Lex Autolease volunteers get down to business!

On 7th September, a team of volunteers from Lex Autolease visited Seashell Trust's campus in Cheadle Hulme. The team of volunteers toured the site, meeting some of the staff (not least Chance, the hearing dog!) and students, and helped look after our gardens. The start of the new school year always means a lot of hustle and bustle onsite and their help means that more children and young people can keep playing in the gardens for longer!

The photo above is the 'before' picture taken at the start of the day. Read through to see what Andy, one of the volunteers, had to say about the day - and the very early start!

7th September 2017, 4am

I must confess that my thoughts on waking were mostly confined to "what am I doing this for and why am I travelling 200 miles by train in order to do it?", but as I made my way to Euston to collect my HRG generated tickets for the first of 3 outward train journeys to Seashell Trust in Handforth I recalled that just the previous day I was enjoying the surroundings of Lingfield Racecourse, in exchange for the not exactly heavy task of hosting a customer gathering.


I know that I'm London born, bred and domiciled but having been educated at Liverpool University and a resident, for a bit, of Bury and Manchester, I was surprised to find that at my first stop, Macclesfield, Dvorak's New World Symphony was playing in my head: I had in part reverted to a Chelsea fan going to away games "up norf"

So what is the Seashell Trust? Is it a school? Is it a caring centre? Is it an activity centre? Is it a home? A safe place? A job placement function? A charity? Is it unique? Well thanks to the sterling work of volunteers and employees at the Trust, and thanks to the incredible communication skills of our hosts Wendy Bray and Rachel McCrystal not forgetting Chance the hearing dog up there, I can confidently say that it really is all the above and more. Seashell Trust cares educates and supports students with a range of serious disabilities including deafness, blindness and autism, combined with physical disabilities and profound learning difficulties - many have brain damage. What really hit me, and will hopefully keep me humble for many decades to come, is the way the Trust individually supports and issues mission statements and progress reports for the students: Rachel's account of how a disadvantaged student achieved their dream of a job with Manchester City Football Club had us all transfixed and not a little tearful.

So our team had no problem with motivation on the day and if I say so myself did a pretty decent gardening job within the grounds of the Trust.

And the finished product! Thank you to Andy and the team from Lex Autolease for all their support and for sharing their story.

If you're feeling inspired to get involved, Wendy Bray would love to hear from you! She's helped groups of all sizes and skillsets find the right activity for them - and she's always keen to show everyone round if they just want a tour! Call her on 0161 610 0168.