We’re pretty proud of our social enterprises and Oak Tree is especially unique.
Established in 2002, Oak Tree not only funds the life changing work of the wider Pathway Group, but it also provides a casual labour pool that supports local businesses.
Whether there’s a container that needs devanning or they have a labour intensive period to get through, Oak Tree can provide the person or people to get the job done.
It’s a service that’s been particularly useful for farming co-operative, Ravensdown. Based in Hornby, Ravensdown is all about reducing environmental impact and optimising the value of our farming land through nutrients and fertilisers. “Agriculture needs grass and grass needs nutrients to grow,” Manager, Customer Services Graham Henshaw says of the critical role of the organisation.
Ravensdown imports around 30 bulk ships a year of product, plus around 650 containers arrive at the Hornby site in a 12-month period.
“A ship typically takes two days to unload,” Graham says.
“Across a year, that can be a huge labour drain, which is why we need to be able to pull in additional resource on a casual basis.”
Having previously used Oak Tree for devanning, this has recently extended into other areas such as traffic management and cleaning activities, which would otherwise take the organisation’s core staff away from their jobs.
The company had been struggling with a lack of communication and reliability from other casual labour firms, which would result in staffing shortages at late notice. So Ravensdown started working with Oak Tree and the relationship now spans several years. “We’ve got a great relationship with Jamie and with Sandra before him,” Graham says.
“It’s a reliable service and we know when we book staff that they will turn up.”
“Ravensdown is a really great client to work with and we’re always getting reports about how great they are to work for,” Oak Tree Operations Manager Jamie Dale says.
“We want to thank Ravensdown for the constant work and opportunities they are providing for our staff, whether it is casual days to the longer 3-4 month long assignments that we have a few of our staff working on.”