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The High Sheriff of Surrey Visits The Skill Mill to Witness Youth Empowerment in Action

The Skill Mill recently welcomed a distinguished guest, the High Sheriff of Surrey, Tim Wates, in a visit that also underscored the ongoing support from The Wates Group.  This visit highlighted the collaboration and progress achieved through the ASSETS [Assisting Social Enterprises to Succeed] programme in 2023, showcasing the real-world impact of this partnership on young lives.   The High Sheriff met Davie Parks, Skill Mill founder & Managing Director, Surrey Skill Mill Supervisors Ross Carter & Simon Knight, and some of their current Skill Mill cohort of young people. The High Sheriff first went to Norbury Park Sawmill nr Dorking where the Skill Mill has been sourcing wood for their work locally before moving onto a nearby barn which is currently being renovated by The Skill Mill and watched the young people at work.  

The High Sheriff spent some time speaking to the young people employed by The Skill Mill and was interested to hear about their lives before starting on the programme and how the Skill Mill was helping them. One of the young people was interested in hearing from Tim about how he could work for Wates and potential earnings and what working as a Chairman and High Sheriff was like!  

“It was great to see Skill Mill in action in Surrey.  Their programmes help young people find their way in life and is proven to be exceptionally effective in reducing re offending.  Thanks to the Skill Mill team for all you do for our young people.” - said Tim Wates when commenting about the visit.   

The Skill Mill is working in partnership with Surrey Youth Justice Services in Surrey. 

Jon Twigg, Projects Coordinator at Youth Offer Team said:  "It was a pleasure for Skill Mill Surrey to host the High Sheriff, Tim Wates, at the Norbury Park Sawmill site. We are so proud of the young people who have come through the Skill Mill program, and of the many positive outcomes for young people the Skill Mill has contributed to the Youth Offer Team and Surrey Youth Justice Service over our three years in partnership."  

This visit from Tim Wates not only emphasised the valuable contribution of The Wates Group but also shone a light on the aspirational journey of the young people engaged with The Skill Mill. Such interactions are pivotal in inspiring and shaping the futures of these young individuals, proving the importance of sustained support and mentorship in their personal and professional growth.


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