A recent survey* suggests that people with learning disabilities may die younger than the general population due in part to social isolation and bullying. We aim to be part of changing that.
The Hextol Foundation is a well-established Charity based in Hexham which provides working opportunities to people with learning disabilities and mental health needs. We do this by operating a suite of businesses, including: the Hextol Tans vegetarian café; a pack and post operation; catering; warehousing; gardening in Hexham and Newcastle; a handyman service; and internal admin and cleaning functions.
We believe that by working in a supported and encouraging environment people develop new skills, grow in self-confidence and self-esteem, experience a reduction in social isolation and improve their mental and physical health. Where appropriate this may enable people to obtain paid employment.
By enabling people to work openly we also aim to alter the negative perceptions of some parts of the population and thereby reduce stigma and bullying.
Hextol has developed its extensive range of service areas to ensure it can reach as wide a group of potential beneficiaries as possible. At any given time we work with around 60-70 individuals across our various services.
We operate as a social enterprise in that we charge a commercial rate for the services we provide, but we rely on fundraising to ensure we can maintain the infrastructure of the Charity.
The Foundation is seeking to recruit 2-3 Trustees to join the existing Board and to oversee the next stage of its development, which is likely to include geographic expansion, building on the existing service provision in Newcastle. Board meetings are normally held in Hexham on a quarterly basis. Our work is as important now as it has ever been.
Applications would be especially welcome from those with experience of: mental health issues; catering; finance and property. Prior experience as a Trustee is not essential. Although based in Hexham, given our ambition to expand our geographical impact, applications are encouraged from throughout the area. The positions are voluntary, but travelling expenses would be reimbursed.
For further details please contact our CEO, Bruce Howorth, on 01434 605253, or [email protected].
*A Fair, Supportive Society: Sir Michael Marmot, The Institute of Health Equity, November 2018 http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/resources-reports/a-fair-supportive-society-summary-report/a-fair-supportive-society-summary-report.pdf