Update from Oakleaf amidst COVID-19, April 2020

On April 1st , Trustee Susanna Beer spoke to Moyra Matravers, Head of Fundraising for Oakleaf Enterprises, one of the mental health charities we support. Morale was high in spite of the current serious situation resulting in the closure of the Gardening, Upholstery, IT and Art departments. In fact, all face-to-face work with clients ceased on the afternoon of 20th March although it was hoped that IT might be able to set up some form of YouTube programme in the future.

“As you would imagine, everyone is completely committed to providing as much support as possible to clients, all of whom were in such challenging situations even before this crisis emerged”, confirmed Moyra. “Clive Stone, the CEO is very constructively involved in all deliberations and endorsed the general situation vis-a-vis finances. Oakleaf was hoping to derive some benefit from the £5,000,000 Government grant awarded to MIND for distribution among Mental Health charities, but this was by no means certain.”

Moyra continued, “Five Client Services colleagues (all of whom Susanna met during her visits) are working non-stop to support clients remotely. Of course this is very different to the help and activities we usually provide, but we know we have to focus on the positive help which we can give”.

The Trust agreed unanimously that Oakleaf should divert funds previously assigned for the Art classes to support the immediate core costs. Given the outstanding leadership and team work that Susanna has observed over the years of visiting and direct contact with Oakleaf, she has the impression that the charity is in 'safe hands'  and will continue to act with energy and focus to maintain the high quality of support and care for those seeking relief and succour from mental unease and distress. Lastly Moyra reiterated the gratitude Oakleaf owed to our Trust, the benefits the Art department has derived over the years and its distinctive link in terms of both his professional and creative work of Dominic Beer.

A beautiful painting donated to Susanna from an Oakleaf client, specially selected by the class based on the colours that Dominic had used in some of his artwork.

*http://www.oakleaf-enterprise.org- Read more about Oakleaf here.


The Beer-Harris Memorial Trust (formerly The Dominic Beer Memorial Trust) is a registered charity in England (1155652)