Thrive Oxford is a social enterprise based in Blackbird Leys, Oxford, giving employment and work experience opportunities to people facing barriers to work, with workshops producing great wood products ‘with social benefit built in’. So when they were facing a deadline for a big order for national retail and needed some extra manpower to help with packing and despatch, Oxfordshire (The Rifles) Battalion ACF were only too happy to help. Thrive MD, Rick Mower made a call to County Commandant, Col Daren Bowyer, and with some amazingly quick work on the part of Quebec Company Commander, Major Sarah Oxford and Blackbird Leys Detachment Commander SSI Nicola Stanton, a couple of days later a team of cadets was assembled and packing bird boxes!
The cadets thoroughly enjoyed themselves doing ‘something different’ and were proud that they were helping people from their local community.
Thrive MD, Rick, said ” I was so impressed with the ‘can do’ professional attitude. I knew it was a bit of a tall order asking for help at such short notice but we were really up against it. Sarah and Nicola were super-efficient and very willing to help; highly professional. Our Operations Manager, Nina, was amazed with the cadets’ work ethic and willingness to get stuck in.
Col Bowyer was pleased Blackbird Leys Detachment had been able to respond so quickly. He said ‘I think Cadet in the Community is one of the most important parts of what we do, yet too often it can be a bit of an afterthought; bag-packing to raise funds, or helping steward a local fete are all very well, but I am keen for Cadet in the Community to have a bit more substance; this was a great opportunity and we are lucky to have both CFAV and cadets who will answer the call in quick time – living up to the Rifles way!