GLADE Project

(Guildford Learning and Development Enterprise) is a partnership between three local charities – Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership, Oakleaf Enterprise and YMCA DownsLink Group and also Guildford Borough Council.  The focus of the project is on providing training, skills and work opportunities for jobseekers, young people and those disadvantaged through illness or mental health problems to enhance their employability.

It delivers gardening services for elderly tenants, gardening at sheltered housing schemes, day centres and Millmead House and street cleansing in Westborough.

GLADE was established in March 2014 as a social enterprise to deliver these services and at the same time provide learning through the development of core functional skills and task specific training, alongside work opportunities for jobseekers, promotion of volunteering, provision of facilities and opportunities to less advantaged residents, community engagement and self-reliance.

Achievements to December 2015 include:

  • more than 30 learners are engaged in training and work on a weekly basis;
  • 30 learners have completed their first horticulture course (including team working, customer care and pricing work for your own business);
  • a target for 6 to progress into employment and 6 into further training has been set;
  • other courses are being provided by Guildford College for learners at 109 Southway (e.g. confidence building for employment and basic maths taster sessions); and
  • through project partners beneficiaries are able to access free pre-employment related support (e.g. job applications, CV writing, personal presentation, interview practice and, where necessary, counselling).