Around 80 people lined the streets of the entrance to Rhubarb Farm on Monday 11th March to welcome a new 17 seater minibus donated by EEM with the help of fundraising which took place at the Building Communities Awards and additional donations from 21 generous contractors and material suppliers. The icing on the cake was the personalised registration plates, R400 BRB, donated by Edmundson Electrical.
Rhubarb Farm is a horticultural-based environmental social enterprise, based in Langwith, on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border, providing a service to the unemployed, recovering drug and alcohol misusers, ex-offenders, young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), excluded school students, people with learning disabilities, people with mental and physical ill health, ex service personnel, and people with dementia. They use a therapeutic organic horticulture model for developing skills, confidence and employability, and for improving health and well-being.
On Friday 15th February, EEM hosted the fifth annual Building Communities Awards where a sum of £22,000 was raised for Prostate Cancer UK and the remainder of the funds was put towards surprising Rhubarb Farm with this urgently needed minibus.
Previously they had occasionally borrowed a minibus from another company, but it was difficult to plan trips due to limited availability.
Jennie Street, Managing Director of Rhubarb Farm said “This minibus will really enable us to support more people, and make our logistics much easier. We will be able to do trips and involve more people as we can use it when we want.”
“We are all still bowled over by Pete pulling off the plan to get us a minibus, and I’m really still pinching myself that this generosity from so many people was done for the Farm. We are used to scraping by on very little, and this beautiful bus has been such a boost to everyone.
“We don’t know how to thank EEM and all 22 companies, local authorities and housing associations (their members) whom they procure materials for.
“It was incredible and restored our faith in human nature.”
Two days before the Building Communities Awards, Rhubarb Farm were burgled – the office window was smashed, a cash box taken and their Berlingo vehicle stolen from the site, so the minibus couldn’t have come at a better time. To tackle the security issue, EEM electrical materials supplier Smith Bros are working on obtaining a new CCTV system for the farm for free.
Other organisations from the EEM supply chain are starting to step forward to support the farm further, such as donations of paint from PPG Architectural Coatings and United Living have agreed to supply pallets to the farm when they need them.
Thank you to the following organisations who donated towards the bus:
- Matthews and Tannert
- Robert Woodhead
- T&S Heating
- Nationwide Windows & Doors
- Smith Bros
- Cawarden Co
- J Tomlinson
- Vinshire Plumbing & Heating
- Wildgoose Construction
- Avonside Group
- City Plumbing Supplies
- Neil Shacklock Plumbing & Heating Contractors
- Edmundson Electrical
- JM Hill
- Henry Boot
- Thomas Bow
Special thanks to Bayliss Print (www.baylissprint.co.uk) who provided the minibus stickers for free and to Stag Communications for their support with images and video.