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Mayor of Solihull opens local kitchen as part of DHL UK Foundation programme

Posted on 20 July 2016

Groundwork was delighted to attend the official opening of a brand new kitchen at Morris House, Castle Bromwich  on Tuesday (19 July) by The Mayor of Solihull, Mike Robinson, following a £10,000 grant from the DHL UK Foundation.

The DHL UK Foundation - Transform It! programme, in partnership with environmental charity, Groundwork, allows DHL employees to apply for grants for local projects that help young people in their community.

Morris House is part of the Stoneham Home Group and provides social housing and support for young people aged 16-25 across Solihull. As their funding is limited, they did not have the resources to refurbish the communal kitchen, despite the area being in desperate need of renovation.

DHL employee, Jo Sprason was successfully awarded the £10,000 grant for Morris House and alongside colleagues Kevin Ingram and Ken Wheeler and numerous DHL volunteers and young people at Morris House helped to transform the kitchen.

As well as providing the young people with a modern, functional cooking and living space, it will allow them to learn further life skills such as cooking and washing as well as creating a space for social interaction – something that the young people will benefit from.

Andrew is one of the young people who was involved with the project. Being a chef, he knows what the space means to the young people at Morris House.

“I think they’ve done a great job with the kitchen - it will go a really long way to help the young people who live here. It means they can go and cook and learn new skills and not just go out and buy food.

“It’s great that people are helping the young people in the community – not just seeing them as people living in a hostel.” 

The Mayor of Solihull, Mike Robinson said: 

“You can never tell in life what’s round the corner. When there's young people who could be homeless and on the street we think of our own children or grandchildren because as much as we say it wouldn't and couldn't - it can happen. 

“We need to stretch our minds and help people in the community and have social inclusion across the board.  If people give their time to help young people to develop they will go out confident in the world and will give something substantial to their society.

“It’s clear that it was a real team effort. It’s not corporate responsibility – its social acceptance that we are all part of a community.”

Ken Wheeler of DHL said:

“The DHL colleagues have really enjoyed the experience. There’s been a sense of immense pride because they’ve been involved in a project they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do.

“It’s been fantastic for the young people who live here. They’ve now got their own home and a space to cook and do their washing and a place to feel at home.

“I’ve noticed changes in the young people during my time here. We are now going to see how we can help Stonham going forward - it’s been a fantastic voyage.” 

For more information about the DHL UK Foundation - Transform It! programme please click here.