The Vella Group is proud to have partnered with The Mersey Forest to improve wellbeing and green space across Merseyside and Cheshire.
The Mersey Forest is one of 13 Community Forests across the UK and works closely with communities and schools to improve the green space offering and encourage local people to spend more time with nature to boost their mental wellbeing.
Partnering with The Mersey Forest comes after The Vella Group achieved the PAS2060 Carbon Neutral accreditation in April, becoming one of the first independent repair groups in the UK to achieve this. The Group has also implemented a number of environmental initiatives at their sites including electric charging points, energy efficient facilities, and upgraded recovery trucks.
This donation forms part of The Vella Group's wider commitment to support their colleagues through mental health and wellbeing initiatives that will make a tangible difference. The Group has already introduced measures such as Mental Health First Aiders across all sites, and a partnership with a BEN, the Automotive Charity, to provide free confidential helplines to all staff, which saw them win the award for 'Bodyshop Staff Wellbeing' at the NBRA Greener Bodyshop Awards this year.
Brendan Miller, Finance Director for The Vella Group, says, "When we looked for offsetting solutions as part of achieving the PAS 2060 standard, we were disappointed that there were no schemes in the UK.We approached The Mersey Forest and donated a sum matching what we had spent on offsetting.
"It was important for us to do this as we want to make a tangible impact on the communities in which we work. We have been really impressed by the work The Mersey Forest does and are looking forward to a long-term partnership with them. Their work on the environment, mental health, and wellbeing really compliments the initatives we have ongoing in the business. We'll certainly be encouraging all of the Vella team to get involved."
Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest, added, "We are incredibly grateful for The Vella Group's donation towards our Forest Education programme which will enable us to work with more schools in The Mersey Forest. Our activities have been shown to improve young people's wellbeing, engagement with school, and connection to nature while creating outdoor classrooms that help ensure the schools can continue to deliver activities in the longer term post Covid-19."
The Vella Group colleagues have had the opportunity to visit some of The Mersey Forest's projects to see the current projects and the impact it can have on the community.
To find out more about The Mersey Forest's work, visit www.themerseyforest.org.uk.