Last month, volunteers from Provident Financial Group took part in a DIY SHS event at Erkenwald, Mayesbrook Park School. Working in collaboration with Participate Projects, volunteers transformed both the common room and gardens at the school.
Mayesbrook Park School is an alternative provision based in Barking and Dagenham, East London, with three campuses – Mayesbrook Park, Erkenwald and Seabrook. They provide full-time education and support for 11 to 16 year olds who have had difficulties with their learning and behaviour in mainstream school. The students who attend Erkenwald are often living with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, which make attending a mainstream school challenging. For many, Erkenwald is a space where they feel safe and have the vital support to thrive in their education, providing students with the necessary skills to move forward successfully into the next phase of their lives – be that reintegration into mainstream school, further education or employment.
Provident employees worked hard throughout the day to paint the communal area into a calming grey colour, adding plants and a mural as finishing touches. Alongside this, employees also built raised beds & benches to create a space for students to garden and an area to sit and enjoy the green space. Having this welcoming environment is essential to the students that attend Erkenwald, and will help them to feel relaxed while in these communal spaces.
Provident volunteers swapped a laptop for a drill and a paintbrush, and before long, the area looked welcoming for students. We were delighted with the result, as was our School-Home Support practitioner, Jaime McDonald, who commented:
“From myself and everyone at Erkenwald, we would like to say a massive thank you for all your hard work coming to paint our school and help improve our garden. It has transformed the environment beyond recognition, allowing the most vulnerable students a safe, warm and welcoming place to come. The work you have done is so important to us and is well appreciated.”
The difference Provident employees made to student’s lives within one day is huge, and we are so grateful for their support. Alongside benefiting the students, the volunteers also had a great day too.
“Our volunteers were amazing. Taking part in a challenge like this means that colleagues get an opportunity to do something practical and hear about the impact their efforts will make. Hearing about the young people that will benefit made them even more determined to put their hearts and souls into it and I think the results speak for themselves.” Sharon Orr – Social Impact Programme Manager – Provident Financial Group