Companies have teamed up with Minstead Trust to help people with learning disabilities live more independent and fulfilled lives.

Minstead Trust’s Business Club has welcomed its inaugural members as it seeks to build long-lasting relationships with businesses to help it to change lives.

Companies gain access to the Business Club by donating to the Trust, providing ‘gifts in kind’ or attending the charity’s innovative corporate volunteering days.

Member businesses benefit from opportunities to increase staff engagement and skills by working with Minstead Trust. Team building and volunteering days also bring health and wellbeing benefits to the workforce.

Businesses to have joined so far include:

  • Skanska UK, one of the UK’s top construction companies
  • Day Associates Ltd, a building surveyors and construction consultancy
  • Ramboll, engineering experts
  • Veolia, environmental solutions
  • Brewer’s, decorator’s merchant.

Minstead Trust supports more than 200 people with learning disabilities across Hampshire through supported living accommodation, day opportunities and employment training.

The coronavirus lockdown has been hugely challenging for the Trust, with its income vastly reduced as its social enterprises closed for several months. The Trust runs Furzey Gardens in Minstead, Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton and Minstead Lodge hospitality and events venue. These enterprises also offer work experience for people with learning disabilities to work towards employment.

This means the support given to the charity by its Business Club members is hugely important during these difficult times. Members are encouraged to develop long-lasting meaningful relationships with Minstead Trust, attending events, volunteering and encouraging staff members to fundraise.

Simon Benfield, Director at Ramboll UK, said: ‘Ramboll is committed to the sustainable development of society and the work that the Minstead Trust undertakes supporting people with learning disabilities so that they can contribute to and benefit from society is closely aligned.

‘Our relationship with the Trust has enabled many of our staff to participate in fund raising activities, to support the training activities being undertaken at the Trust, and to support our own team’s growth through activities such as the play park construction. These team building opportunities are particularly beneficial as they enable our staff to work together in an environment and on tasks quite far removed from the normal office setting.’

Dawn Wood, Minstead Trust Director of Development, said: ‘The Business Club allows us to highlight and promote the great ways in which our corporate partners have helped Minstead Trust.

‘We hope to grow the membership of the Club by working in partnership with other companies in Hampshire and across the UK, with the end goal of helping Minstead Trust to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities.’

To find out more about supporting people with learning disabilities through Minstead Trust’s Business Club email fundraising@minsteadtrust.org.uk

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