Royal Sun Alliance teams up with Amber charity for gardening day

JPCT 13-06-12 S12250084X Amber charity youths enjoy a gardening volunteer day with Royal Sun Alliance employees. Amber Foundation headquarters at Farm Place, Stane Street on the way to Ockley -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 13-06-12 S12250084X Amber charity youths enjoy a gardening volunteer day with Royal Sun Alliance employees. Amber Foundation headquarters at Farm Place, Stane Street on the way to Ockley -photo by Steve Cobb

Workers from one of Horsham’s largest employers spent a day volunteering with residents of the Amber Foundation last week.

Royal Sun Alliance staff arrived at charity’s residentail centre in Ockley where the charity provides a temporary home to young people aged 17 to 30 who are marginalised as a result of being homeless, having a history of substance misuse, having been involved in crime or in many cases are ex-offenders.

Some 17 RSA staff from Horsham and Liverpool came together for a full day to help with outdoor projects at Amber, where they tailor programmes to meet the needs of each young person to help them gain the motivation, confidence, self-esteem and skills to become employable and get a job or place at college and sustainable accommodation.

On Wednesday three key outdoor projects were undertaken, including the fixing of post and rail fencing, creating and erecting a trellised area around the outdoor pool and completely overhauling a sensory garden.

RSA kindly provided some of the materials for these projects and on the day purchased plants and lights to finish off the sensory garden.

As the sun shone, an outdoor picnic lunch was provided by RSA to make the most of the weather meaning that staff and young people could all sit and eat together.

Community fundraiser Rachel Bartlett said: “Building corporate partnerships like this is crucial to us and can help us in so many ways.

“Having this type of support alongside our young people is invaluable and it was a rewarding and pleasurable experience to see so much being achieved by RSA staff and our young Amber people together; it was real joint effort and we had a truly fabulous and productive day.

“As part of the development of our young people, it is important that they are able to engage across communities.

“The experience that such a volunteering day brings means they have opportunity to learn about different elements of business through talking to other people. This can often lead to new openings and help give positive hope for whatever line of work they may choose to go into in future.”

Portfolio manager at RSA Steve Sambell said: “The day was a real eye-opener on the difficulties that some young people experience, and how determined and positive they can be in trying to turn their lives around.

“Amber is doing an amazing job and it was a very rewarding experience to be able to make a positive impact on the organisation and the young people we met on the day.

“The charity really gives these young people hope, inspiration, support and the encouragement they deserve. I wish them the best of luck with their futures.”

For further information on The Amber Foundation please contact Rachel Bartlett on rachel.bartlett@amberweb.org or telephone 07879 415716.