The Oakland Foundation, a charity being created by Oakland International and aimed specifically at reducing child poverty within Redditch and Bromsgrove areas, was officially opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal on Friday 28th June at Redditch food distribution specialist Oakland International.
Arriving by helicopter, there was a real buzz of excitement amongst the assembled crowd of local dignitaries and civic guests. Amongst the crowd were students from local schools supported by Oakland, representatives from charities, support groups and local business representatives, along with Oakland employees who were all eager to see the Royal visitor. The Princess Royal relaxed, took her time meeting and speaking to all involved in the Foundation, and discussing their work as a key partner with Redditch Council and the creation of the area's first official food bank and distribution network designed to support local residents in need, before meeting the many local charities, schools and organisations supported over the years as part of Oakland International’s CSR commitment, as well as meeting local businesses attending the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce Business Symposium held on the Oakland site.
Speaking of the support they continue to receive from Oakland International, Rachel Ind, Family Worker for Improving Futures (EPIC) and part of the Redditch Foodbank, stated: “It is a pleasure to be working alongside such an enthusiastic organisation wishing to help local families in need.”
The Princess Royal having unveiled the commemorative Foundation plaque commented on the positive effect companies such as Oakland can have, and that by working together, business, local community charities and schools can make a real difference.
Head of Oakland International’s customer services and Young Enterprise volunteer mentor, Lian Higgitt, speaking about meeting The Princess Royal, said: "I was very nervous about meeting The Princess Royal I was immediately put at ease when I started talking to her. She was very friendly and actively asked questions about the work that we had been doing with Young Enterprise. She even suggested an idea we could work on next year... A phone that sounds when you whistle so you don't lose it! It was a great privilege to have been involved."
Oakland International's MD, Mr Dean Attwell, stated: “It was a great honour that The Princess Royal chose to visit us, wishing to gain a fuller understanding of what we are trying to achieve. She was enthusiastic and wanted to get a real understanding of the work that so many stakeholders had collectively put into the creation of the Oakland Foundation, and the many fundraising initiatives and community involvement that has been part of our journey to date.
“To have a member of the Royal family launch the Oakland Foundation means a great deal to us and is a welcome boost for everyone involved. We are delighted with how the afternoon went and pleased that so many of our stakeholders and local businesses could have the opportunity to meet The Princess Royal.”
Company details: Oakland International Limited UK: +44 (0) 1527 596 222
Picture HRH The Princess Royal talking to Oakland MD Dean Attwell