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Donation supports flagship employment programme

Stephensons exhibits at Naidex

Stephensons, the national law firm, has donated £1,600 to a Greater Manchester based charity which provides support to homeless and marginalised people.

Janine Turner, head of HR and an associate at the firm, joined Soraya Sheikh-Ambrose, staff and volunteers from Mustard Tree in Manchester, to learn more about the charity and witness its work first-hand. The donation was made as part of the Stephensons’ commitment to supporting communities across the UK.

For over 20 years, Mustard Tree has helped support communities challenged by poverty, disadvantage or unemployment. The charity, which operates from three sites across Greater Manchester, provides a number of initiatives to provide much needed life support, promoting mental and physical well-being and providing avenues into training and employment.

The charity’s flagship ‘Freedom Project’ allows participants to gain work skills and experience within six key areas: warehousing and deliveries, catering, customer services, facilities management, waste recycling and office admin. All training is provided on-site in a real business environment.

Stephensons’ donation will directly contribute to the Freedom Project, covering the cost of a full 20-week programme for a Mustard Tree client.

As well as learning more about the charity’s work, Janine met with Mustard Tree client, Keith, who has directly benefited from the Freedom Project.

“I spent most of my life angry. I grew up surrounded by violence and that was a way of life for me”, Keith said.

“After leaving prison in 2014, I didn’t want to return to my old lifestyle. I started volunteering and got referred to the Mustard Tree and the Freedom Project. To begin with, I thought I wouldn’t complete the full 20 weeks, however Freedom has taken me to where I am now.

“I’m happy now. When I come here, I smile.”

Soraya said: “We would like to extend our thanks to Stephensons for their generous donation which will allow an individual to participate and graduate from our life transforming Freedom Project.

“Through gaining work experience within the charity and accessing a range of practical and therapeutic services, participants are able to make positive progressions in life.

“We value every offer of support and every donation, being acutely aware that we couldn't continue to make a difference in the lives of those who come to us for help without the partnership of like-minded people.”