Since 2008 we’ve been working with The Outward Bound Trust on a national scale, making a local impact in our business regions – Bedfordshire, Hampshire, East Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and London – through our colleague ambassador programme.
The programme sees our colleagues from Aunt Bessie’s, Jacksons, MyFresh, Abel & Cole and The Food Doctor volunteering their time to mentor students from schools local to our businesses; aiming to give the young people the opportunity to raise their self-esteem, self-confidence and aspirations through things like gorge walking, canoeing, orienteering and overnight expeditions.
Tim Redman from our bakery, Jacksons, volunteered as an ambassador in Ullswater last month and said: “The definite highlight was spending time with the students, supporting them in their activities – they must surely hold the record for the number of questions asked in a week – they’re such great characters! I remember attending an Outward Bound course as a student myself, back in 1988, and it’s brilliant to see that it’s still a fantastic organisation making a worthwhile impact. I feel proud that William Jackson Food Group are long-term supporters of such a brilliant initiative.”
More than 25 of our colleagues have been ambassadors so far, giving their time to work alongside The Outward Bound instructors to support activities, encourage students to participate and help to enhance learning through their own experiences.
Stuart Gray from Abel & Cole took part in the programme in Aberdovey recently and said: “I’m buzzing – what an incredible experience! I got just as much out of it as the kids, if not more. The students were just brilliant and it was hugely rewarding to be part of something helping to enhance their aspirations and confidence.”