Employee Volunteers supported by the Volunteering Matters Employee Volunteering Team have been supporting Northleigh House School for over four years. The school was established in 2012, by a retired couple; Viv and Fred Morgan, to address the growing need for a safe, calm and progressive learning environment to help secondary aged children recover emotionally and academically from the effects of high anxiety in a mainstream school setting. After looking into the options available to teenagers facing these situations and finding very little available, they decided to create Northleigh.

The impact the volunteers placed in the school has been huge. Their help has encompassed a wide variety of work including, gardening, painting, cleaning as well as other projects, alongside free consultancy from individual senior professionals.

“The volunteers have not only lightened the load and raised our spirits by completing so many jobs but they have enabled us to stay open. The individuals have been excellent at opening other lines of thinking and providing lots of new ideas which is just what we have needed. There is not any doubt that we would have been unable to stay open and support more young people without this help. Please keep the volunteering support, you are invaluable!”

Viv and Fred have given over to the school and its classrooms a large part of their former home, and were awarded the Pride of Britain Special Recognition Award for their extraordinary actions. Having created a different learning environment they are able to help each young person to regain their inner confidence and to begin, again, to trust other people. The under-pinning atmosphere at Northleigh is one of absolute positive regard for every student: kindness, inclusion and respect for each individual’s differences.