garlic, beetroot, sweetcorn and soft fruits.

“This kind of job would have been difficult for us as well as time consuming. We are very grateful for this valuable contribution to our garden which is aimed at those experiencing mental health difficulties, of which a few are also wheelchair users. These folk will now have their own mini gardens thanks to the ProHelp team and Leicestershire Cares” John Beckett, Site Co-ordinator

Welcoming James Godfrey We are delighted to welcome James Godfrey who joins Leicestershire Cares as Community Safety Co-ordinator working on the WIRE Project. James has previously worked for Leicester City Council and Nottingham Probation Service and has lots of experience of working with ex-offenders in the probation service environment.

“It is great to be a member of a dedicated team and to be involved with something that has such a massive impact in the community” James

Our Homelessness project recently supported Alan (54) who had been suffering with depression and anxiety for four years. Alan had a good work history, but found it almost impossible to contemplate employment due to his symptoms. He was referred to the project in an attempt to get him to re-enter the work place. Time was spent with Alan to identify his interests and abilities. To help increase his confidence and self-esteem around other people, Alan was enrolled on a short IT course. He found this hugely beneficial and shortly after, felt ready to undertake a two week unpaid work placement at Pochins. Alan completed his two week placement and enjoyed it so much, that he now wants to try something else. We are continuing to support Alan on his journey back into employment, something that he hasn’t felt like he was capable of doing for the last four years.

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“I would like to say thank you for everything that you have helped me with…it’s awesome” The WIRE Project has had a phenomenal year supporting almost 70 ex-offenders through work mentored work placements. Declan was referred to Leicestershire Cares in April 2016 by the Education, Training and Employment team, a Community Rehabilitation Company. After successfully completing a two week unpaid work placement with Leicester City Council in their Green Areas Department, Declan was offered a place on the labourers CSCS training course (funded by Leicestershire Cares through the David Wilson Bursary fund) to enable him to gain his card

and pursue his chosen career in construction. Declan was subsequently offered a two week unpaid work placement with Stepnell Construction and as a result of his excellent time keeping, attendance and attention to detail, he was offered full time paid employment.

“I would like to say thank you for everything that you have helped me with. I have been working with Stepnell since I finished my work placement, but through an agency, and they have now offered me a full time job. Thanks again, it’s awesome” Declan

Declan on placement at Stepnell

at Quadron Services, where he demonstrated good timekeeping, hard work and excellent attendance. This resulted in Scott being offered full time paid employment which he is currently enjoying. Scott on placement at Quadron Services

Scott was also referred to Leicestershire Cares in April 2016, by the engAge Team and also wanted to pursue a career in construction. He went on a two week unpaid work placement

“He is fantastic, I knew he would fit in when we first met him” Flying Fish is celebrating its tenth year this year. During that time it has supported over 600 young people currently in care or leaving care. The demand for support through the programme is greater than ever with referrals increasing by 30% over the last two consecutive years.

All Flying Fish, Homelessness and WIRE project clients receive a bespoke 1-2-1 service which carefully identifies their interests and abilities to provide them with the best work experience opportunities. Clients are also provided with additional support to gain further employment, education or training.

Waad is one of the many young people that the project has supported this year. As soon as Waad started working with the Flying Fish team, he showed promise. At his first work placement with Shoe Zone in Loughborough, he was highly praised on his hard work by colleagues and customers alike. At his second placement at Subway, also in Loughborough, he achieved even greater success. After just a few days, his commitment was noticeable and he was offered a job as a Sandwich Artist and two weeks later, he was promoted to Assistant Manager. Congratulations to Waad.

“He is fantastic, I knew he would fit in when we first met him. We are delighted to welcome him to the team at Subway” Beck, Subway Branch Manager 7

Moira Cunningham, Grant Thornton for 8 years dedication to Number Partners and support of Leicestershire Cares Board.

Golden Heart Awards are presented to individuals who have excelled in their volunteering roles for Leicestershire Cares.

Sue Uttley for 5 years of dedication & commitment to Number Partners.

Inge Roberts for her enthusiasm & commitment as a Go for Reading volunteer for 5 years.

John Beckett, Blaby District Council for being a committed and outstanding Team Challenge host.

James Poynton, Blaby District Council

Nicole Watts, Loughborough University

for going above and beyond as a Team Challenge host.

for her dedication and commitment to Number Partners.

Leicestershire Cares is a charity providing volunteering opportunities for companies looking to get involved with communities in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Our projects include: • Supporting pupils with literacy, numeracy and employability skills • Providing support for communities through practical group projects • Supporting ex-offenders into work • Supporting homeless people by breaking the cycle of ‘no home, no job’ • Helping young people who have been in care on to the next step in life

The Leicestershire Cares staff team would like to extend a huge thank you to all the businesses and individuals who have volunteered their time and expertise in our

For further information please contact: Leicestershire Cares, 42 Tower Street, Leicester, LEI 6WT Tel: 0116 275 6490 · e-mail: www. @LeicsCares Registered Charity Number: 1103568 · Registered Office: Somerbys Chartered Accountants, 30 Nelson Street, Leicester LE1 7BA · Company Limited by Guarantee Number: 4914588

activities so far this year. Your support is really appreciated by us and the community and voluntary groups we work with, and we hope to see you on another project soon!

The Leicestershire Cares ‘Heartbeat’ newsletter is kindly sponsored by Walkers Deli and Walkers Sausage, part of Samworth Brothers Ltd

Heartbeat Autumn 2016  

Leicestershire Cares bi-yearly newsletter

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