“Scroll of Honour” -On this page we will share what our employees, customers and wider communities we support are doing during the Corona lockdown.

Oaklea and R2W - gallery of our community response

We will share some of the activities, people and stories linked to how we are taking on the challenge of Covid-19 here across the North


Monday 30 March -Chasing Rainbows: Oaklea Leisure Supremo, Karen Kidd sent us this fab image: “I’ve been out on support today and some of our members are sending each other homemade rainbows. Stephan Bateman made this one and gave it to me to take to New road this evening.”

This way up: This is Harvey from Appleby Grammar School and Rowan from Kirkby Stephen Grammar School - both Y9 in Eden Valley - they have been assisting with the food delivery offer from the Appleby Hub - Harvey on navigation - Rowan on the’window dressing’ (delivering to Eden District Council Chair, Cllr Andy Connell!)




Meanwhile Joe from Oaklea has been busy working on his baking skills - mmmmmm jammy so and so!
Meet Georgina - she’s not letting this lockdown stop her - she’s trying to break a Hula Hoop record - she’s on 80+ here! (a challenge was set by Oaklea supported Riversiders Club - which has gone virtual during Corona….) Way 2 go G!
Off the wall -Oaklea Customers Joe & David have created an ‘art gallery’ at their home at Brandon, County Durham



On Tuesday 31st Jim Green, head honcho at R2W Community Works dashed over the A66 to deliver PPE Equipment for our NE colleagues - you can see it starting to fill up HR Manager Helen Shaw’s car.

Employees from teams across Oaklea Trust have also been contacting customers to make sure they are ok when in isolation…here you can see Support Pauline Coulthard speaking to members of the various clubs our Leisure Team run. They are looking at setting up virtual clubs, activities etc online to help people through the lockdown. Many of the people we support are in remote areas so having a chat and catch up is a real boost.

“Get set - clap” -Some of our customers and teams in South Lakes - these are in Kendal - have been doing the regular ‘clap for NHS/Care & Key workers’ at 8pm on a Thursday.

“Shop til he drops” - Elsewhere our South Lakes R2W teams have been diverted from recycling and bulky waste collections to supporting Oaklea homes - getting in essential supplies. Here’s ‘happy shopper’ Paul from Furniture Warehouse auditioning for the revamped “Supermarket Sweep”.

PPE - everyone knows this word now -it doesn’t even need explaining - but it’s vital- West Cumbria Homecare Manager Tracy Haughin: “I’ve just been donated disposable masks, gloves and suits for our Oaklea carers from Cllr Adrian Kirkbride courtesy of Grant’s Smoked Seafood Products of Maryport. This is a very kind gesture, and will help keep both our customers and staff safe at this time.”

Hey Mr Virtual Postman! This is Barnard Castle Oaklea customer Gillian writing a letter to her friend Adrian who lives at Ferryhill elsewhere in Co Durham (at another Oaklea house). Before COVID 19 they would go bowling together, Adrian will phone Gillian and vice versa to see if each other are ok. They are now writing letters to each other and can’t wait till this over so they can meet up for a coffee.

Soul sensation - If this doesn’t put a smile on your face - nothing will! This is Frazer - he accepted the “Proud Mary makaton challenge!” Go 4 it….
Did someone say “HOUSE”? In County Durham employees and customers held a bingo session. Staff Member Sharon with Richard called the lucky numbers!
“Hello - yes we have a tasty offer” - This is Abby one of the Appleby Hub Team -she’s normally a Job Coach for R2W (and studying PE at Uni) - now she’s one of the R2W Hub Team who’ve been getting out of their ‘comfort zone’ as it’s all ‘hands to the pump’ - taking food delivery orders as a ‘one woman call centre’!

Keep your distance boss - nothing personal! Oaklea CEO Clive leading by example on the social distancing stakes as he takes a cake box delivery from the Appleby Hub - Community Works Jim Green standing well back (or had he kept a few cakes?(!)

Eat in ‘Take Out’! North East based Oaklea Customer DP had a big birthday to mark -Team Manager Bev Hutchinson: “It was DP’s 60th birthday at the end of March. Customers were supported to make decorations & banners for their home.This was just before the major restrictions were put in place re- COVID 19.”

Bev adds: “As you can see our customers really enjoyed the day and DP choose to have takeaway on his birthday.” Can’t argue with that Bev!

My cup cake runeth over….Appleby Hub chef Patrizia came up with some extra special Easter themed cup cakes - they went down a treat in the ‘Hub on Wheels’ cake boxes….sweet n lovely satisfaction guaranteed!
Blanket coverage -This is Oaklea customer Kay keeping busy in lockdown! (We’re not a ‘patch on her’! Nice one Kay)

Love letter - we got this lovely letter to our teams in Barnard Castle, Durham from the relatives of a customer - the sentiment really does apply to everyone!

Peek-a-boo - Alan & Frances holding up well -proudly showing off the NHS banner they’ve made

Licensed to keep everyone safe - This is Big Al from our Oaklea house in Ulverston - he’s just taken delivery of much needed PPE. It was given to us by local brewers - “Shed1 Distillery” - they have swapped production from gin to sanitisers! (Shed1 have also created a Just Giving page to help fund the making of PPE - go to Shed1 Distillery Just Giving PPE if you want to contribute)

“Hands up” - Now wash your hands -Oaklea customers at Garth Brow in Kendal have been getting the message across in a very ‘hands on’ way
“Wheely good” opener - To mark the first 2 weeks of the new Appleby ‘Hub on Wheels’ service- we put together some of the images..(as of 11 April we’d completed our 3rd week…phew)
Oaklea Leisure Supremo Karen Kidd hasn’t really got the hang of how you wear PPE - or has she been kidnapped by the Easter Bunny? (it has to be said you never see the pair of them in the same place at the same time…..)

Hold those thumbs: As part of the weekly ‘Clap for Carers’ on a Thursday - Des & Alan ready to show support

Slice of life - Did someone say it’s Teatime? Appleby based Oaklea Trustee Linda Adey has been enjoying the new Hub Cafe delivery service and really loves the Hub bread made every day by the kitchen team (Is she just ‘buttering us up’ for a potential invite for tea when all this is over?…)

Gently does it - Terry looking after the plants - access to the garden and fresh air proving it’s real value in lockdown

“Eggstra” special delivery! Those lovely people at Tebay Services/Westmorland Limited - donated some lovely fancy Easter Eggs to the Hub (“these aren’t just posh eggs they’re very fancy Tebay eggs!”)

“You gotta be ‘yolking - Simply puntastic” - We then held a competition for the best caption via our various social media channels -overnight this generated 6,000+ responses/likes - we then selected the best entries (on the sheets in the photo) and the esteemed Judging panel of 5 decided on a winner. Christine Jones with “Be a good egg -stay at home” -as we felt that was very appropriate! As there were so many ‘cracking’ entries -we also had a runner up - Matt Fowler with “Is this a cracking gesture or a practical yolk!”. The remaining eggs are available to be auctioned off - bids from £5 (rrp £20) with donations to Oaklea Trust.

“HOUSE” - virtual bingo during isolation! Oaklea’s Paul Gillard showing us the way to do things creatively when you can’t see people face to face. Paul: “We’ve just had a game of bingo at New Road using facebook live. After finding out who was interested we sent out cards via messenger for players away from the house to join in and some cards were safely dropped off at the houses for customers to log on and play along. People seem to have enjoyed playing along and prizes will be distributed for the winners.” He really is on top of his game that fella!

“Happy Beater…er Easter”: Drumming up good vibes for lockdown at Easter. Well known (and loved) Oaklea customer Steve Shears loves playing and performing - and he wanted to send a special Easter message in sound to everyone in lockdown.
Tasty surprise - Babuls Indian restaurant delivered Craigmore customers and staff a free takeway #feedthecommunity Any left….mmm thought not - bah!

“Planting a good idea” -getting arty under lockdown: Team Supervisor Alex Corrie-Williams, “We have started an art group thanks to the inspiration of Kevin.” (Alex says she managed to do a “Daffy Duck” - confirming the news we already knew - she’s ‘quackers’!)

Stepping up - Oaklea customers & staff in Barnard Castle, County Durham, have been really getting into the ‘clap for carers’ event that has been taking place each Thursday across the UK. Well done customers Nicola, Gemma & Pauline supporting the NHS and keyworkers -like us at Oaklea! Can we have our pans back…?
“Water way 2 go!” Day 23 of Lockdown in Co Durham - and here’s Richard and Pauline out in the garden ready to water the plants.
“In the pink for Easter” - Oaklea’s Bev Hutchinson has sent us this lovely snap of Mary Louise (MLT) from County Durham. “She’s sending her love and a happy Easter to her family.”

STOP - MLT on the case when it comes to staying safe! - She’s been getting creative -and made this colourful corona mask…..

Elsewhere in Co Durham - Space to breathe -“we’re stepping to it” - Luckily our garden at Hillside in Durham is nice and big - here you can see some of our guys doing the steps challenge.

You can see support Ange Grainger is also being put through her paces! Way to go Ange….”if you go down in the woods today…”

Crafty types -As part of the Easter Steps Challenge the guys created a chart marking progress - then had a relaxing time doing Easter themed crafts

First cut is the deepest - Oaklea customer Steve getting a ‘close shave’ with support Alex!

Saying thank you - from all of us - Oaklea customers in Spennymoor, Co Durham have been busy saying a huge thanks to all at the frontline!

Say it with flowers - In Week 4 of the Appleby ‘Hub on Wheels’ we started delivering flowers (from a local supplier/grower) -our 1st flower bunch drop was to the Orton/Tebay area - someone wanted to make a surprise gift - and it has proven to be popular -floral surprises that is!

Agents of shield -New superhero emerges -West Cumbria Homecare Manager, Tracy Haughin explains: “We have just received a kind donation of 10 face shields from James Gaw of High Harrington, Workington. James is retired and is making the shields and donating them to care agencies and homes around the area. As you can imagine the demand is high and I was only supposed to collect 3, this very kind gentleman then gave me another 7! James uses his own money to make these and refused a donation from myself, I was simply told to stay safe and take care.”

Wash - but don’t go! Some of our guys at Hillside in County Durham keeping busy in the lockdown sunshine

Candid camera- read all about it - The Appleby “Hub on Wheels” service made top reading in it’s local newspaper, the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald - we got to know about it as several people in one of our villages recognised our young lad when doing a bread drop!

Giving lockdown the ‘brush off’ - this is Simon from Ulverston keeping the house garden in tip top form!

Top supporter - This is Jimmy - be more like Jimmy! He’s 91 years young and likes showing his support for carers and keyworkers every Thursday from his Oaklea home in Morpeth, Northumberland…Thanks to Neil Sadler and team for this - I know - we’ll give you all a round of applause!
“On yer bike fella” - We hasten to add these tender words supplied by our Deputy Head of Care Liz Lomas (!) “My long suffering husband, Bryan, seized the opportunity to escape, sorry assist, in delivering eye protection to the Homecare staff team in West Cumbria. He negotiated hard before setting off, plenty of cold lager on his return and a promise from me to do all the washing up for the next fortnight.” (When asked to comment Liz muttered something about the true love of his life, the hours he spends polishing her and the joy of takeaways for the next two weeks!”) Nice one Bryan….

Tasty donation - an anonymous donor who we have been delivering to from the Appleby ‘Hub on Wheels’ came forward to say thank you to frontline healthcare staff - and pay for a special Hub lunch plus cake boxes for 12 members of the healthcare team at Appleby Medical Centre. Fabulous gesture that went down very well!

A bird in the hand….Just before everyone went into lockdown - the gang at Community Works got to make some bird boxes - this is Louis presenting his!

(Another) Rabbit out of the hat - Oaklea Leisure supremo and keen chomper of lettuce (other veg is available Kidda!) Karen Kidd has been helping keep club members stay in touch by running them virtually - the wonders of technology…..gives the joy of contact!

Bottoms up - Oaklea Adult Team Supervisor and FT “gym bunny” Paul Gillard has excelled himself again - he’s created a “Home fitness video” for our club members and it’s available via the Oaklea supported Riversiders Facebook page -click here Paul The Gym Bunny Hop Paul adds in between doing his ‘bunny hops’ (of course!) “I’ve done a workout for members (and Oaklea staff) to try at home. Monday is sports group night for members so to keep them occupied at home I’ve done a workout that they can all try just using some stairs. More challenges will be set in the coming weeks.” Phew - go easy on us Mr G!

(Extra) Helping hands - NE based Team Manager Paul Copley is a very ‘hands on’ kinda guy as you can see. He managed to source 50 face shields from UTC college in Newton Aycliffe which they have kindly given us - massive thanks to them as we all know PPE is much in demand!

Letter from the heart - This is customer Frances. She has been supported by a very crafty Ann Ellis from Oaklea to write letters, and make these beautiful hearts. She has made some for club members, but there are 30 for Holehird -this follows a plea on Facebook that the residents there are really lonely - so Frances wanted to make them happy! That’s a fab ‘random act of kindness’ in our book!

Back to school with you! - DT & PE Teachers at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith made 90+ PPE visors for our homes in Kendal, Ulverston & Barrow.

Cutting edge stuff: Here DT & PE Teacher Rob Dawson explains what they’ve been doing using the school laser cutter:
And here you can see the PPE arriving at Oaklea Manor Barn in Kendal - the teams then re distributed around South Cumbria

Romance in the air? - what a lovely pair - in Week 4 of the ‘Hub on Wheels’ we started delivering locally sourced flower bunches from Fellside Flowers in Long Marton - by Week 5 this had proved very popular with customers - you can see Taff from Fellside flowers bringing latest delivery to the Hub.

Talking of all things beautiful - A lovely volunteer, Marilyn Irons made this tree for everyone at the Oaklea supported Riversiders - the note next to it says it all.

Bowled over - This lively image has been created by Joe. Joe, from Furness, has been on a Supported Internship placement through our R2W team with Cumbria Cricket Ltd - he’s used the Character he created for them to ‘Bat Covid19 out into space”. Howzat indeed!

Wash n go with Kelvin - With no R2W or voluntary placements available - Kelvin, who is a well known face at R2W Furniture Warehouse, has seen his routine disrupted and he asked for some structure to keep him occupied. Adult Team Supervisor Paul Gillard then asked round: “Fairoak Housing said they had a dirty lease car which Kelvin was more then happy to valet for them. He’s done such a good job that the staff have asked if he wants to come back and do some of their cars. He’s also been lined up for gardening tasks and to fix a bench.” Fantastic stuff Kelvin (and Mr G!)
“And she’s off” - This is Oaklea customer Janet from Ulverston - she’s completing the ‘Tour De Langdale’ - keeping fit & having fun -what’s not to like!

“Walkies” - Oaklea customers in the Kendal area have been beating lockdown by having supported walks into town, the Castle and in Leon’s case - a 4 legged friend!

Never ‘board’ with Oaklea - staff teams have ensured the time indoors is never dull….

“Top Gear” with love - Oaklea customer Frances delivering letters to other Oaklea customers + she also sent some to residents at Holehird as they were feeling lonely

“Demanding stuff” -Back to back effort - Super teamwork for our best days yet. On Friday 24 & Sat 25 April the Appleby “Hub on Wheels” had it’s best 2 days yet -with our most takings and biggest orders so far. The kitchen was so busy -and on Saturday we didn’t finish deliveries until around 1600! Many many thanks to those who are using the service - we know how much it is appreciated by those in lockdown. (Weds-Sat M 07435 970633)

Helping hands - Our home in Rothbury in deepest Northumberland has been given some lovely gifts from the local Bodyshop. Team Manager, Ruth Hall: “We got hand-cream for all staff at Walby Hill as a thank you for our work in care from Mandy Smith at Bodyshop in Rothbury. We also got a ‘Hearts for Heroes’ gift to show appreciation to all of us from Pots & Paws, Rothbury. You can also see our customers had a bit of fun with crayons sprucing up the windows!”

STOP: Artist (in residence) at work! Kevin Hankey from Oaklea has been helping get arts activities underway in lockdown. “Here you can see Stevie wanted to send a birthday card to his brother and to his mum and dad. We used some acrylic pen sets to fill his drawings with colour. We plan more card sessions in the future for the other lads at our house.” Great creative way of beating the lockdown blues…..

Stirring stuff - Meanwhile many of you will be aware of the Appleby Hub’s reputation for top cakes - those with a sweet tooth know this - but their Tiffin usually needs syrup but because some things in short supply…..as ever they looked in every nook and cranny and found maple syrup - a great substitute that helped blend the almonds, cashews etc and the richest of Belgian chocolate…..just don’t tell the dentist! (No wonder The Cake Boxes the Hub have been delivering have gone down so well)

This years model - Seaham High School in Co Durham have been manufacturing face visors for our front line staff and have kindly donated 20 Face Visors to our home at Hillside, Brandon. It’s really appreciated by our staff - here’s Carol Cousins modelling hers!

“Left a bit right a bit - He’s truly nailed it!” -Oaklea and R2W Furniture Warehouse regular Kelvin has been busy doing DIY at Fairoak Housing. Here you can see he’s been nailing up a trellis in the garden and measuring up a bench which needs a new slat.

Top Gear - Top read! Here’s AW, who we support in the NE, thumbing through his fave read - relaxing in the garden - the chilled approach to lockdown -it’s catching!

Walkies - or not - Registered Manager for Ulverston, Sue Millington has found her dog is not taking lockdown well! “My dog is self isolating she won’t even do her daily exercise routine” - as Sue is finding the ‘struggle is real’ even for our 4 legged friends….!

Just purrfect - Maybe Sue (above) should get some tips from Oaklea customer DP over in Durham - he’s not having any issues with the house moggy!

She could teach us a thing or two about kindness - This is Sunderland teacher Laura Jones- Team Manager Patricia Lee tells us why she’s such a good egg: “She dropped off 33 visors for Oaklea houses in Durham and Morpeth area of Northumberland. We didn’t have enough for all of our staff so I looked online as I knew that lots of kind people are making PPE, I found an article in the Sunderland Echo and tracked Laura down on Facebook. Got in touch with her and she helped us out immediately, she sent a lovely message saying how much everyone appreciates key workers such as Oaklea and that we aren’t recognised for the work we do and that she wanted to help, she even delivered them to 4 of our houses herself.” Wow….what a lovely thing to do!



Teddy bears picnic? On our food delivery rounds from the Appleby Hub we come across all kinds of fantastic customers - some cuddlier than others!

Titanic effort - This is County Durham Oaklea customer Gillian completing her titanic model with staff member Janet (all ready to be painted!) After lockdown Gillian is planning a trip to the Titanic Museum in Belfast.

Captain’s Blog star date May 2nd - This is Y9 pupil Rowan - he’s been a key part of the R2W Appleby Hub Team for 7 weeks now delivering food, helping in kitchen, collecting/dropping off at local shops etc - well he can tell you himself as he was invited to write a blog for the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Appleby Hub - Volunteering blog

Do not disturb - Someone’s having a good time! - Oaklea customer DS doing some craft with top support Tex!

Not phased at all - now that’s a celebration spread! This is Geoffrey from one of our houses in Barrow celebrating his 81st birthday with a lovely afternoon tea.

Just hanging out - NE Oaklea customer JG keeping lockdown life as regular as poss

It’s a ‘wrap” -New girl group emerges? They’ve def got the X Factor - Gemma Norcroft & Alex Corrie-Williams -part of our care teams in Kendal showing off the PPE supplied by QEGS school in Penrith.

Meanwhile in a galaxy far far away - er just over the Pennines in Barnard Castle - and not to be outdone…this is Sharon wearing full PPE -she’s a real ‘trooper’. (The face visors were kindly donated by UTC South Durham in Newton Aycliffe).

Window to the world of carers - This is Kevin and staff member Chris with his rainbow he has created for the NHS in Barnard Castle.


“Acronym incoming Joyce” - Just doing a RAK - random act of kindness just out of your window! That’s Frances that is. Our wonderful Frances, who lives with us in Kendal wanted to visit and cheer Joyce up (also supported by Oaklea - she’d been in hospital for an operation, and has another 7 days of self isolating). Such a kind gesture….!

Hats off to you! - NE based Team Manager Val Middleton has unwrapped some top snaps for us. “This is one of our gentlemen we support in Pelton, Durham. He’s just celebrated his 70th birthday .A party was planned, but due to Covid-19 we had to keep it small, with only his regular staff team and fellow housemates. Despite this you can see we all had a lovely day and a special thank you to his staff team for making it such a special day.”

“Here’s one I made earlier” - This is Oaklea customer Calum in Murton, Co Durham- he’s painted a fab rainbow NHS poster to display in his window

Guess who - “You aint seen me right” - Oaklea customer T… well can’t say as he’s an international man of mystery when it comes to his outdoor exercise and splendid isolation…he’s def got this distancing thing sorted!

Oi - Keep your distance! Appleby Mayor Jilly DD steps down this May after a year in office. She made a donation to our #ProjectEdenside project for Extra Care Housing: “Although I am stepping down I still would like to continue with the charity boxes etc and help any way I can with Edenside.” Due to Corona you can see we arranged a social distance handover with CEO Clive! (The magic of the web never stops giving….!) She’s also been a regular user of our “Hub on Wheels” service -so extra big round of applause on that one!

“Dear ..you won’t believe what we’ve been up to” -Here are Ian & Brian from Shotton Co Durham writing notes to their family members.

Blowing our trumpet -surely not (!) - on 8th May this was circulating on Twitter - bigging up what Oaklea have been up to based on these very pages (cue trumpet)

VE Day all ‘wrapped up’ - Here’s celebrations at Oaklea Barnard Castle. “Customers Richard, Pauline, Gemma, Gillian, Nicola, Caroline and Digby celebrating this special day with Victoria sponge cakes and a full buffet kindly donated by Digbys sister Pauline.” says Team Supervisor Nichola Bainbridge and fine purveyor of Union Jacks!

Meanwhile in Barrow they’re taking VE Day one bench at a time - everyone mucked in - Angela & Tracey had a lovely day & Robert & Mark helped Zoe get the party ready (and looks like they’re keen to mop up - must be all the party food crumbs!)

Teatime to savour - And here’s Mags in County Durham having a fantastic VE Day tea!

“Raising standards - Union Jacktastic” - In Rothbury, Northumberland Oaklea customers & staff really pushed the VE Day boat er vintage car out - Team Manager Neil Sadler sent so many flag related images we could have set up a Union Jack flag making factory -so we can only ‘flag up’ these few!

“Lets meet up - again” - Not to be outdone - in Morpeth, Northumberland they performed a rousing rendition of a very well known song for VE Day!
Branching out - the Appleby Hub is all about well-being - well due to Corona it may not be open to the public at the moment but that hasn’t stopped the team nurturing creativity - Cafe Team member Mandy who is quite the artist has made this amazing installation - known as ‘the forgiving tree’ -more to be revealed!

Game for anything to beat lockdown in the NE - Oaklea’s Carolanne has improvised and made games for the customers. Team Manager Patricia Lee: “Here is staff member Jason losing to Ian who is rather pleased he’s the winner! Watched on by Steven our new customer who moved in in March and has settled in very well.” (clearly up for a bit of friendly competition is Steven!)

“Do I know you?” - on the Appleby Hub on Wheels we meet loads of people and keep the community connected in many weird & wonderful ways - here’s a great flashback moment - one of our regular deliveries is to Brian in Dufton - he is a well known face at the Hub as he used to run the climbing sessions - in fact as if to show some of us have changed and some of us haven’t….our young delivery operative can be seen with Brian 2.5 years ago doing a Cumbria CVS event in Appleby Market Hall when we were drumming up interest in the Youth offer…..

“Gonna swing for you - I wish….lol!” Emma Rowley Team Supervisor has just sent us this backhander…”I have attached some photos of what the customers at one of our homes in Barnard Castle have been up to during lockdown. They’ve been ever so inventive and are smashing lockdown- with a ‘Stay at home wishes Jar’ – Every time a customer wishes they could go somewhere, visit a new place or see their family/friends we write it down and pop it in the jar. When the lockdown is over, we will use the Wishes Jar as a bucket list and have many exciting activities to look forward to.” Fab stuff - you can also see the Swing Ball is getting pretty competitive! Plus - Kit can be seen on one of the walks he has completed during his daily exercise, to Egglestone Abbey (4.5 Mile). Superb effort everyone….just keep an eye on the jar!

“Schools out for PPE” - On Tuesday 10 May we collected PPE for our Cumbria social care teams kindly made by teaching staff at Appleby Grammar School.

“Ullo ullo what have we here” - “Cumbria Police PCSO Hayley Newman from Kendal police station seen explain to guys we support why we need to social distance. She did a demonstration on how it spreads using talc which was great as a visual tool for the guys” says Chief Insp er Team Super Alex Corrie-Williams!

“Playing it safe” (when there’s a scary man on the loose)- Chris(tmas) Pantechis, renowned R2W Furniture Warehouse supremo says they’re getting ready for a return in June. “This was ‘Safe learning under lockdown. These photos show just some of the separate workshops discussing health and safety measures during this pandemic, ensuring our Learners understand the importance of washing hands, social distancing and self-isolating. We particularly focused on staying safe in the workplace and made sure that everyone travelled to the training and home again without risking contact with others.” Can you spot who the mysterious masked figure is scaring everyone - yes none other than R2W’s cuddly Baron Bradders - Peter Bradbury! (rumours abound he will be used in next Government campaign….to frighten off the virus!)

“Party - did someone say party….yay?” Team Manager Mark Crawley -with his party hat on of course- sent us these images of customers in County Durham having a ball - a super ‘beat the COVID19 blues’ party - aint nothin’ gonna stop these guys n gals - can we have a refill please Mark!

“Oooooooooo that feels sooooooo good” - guys we support in South Lakes getting treated to a spa day in lockdown - think they enjoyed it so much they want more!

Clap a load of this - Yet again our County Durham teams set the bar high for the ‘clap for carers’ each Thursday evening - here they’re joined by NE Team Manager Paul Copley - really stepping up…..after customers clearly raided the kitchen for pots and pans for a great noisy rendition!
“Zooming in NOT zoning out!”- Pauline Mallee send us this grab from a Zoom session - “Friends from Appleby Hub, Lifesteps and Supported Living houses meeting up. Some have missed seeing each other, and some are meeting for the first time.”


Hearts of gold….Week beginning 18 May was #mentalhealthawarenessweek and the importance of #kindness - something central to Oaklea - and who better as our Ambassador extraordinaire than customer Frances you can see her hearts in the windows at Holehird in Windermere

Frances, Terry & Alan can be seen writing letters they took to the sheltered housing in Windermere and enjoyed a trip in the car -all because they wanted to show kindness and to break down the isolation residents in Windermere were facing - simple gestures but big impact!

“I’m ready now!” - Meanwhile at Oaklea Foundry Street in Barrow you can see Frank is ready for his supervision(!) Angela is taking in the sunshine and Mark has enjoyed spending time doing his jigsaw - lockdown has so many facets you never knew!

“Kindness delivered” - The loveliness continued across R2W - Sarah Jones and team wanted to ensure ALL the Learners -who were in isolation- got a little pick me up. Here you can see the Appleby Hub delivery duo (Bulgy & Co!) dropping off a goody bag in deepest Eden to well known Cafe Front of House Learner, Charlotte.

High praise indeed - The High Sheriff of Cumbria made these fab comments on Oaklea during #kindness week -this grab from our www.facebook.com/oakleatrust

Stand back - It’s a family affair - The gloves are off for mum and daughter - Appleby Hub cookery duo, Jacky & Sarah - Sarah was spreading kindness via taste buds - she suggested some new additions to the Appleby Hub delivery menu as a wee test - Giant Yorkshire Puds - not surprisingly they sold out!

Kindness is ballooning - Keeping the foodie theme - The Hub were asked to push the boat er bus (!) out for a special one off birthday treat for a Hub regular (as a previous rhubarb & custard cake from a secret Hub recipe had gone down a storm a few weeks earlier) - so despite an impromptu singing of the “Roobarb & Custard” theme tune on the doorstep (one for the 1970’s kids!) - the cake went down exceedingly well….

Hands held operation - A great example of Third Sector organisations working together in #kindness week - collected 8,000 surgical masks (PPE) for our social care teams from fellow charity, The Glenmore Trust in Carlisle.

Knock knock - have we some top goodies! Managed to drop more gifts to some of the Appleby Hub Learners on 27 May - a way of keeping them connected whilst in lockdown - Dan plus Peter (he was accepting on behalf of brother Luke - who’d wisely nipped out for some government approved fresh air to avoid us!)

Party time…in a garden - did someone say party? Oaklea customers in County Durham making the most of the fabulous weather in May with a - yes you guessed it - a garden party - where was our invite? Appropriately held on Thursday 28 May - seen as the finale for the long running ‘clap for carers’ - so many of our teams in social care (and other key workers)have appreciated this acknowledgement + those we support have enjoyed celebrating it. What’s not to like……

“That’s tidy” - Adult Team Supervisor Paul Gillard brought us an update at the end of May on some of the top folks we support. “Here you can see 3 more cars cleaned by Kelvin, and you may notice he’s got some new equipment. So he can go mobile with his car washing -he now has a power washer as well as buying some car washing products. Meanwhile Alice has been busy (with support) brightening up the front of New Road with some plants.” May need to book them when this is all over!

Giving Corona the boot - Liz Lomas collected some of the PPE we had got from fellow charity The Glenmore Trust the previous week - for use by Homecare teams in Carlisle & West Cumbria - 800 surgical masks

Refreshing the parts others can’t reach - Customers in Barnard Castle enjoying the sunny weather at the end of May. Nichola Bainbridge, Team supervisor and fine purveyor of refreshment: “You can see Charlotte and Amber out for a walk with Digby, Pauline, and Gemma . It was very hot -so sun hats, sun creams & plenty of juice were called for!”

“Fay-tastic” - By the end of May we’d racked up 3 months of our new food delivery service from the R2W Appleby Hub. It was so important this made a real impact on the communities we serve -after all Oaklea is all about ‘building stronger communities’. So we approached two lovely regulars on our delivery rounds -and they capture what we have tried to achieve far better than us (many many thanks to both of these fab people)….first here’s Fay:
And in less than 27 seconds Pat sums up what it’s all about - it’s making a real difference:
Making connections while the sun shines (in lockdown) - this is David who we support in Furness - he’s enjoying Connect 4 in the fine May weather (with encouragement from a big eared friend it seems!)

“And….relax” - Oaklea Co Durham customer Kit went on a 10 mile walk with Team Supervisor Emma Rowley for top picnic related exercise - now that’s a tasty idea!

Mind your PPE’s - The gang at R2W Furniture Warehouse re started bulky waste collections week beginning 1st June. As a result FW Supremo Chris(mas) Pantechis needed to clear the space at the Warehouse that was being used as a central hub for PPE for South Cumbria. So the Oaklea/R2W logistics squad got on the case and moved half of it to Oaklea Station House HQ - the rest going via Appleby Hub to our NE teams.

“Ooooooh what’s going on down here - ah BBQ you say!” Yay. NE Team Manager Val Middleton - who we could just see through the tasty smoke - tells us more; “Staff did an amazing job entertaining customers at Harelaw Close in Co Durham, who, I must add, usually are reluctant to be outdoors. Customers were outside in their garden most of the day and had a fantastic time. Life is so difficult at the moment, but thanks to an amazing team for making it fun.”

Helping hands reaching out - 1st-7 June we helped mark National Volunteers Week - a bit different this year with restrictions etc(we attended Cumbria CVS volunteer fairs a year ago for example) - but that hasn’t stopped us having great examples of voluntary effort during corona.

Howdy TT - There’s a new Sheriff in town! Oaklea customer Terry (TT to hip young gunslingers) celebrated his birthday - and as he loves cowboys - well you guessed it, his pals and support staff arranged a different kind of ‘pin the tail’ game!

“The boys (and girls) are back in town!” The mighty recycling warriors from the Furniture Warehouse returned in June. FW Supremo Chris(mas) Pantechis: “We are back in and undertaking SLDC collections across South Lakes again – (30 collections already first morning!!!) two staff out collecting and two back at base looking after learners, booking collections, serving customers.” We look forward to recycled puns over the coming weeks from Mr P…..

Digby is simply first class - County Durham Oaklea customer Digby, seen here on his “rounds” - he’s on his daily walk with staff member Mick around Newsham. Looks like he bumped into old friends and fellow ‘key workers’! Hope Jess the cat isn’t jealous….maybe Digby brought some extra milk….


“Now arriving at…..” -More PPE was moved to Station House - now the main distribution point for PPE for our South Cumbria social care teams
Keep your distance ladies! A ‘Golden Moment’ with 3 of our top ladies -and Oaklea’s Karen ‘Kidda’ Kidd! All embracing social distancing whilst having a convivial time - Joyce even managing a sneaky nibble in between snaps…..she’s really mastered this!

Wow - “Transformers” land at Appleby Hub - the R2W Hub team have er transformed the Main Hall into a socially distanced Cafe space in readiness for possible go ahead from Government for Cafe’s etc to re-open in July. It’s a striking transformation and has to be seen (and sat in!)….make it an espresso in fact…

Top “Tree-O” - Gemma, Nicola and Gillian out for a walk and a healthy picnic lunch in South Park, Darlington with staff member Mick.

“Trust us to meet you!” - funny old world - ongoing series…..since the food deliveries started in the Eden valley from R2W Appleby Hub - no one let on that we’d been doing regular drops to newish Oaklea Trustee Stuart Davison! He’s been on what’s known as ‘the village round’. Stuart is one of the new group of Trustees who came aboard in 2019 following our most successful recruitment campaign yet….a ‘tasty addition!’

Washing away any lockdown woes - this is Angila who we support in Barrow - she loves washing up as it’s a good way to chill!

He’s officially certified. During 1st week of June we marked National Volunteer Week - well young Rowan (Y9 at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School) got his DofE certificate for giving up his time a few days later - though he’s been assisting with the Appleby Hub food operation for 3 months+ now…

Bionic man spotted in Cumbria - Kelvin, a familiar face at R2W Furniture Warehouse and someone supported by Oaklea, has been mega busy again - on Monday he was out washing another car, Wednesday he was back at R2W helping out on the bulky waste van and Thursday he led the way on his running route, an enjoyable 3 mile route by the river Kent. Go K!

“Here’s one I (almost) made earlier” - R2W Learner Charlotte who had been isolating returned to the Appleby Hub Cafe on 13 June - here she is with Jacky showing a b4 and after veg & goats cheese quiche about to head out to hungry tummies (tbf credit for its creation needs to go to Sarah C on early stint -b4 we get any howls of complaint!)

“We care a lot” -It’s national carers week! And our customers in Barnard Castle, County Durham have been drawing the carer’s that support them.


Milkman of human kindness - one of the most tangible things Oaklea manages to do is the ‘little stuff’ that makes a big impact. This is Steve -his family are shielding and couldn’t get to the shops so we ensured he got his pintas! A picture worth milking…..as it pours with joy!

“Is this for me….?” -and another great example of #kindness - the Hub kitchen team made up a special cake stand with lots of their creations for a special delivery. A son arranged a surprise ‘drop’ for Gran -as she’s been isolated at home in rural Eden.

Sound advice is back! The Cumbria Community Foundation funds (through Barker Family Fund) our R2W jobs & training advice service in Eden District. It’s been on hold due to Corona - but now Sarah Richardson is back -and ready to support you if 16+ and have barriers to employment etc:
“Stay alert” - there’s some tree huggers about! These are Oaklea County Durham customers on their daily lockdown walk. Team Supervisor Nichola Bainbridge: “We’re busy tree Hugging and getting some free bread to enjoy for lunch. Pauline and Gillian are with staff member Sharon hugging trees and Digby is clutching his bread….we just got home before the rain came.”

But the Olympics have been cancelled? - That doesn’t stop our top bunch from New Road in Kendal. Adult Team Supervisor, and Oaklea’s own “Joe Wicks”, Paul “Mr G” Gillard explains in between potting his reds: “We had a fun morning session at Kendal Lads and Lasses club for the New Road gang. They’ve had private use of the place and enjoyed playing pool, football, basketball, tae kwondo and table tennis. It’s been a good group morning for them and a positive change of scenery. A good laugh and they’re all up for goin back.” Excellent fun way to beat the lockdown blues!

#Kindness is catching -bunch by bunch it’s just what we do - these 2 images are from Saturday 20 June - when the Appleby Hub delivery had a very floral feel -in fact our biggest day yet dropping off flower bunches (!). One a surprise from one mum to another - and the other - 4 bunches being given to say ‘thank you’ to 4 carers who had been supporting a family who are shielding….

It’s a wrap - Week beginning 22 June we announced that Bulgy the Bus (TM Chrismas Pantechis Furniture Warehouse!) would finally get a new makeover. The branding had been planned for March after we had collected it from sunny Wigan, but then lockdown kicked in and the company we intended using in Kendal went into hibernation! Sun Signs now back and we’ve agreed this look - the long term aim is for Bulgy to be a community asset available for the community to hire (to register interest go via our Customer Team 01539 735025) -it will be based at the R2W Appleby Hub -hence the name “Hub Bus” -simples!

Pppppick up a Penguin says Oaklea’s Emma Rowley who sent us these lovely images whilst on safari in the NE: “We have been to the Zoo this week, it was one of the guys lockdown wishes. Can you spot our new member of the team?” - I think we can just about Emma (!)…..but will your new employee demand a regular fish supper in Barnard Castle?

Poetic licence assured - Appleby Hub regular and reputable local author & poet Mick Yates surprised us all by coming up with an ode to Bulgy Bus - it followed a throwaway remark on social media (who knew that could happen?) -and he popped round with this rather fab ditty - the bus of course being a great physical representation of being out in our communities - metaphors abound….we aim to have this framed and available for all to see - on the move of course!

Lockdown doesn’t have to be a draining experience….In Furness Oaklea customers have been up to all sorts. Oaklea’s Sue Mallinson: “Mark and Ella from Barrow can be seen during Covid 19 outbreak. Ella has been keeping herself busy doing her much loved jigsaws, I think she has found this one quite challenging. Whilst Mark has continued to do his standpipe flushing checks for our records.”

Cultural exchange - Bulgy was busy distributing PPE again - this time for our social care teams in the NE - met up with Head of Care Stella Crennell in Barnard Castle - the handover took place outside the grand surrounds of Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle. Stella then took them to various Oaklea settings around County Durham.

Lights, camera, popcorn! Some of our gang in Barnard Castle have been ‘projecting’ a different way to tackle lockdown! Oaklea’s unofficial chief projectionist, Emma Rowley: “The boys missed going to the cinema so we organised an at home cinema experience with refreshments. The boys have had a fabulous afternoon at the cinema and can’t wait for the next showing.” Oscar winning effort…..

“Gorge-ous” - tis a sharp dressed bus” -Bulgy emerges from the shadows with a brand new coat! It took a whole day at Sun Signs, Kendal - but hopefully you will agree it looks good and is a very visible way of promoting Oaklea/R2W. For the time being ‘Bulgy’ will continue doing food deliveries from the Appleby Hub - details will be released regarding community hire and use when appropriate. You can register interest via our Customer team T: 01539 735025 enquiries@oakleatrust.co.uk
Bulgy pictured at the head of the Lune Gorge -appropriately halfway between Kendal and Appleby.

Where did the time go? - A key member of the Oaklea family who has been at the sharp end with her teams during Covid19 racked up an incredible 10 years at Oaklea Trust. Vanessa ‘Queen V’ Washington - now Registered Care Manager got home to find a pleasant surprise! You can see Vanessa pictured outside Manor Barn earlier in the Spring receiving a load of PPE - I think she prefers the flowers!

“Hubba hubba” - Building up to the big one - Cries of excitement have been ringing out (!) - yes the day is fast approaching, the government have given the go ahead for socially distanced opening of Cafe’s - so the R2W Appleby Hub team have been beavering away getting the Main Hall transformed ready for re opening on Wednesday 8 July. Normal opening hours will resume Weds-Sat 1000-1500 (+ food delivery via Bulgy will continue as stated above as we are aware not all “Hubsters” are able to make it in due to shielding etc).The new look really has to be seen - a cracking effort by those crafty Hub elves…and we thought they just drank mighty fine coffee all day! (which of course will be available on re-opening - R2W’s Karen has been working her magic on the ‘big machine’!)
Note: More info here http://www.right2work.org.uk/news/get-the-bunting-up-oh-they-have-appleby-hub-cafe-re-opens-8-july/

“Shear” magic on the banks of the River Kent - Oaklea’s Karen “Kidda” Kidd has been spreading good vibes again with customers - they’ve set up a socially distanced ‘hug club’…..#kindness

Open those doors -we’re back and you are most welcome! - On Wednesday 8 July the R2W Appleby Hub Cafe re opened after a Covid19 induced lay off. Regulars and new faces appeared and were full of praise for the new look Main Hall which is now the cafe area. The Rotary bookshop is also available for browsing and soon the Eden Workshp craft activities will start again. Keep an eye on social media for what’s happening www.facebook.com/appelbyhub

Whatever the weather - the BBQ must go on! Head of safety matches (and Oaklea Team Manager in NE) Patricia Lee sent us this great shot: “These are our lovely customers in Murton, County Durham enjoying a BBQ for Dan’s birthday. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best so the food was brought indoors!” Hope the charcoal didn’t mess up the floor! Must ‘ketchup’ soon…..

Don’t pull up the drawbridge Mark! - PPE on it’s way! Bulgy Bus busy on 16 July taking PPE (surgical face masks) from Oaklea HQ to social care teams in NE. Met up with Team Manager Mark Crawley at his ‘country residence’ - well we think he was pulling our leg - it was Raby Castle, County Durham!

“Be kind” they said -so we did! We got a lovely ‘big up’ on 17 July from the ‘#Kind Cumbria’ campaign for all the work we have done spreading the #kindness message via our web and social media messages. This has been down to the excellent images and stories we have shared of our people and customers that have clearly resonated well - this also includes our customers & colleagues in the NE too as the #kindness campaign is a national one. ‘Every little helps’ a well known grocer once said…

Trust in youth - trust in Jack! Big week coming up on 20 July as we announced the re start of young people’s activities. They had been on hold due to Covid19 but now a playful Mr Matty D and the Oaklea CYP team have put together some outdoor sessions in Furness & South Lakeland over 3 days. It will also be a chance to meet new Youth Leader, Jack! Welcome aboard sir - please leave your light sabre at reception! (he has seen the light clearly after coming over from the dark side…..). The summer sessions will be held outdoors where possible to reflect Corona restrictions and to ensure our young people and employees are safe - it also means we will need to restrict numbers.To keep up to date with CYP activities follow them on www.facebook.com/oakleayoungpeople

Hole in pun! Adult Team Supervisor Paul Gillard has got himself in a hole again….”Thought I’d ‘fore’ward you some pictures that you could ‘putt’ on t’web of Rob in action at the putting green. Hope it makes ‘the cut’ (I’ll get my coat, or is it green jacket).” Thank you Mr G - and Robert of course!

Oaklea introducing….? One of the more unusual things that happened during the ongoing pandemic - after all, we are told it’s bringing us closer together in many strange ways - Rachel, who was once supported by Grant at our R2W ‘Work & Learn’ team - well you couldn’t make this up - they both ended up working the same shift at our new supported living project in Ulverston! (find out more here http://www.right2work.org.uk/news/do-i-even-know-you/) Good excuse for a celebratory selfie -Now that’s a result!

End of a big misadventure - 31 July marked the last day of the Bulgy Bus food delivery adventure (for now) from the R2W Appleby Hub. As life starts to enter a ‘new normal’ and with the Hub Cafe being like the old days -almost- it was decided that the 5 month food drop service would come to an end. Fittingly the top team at the Hub gave young Rowan a surprise Hubmade cake and gift for his grafting over past 5 months -he’d made quite an impression (sshhhhh!)


To mark the end of Bulgy Bus - Oaklea CEO Clive Wigley said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have operated this mobile service over the past 5 months and really appreciate the support we have received from those who have used it or who have recommended us. With the Hub Café re-opening the time is now right to wind down the delivery offer (for now). May I put on record my enormous thanks to those who ordered, who we met and kept the community spirit alive. This won’t be the last you see of our distinctive Bulgy Bus of course – she will re-emerge as a true local asset for use by you the community.”
The last drop was in Dufton on the East Fellside - kind of appropriate as that’s where Bulgy Bus driver grew up (still a work in progress!)

Talking of food - Summertime roll out - and it’s picnic time - especially now our Summer activities for young people are underway outdoors after a big pause due to Corona earlier in the year - new Youth Leader Jack Monopoli is on a bit of a roll - so much so he’s gone all MasterChef on us and sent this self help video for anyone feeling a bit peckish:
One for the pot -Adult Team Supervisor Paul “Mr G” Gillard (always known as a top ingredient at Oaklea) has been out hunter gathering with customer Pete: “We’ve been shopping and assisting Pete in preparing freshly made meals - a cottage pie this time. Hes a good cook and just needs verbal prompts. It’s kind of what we do day to day with those we support to help them live independently, even more vital at this time of Covid19.”

Oaklea/R2W undercover - this is Georgina who we have been following for the past year or so. She’s just returned to work at Booths Supermarket in the Central Lakes. Pictured with support Pauline and ready to take on the world -and the Deli counter!

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