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From little acorns: bringing a contractor together with the Oak Tree Centre

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When the centre manager from the Oak Tree Centre asked Sandwell Council if they could get help in transforming their counselling room, our Social Value Team introduced them to the kind-hearted local team at Axis Europe.

The Oak Tree Centre is a community centre on Tame Road in Brandhall, Oldbury. It offers space and activities for local people, from playgroups to party room hire.

Cosmetic uplift for the Oak Tree Centre

Its Bedford Lounge is a peaceful and safe environment for confidential matters and counselling sessions. The lounge is well loved but, until recently, it was in need of a cosmetic uplift.

Lydia Lamb is the centre manager at the Oak Tree Centre. When Lydia asked Sandwell Council’s Social Value Team about help with transforming the Bedford Lounge, Karen Richards, our Community Benefits Coordinator, was up for the challenge.

‘Even more harmonious’

Karen contacted a council contractor based in Oldbury to see whether they could help with this small task. Axis Europe took it on. The team fully decorated and wallpapered the room, donating a clock and furniture to make it feel even more harmonious.

Lydia said: “We are so thankful for the support from Axis to taking on the Bedford Lounge project, making it far more comfortable and welcoming. We are also grateful to Karen and Beatrice [Axis Europe’s Resident Liaison Officer] in making this happen”.

Bedford Lounge: a clean, light room with light brown leather sofa and modern coffee table with a box of tissues on it

Jodie Shepherd is Axis Europe’s Customer Service Manager. She said: “It is Axis Europe’s pleasure to have supported creating a more relaxed and harmonious environment for the community room used to help and support local families from a wellbeing perspective”.

Passionate about social value

Sandwell Council is passionate about social value. This is the idea that investments we make should bring wider social and environmental benefits to our local communities.

Grey bucket chair at a clean wooden, modern, steel-framed desk: an 'after' picture of the counselling room at the Oak Tree Centre

Social value can take the form of fundraising activities. It can also be the donation of skills, knowledge, labour or time ‘in kind’ for social good. This corporate giving can help a business to foster team spirit, develop skills, grow customer loyalty and even win contracts. Many suppliers are keen to get involved, so our Social Value Team works hard to help them find social value opportunities.

[Pictured at the top: Lydia and Beatrice in the Oak Tree Centre.]

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