Oakleaf Enterprise has provided vocational training for people with mental health needs since 1995. In that year and following the Care in the Community Act 1990, an occupational therapy unit at the old local Victorian asylum, Brookwood Hospital, closed and relocated to Guildford. The charity was registered in 1997 and has been led by the same Chief Executive for the last 19 years.
Since then they have worked hard to benefit people in south west Surrey suffering mental ill-health. Oakleafs main focus is vocational training – they deliver training and work experience in upholstery, horticulture and IT, enabling clients to gain new skills, as a first step on their return to the workplace. Over the last three years, in response to client feedback, they have also delivered a programme of social inclusion activities (ranging from literacy and numeracy sessions, to guitar lessons, meal nights and a Greenhouse Growing Group). Alongside Oakleafs counselling services and job seeking support, these activities have all benefited hundreds of local people.
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