Hitting the Peaks for Johnny's Happy Place | Instructus

Hitting the Peaks for Johnny’s Happy Place

On 27th September, 13 members of the Instructus team travelled north to take part in a hike up Kinder Scout, the highest peak in the Peak District.

It was a challenge that took the team to over 2,000 ft above sea level, and one that we undertook to support Johnny’s Happy Place, a not for profit, community interest company based in Kettering.

After an early start (a 6:00 AM meet at the Instructus office in Kettering) we clambered on to a minibus and snoozed our way through the 115-mile journey.

Once we arrived in Edale, we headed off to start our hike at 9:30am making our way to the toughest part – Grindsbrook Clough, where we had to scramble using our hands and feet to make our way up the steep gradient.

We eventually made it to the top of Grindsbrook Clough where there were breath-taking views surrounding us which made the hard work worth it. Unfortunately, the views didn’t last long as the weather took a turn for the worst and it began thundering and hailing. Although this wasn’t great, completing Grindsbrook Clough was enough to keep us going.

The team were given the option to either take the short path or carry on with the longer path that had been planned as the weather conditions only seemed to be getting worse. Yet we remembered what we were doing it for, and everyone stuck together and decided to carry on with the plan.

After a few hours of wading through muddy fords and clambering over rocks, we arrived at the beautiful Kinder Downfall and made our way down to Jacobs Ladder.

Before too long we were back on the bus, cold, soaked to the bone but proud of what we had managed to accomplish.

For a while we have been considering different ways that we can combine development days with charitable projects. After a few discussions, it was agreed that a sponsored hike would be a great way to challenge ourselves.

We chose to work with Johnny’s Happy Place due to the great work that they do within our local community. They aim to provide support to anyone within the community, with a particular focus on well-being. Amongst their services they offer £1 meals, free tea and coffee, pay what you can hairdresser, counselling and more.

Visit Johnny’s Happy Place here →

The team worked well together and completed the hike in five and a half hours, and thanks to our generous sponsors we smashed our fundraising target of £400. We’re thrilled with the outcome of the hike and so thankful to those who have donated to such a great cause. The rewards of the day definitely outweighed the tough parts and we are already thinking about what we can do next.

Update: 13/01/2020

Fundraising for Johnny's Happy Place in Kettering | Instructus

This weekend, Fran, Hena and Scarlett visited the Keystone Centre in Kettering to deliver the sponsorship to Johnny’s Happy Place. In total the team raised £475.74 for the charity – an amazing sum that made the wind and rain completely worthwhile.

We’d like to wish a huge thank you to everyone who sponsored and supported our expedition.

If you have any suggestions for how we can help your project or organisation we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us and say hello today!

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Getting Involved at Thorndale Care Home | Instructus

Instructus Gets Involved at the Thorndale Care Home

Following on from our recent training and development day activity, last month Instructus undertook a follow-up activity at Kettering’s Thorndale Care Home.

On Tuesday 24th July (and at the height of the heatwave), nine members of the Instructus team ventured to the Shaw Healthcare site in Kettering to sand and re-varnish garden furniture for the residents to use and enjoy over the remaining summer months.

The home, which provides 24-hour support, cares for up to 60 older people. Residents include the physically frail and those living with a diagnosis of dementia.

“As requested by the service, the volunteers from Instructus varnished and cleaned up our garden furniture which has had a big impact on the appearance of our home. We are very much delighted in your hard work and we are all very appreciative in the work that was carried out”, said Sharmaine Hall, Deputy Manager at Thorndale Care Home.

“All the staff in attendance were professional, polite and had good customer service skills. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your hard work and delicacy.”

Our latest local community project | Instructus

We are always looking for ways to contribute to our local community. If you have a project or activity that you would like us to volunteer for, please get in touch with us at info@instructus.org.

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Instructus marks one year in Kettering | Instructus

Instructus Celebrates First Anniversary in Kettering

Today marks one year since the official opening of the Instructus head office in Kettering, Northamptonshire. Given the significance of the milestone we’ve taken some time out to reflect on what we’ve achieved so far – and to take a look towards what the future holds…

Moving a business from one part of the country to another is never a straightforward process, but when it became a necessity to change premises CEO Andrew Hammond and the Board of Trustees could see the benefit of looking beyond the M25.

“We knew we wanted more space both for our core work, but also for our subsidiaries to utilise,” Andrew explains when talking about the factors leading to the move.

“Once the decision to relocate was made we evaluated a number of options taking into account such factors as cost, growth, access to population, access to transport, employee availability and access to those staff remaining in the business. As a result, we chose Kettering.”

The move presented an opportunity to review and revise the skillsets in the business, and in the months before the move the management team worked hard to identify and recruit a specific blend of roles and personalities. When the new team came together for the first of two induction days on 13th June 2017, it was the first sign of how well this process had gone.

Digital Marketing Executive Joe Burden remembers the induction well. “Having worked for several different organisations before, the approach that Andrew, Damian and the rest of the management team took towards building a shared culture and environment was a real eye opener.”

“What’s made the biggest difference is how hard they’ve worked to keep their promises and keep the positive environment that we’ve built. Everyone feels a shared ownership of what we do here, and that makes it a great place to work.”

For an organisation dedicated to creating and promoting opportunity, one of the biggest successes of the last 12 months has been the way that we’ve aimed to live our values.

“Instructus is an amazing place to work”, says Fiona Nichol, now Finance Assistant. “When I started I was a Business Support Administrator and within six months of working here I was promoted to Finance Assistant, being first point of contact for staff and customers with regards to invoices and other finance issues.”

“I have been in this role for just over six months now and I love it.”

Francesca Cardew has had a similar experience. “My role has developed massively since I’ve started, more than I thought it would!”

“When I joined my role was a Business Support Administrator, and now I’m the Business Admin Team Leader. Before my main responsibility was processing certificate claims and being first responder for training providers, however now I’ve developed there’s a few (by which I mean a lot) more reports to do – not to mention keeping the Operations team on track.”

“I do feel I’m able to make a difference in my role. As a team we help learners to achieve their goals, while personally I get to plan charity events for the whole company and get us to help in the community.”

While a big part of our time this year has been spent developing the internal culture, we’ve also worked hard to make sure that people outside the charity understand who we are and what we do. The tail end of last year saw the launch of new sites for our subsidiary companies the Springboard Consultancy and Instructus Skills, while the new Instructus site you’re presently on went online in March.

Rebuilding these platforms has been key for us as we start fulfilling our charitable aims, but that’s only part of the process. The real accomplishment has been the support that we’ve been able to give to Streetwise, Karma Nirvana and Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse, three charitable support projects that have already started to yield exciting results.

Instructus Head Office - Kettering, Northants | Instructus

And this is still just the very start. Behind the scenes we’ve been putting some serious thought into how we can best help to create more opportunities for those who have been underserved and left behind, with one major project about to enter its next phase. The way we intend to deliver on our commitment to our charitable aims is through the hard work and dedication of our team, a message embodied by Andrew’s definition of our success over the last 12 months.

“There’s so much to be proud of, but ultimately it’s our people. We’ve collectively created a great culture and working environment and have built a fantastic team who are performing exceptionally well.”

“The last year has felt like a new beginning for the organisation, and I firmly believe we have built a strong cornerstone for our collective growth for the future, both organisationally and individually.”

Our first year in Kettering has been a success. Here’s to many more like it!

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