Back in August 2017, Fareham-based company Nationwide Hire asked its staff to find a charitable cause they would like to support for the year ahead. The majority felt they wanted a charity that addressed mental health issues in young people.
Having looked at a number of local charities focussing on mental health, the decision was made to support The Moving On Project. Set up in 1995, the project provides support solely for young people and is also located very close to Nationwide Hire’s offices in West Street. The charity offers free, confidential counselling for young people from 11 to 25 years old in the Fareham and Gosport areas faced with issues that affect their education and progression into adult life.
Lee Fisher is HR and Training Manager at Nationwide Hire and explains; “Lynne Martin from The Moving On Project came into one of our morning meetings and told us all about the work the charity does and we felt that we could very quickly give them some direct help. We were touched by what Lynne told us and the complexity of the challenges that many young people face including anxiety, stress or depression and cyber-bullying. We decided that we could help by raising funds to support young people locally through the work of the project and the counselling process.
So far, we’ve raised almost £3,000 through a salary sacrifice scheme, where staff can donate any monthly amount between £3 and £10, by hosting themed parties and with office cake sales. We’re confident that we’re well on our way to reaching our ambitious target to raise £10,000 by the end of the twelve-month period.
Lynne Martin, Project Manager at The Moving On Project comments; “We really appreciate the support. It’s a boost to us financially but also a big morale boost, having our work recognised and valued by such a dynamic local company with a very caring heart. The funds Nationwide Hire has raised have been of huge benefit. We have been able to provide new equipment and specialist training for our counsellors to help them counsel the most vulnerable young people.”
As well as raising just short of £3,000 in a few months, Nationwide Hire has also made spare office space available free of charge, providing much needed extra space for the charity to provide counselling sessions. Funds are now being raised to buy materials used as part of the counselling process.
Inspired by The Moving On Project, Nationwide Hire has set up a small-scale youth initiative in house called ‘Free Yourself’. A member of staff was concerned about their own teenage child who had been suffering from online bullying, had become withdrawn and seemed disconnected from the family. Staff wanted to try and help this teenager and other youngsters aged between 16 and 18 years old to get out of their bedroom, take a break from social media and experience face to face communication in a positive working environment. Nationwide Hire has now offered two young people experience in a number of roles over the past few months and each individual has reaped benefits, becoming more articulate and confident.
Lee Fisher adds; “Given that there are limited opportunities for teenagers to have any work experience, we want to be able to give people a chance see what work is really like and gain confidence. The staff here have seen first hand what a big difference this experience has made. If you’re 16-18 years old and you feel this might be for you, please get in touch.”