Royal Mail Engineering Apprentices
Each year, the engineering apprentices at Royal Mail enjoy a five-day residential trip to the Anderton Centre.
The tradition began back in 2011, and every Autumn since, the new wave of apprentices take part in team building exercises and personal challenges over the week. This culminates in a big, group activity where the apprentices put everything they’ve learned into one challenge.
Darren Borthwick, the National Engineering Apprenticeship Programme Manager, has been sending his teams of between 12 to 20 people to the Anderton Centre each year to bring together the new recruits, and see how they deal with pressure.
“It allows us to see a different side of the apprentices. If someone is struggling because they are, say, scared of heights, we get to see who goes and helps their fellow teammate.”
However, Darren’s teams usually throw themselves into any challenge that they’re faced with at the Anderton Centre.
Each year, the activities differ as the Anderton Centre like to create bespoke packages for the clients – which, Darren says, is one of the reasons they keep coming back.
During this year’s visit, it was apprentice Charlies’ birthday – and it was up to his colleagues to save his birthday as part of the group challenge.
Darren said: “It was Charlie’s birthday on the last full day at the Anderton Centre. They bought him a cake and some fizzy drinks – but we had to work as a team to get them. The staff put the birthday supplies on a paddleboard in the middle of the lake, and we had to complete mini team-building exercises in order to build a raft and sail to ‘save’ the supplies!
“It was extra special, because the instructors couldn’t have known about Charlie’s birthday until after they arrived for their residential trip. It goes to show how the Anderton Centre will go above and beyond to ensure you get the best experience.”
Usually, the new Royal Mail apprentice teams are formed from across the UK: Inverness, Belfast, Kent – and each year they travel to the Anderton Centre in Chorley.
Darren said the staff were one of the main reasons they continue to choose the Anderton Centre: “The staff here are brilliant. We’ve been coming for years, and even if there’s been new staff added to the team there’s always been consistency with the instructors. The packages are flexible and always catered to your needs, and they can get any of the apprentices who might be lacking confidence to thrive. We always get great feedback from the apprentices who go each year”.
Peel Land and Property Group
A team away day has had a positive on the office environment within the Finance Team at Peel Land and Property Group.
The 40-strong team, based near the Trafford Centre, have attended corporate away days at the Anderton Centre in Chorley for the last couple of years as a way of integrating new members of staff and improving the bond between employees.
During the day, the team take part in a number of games such as the crate stack, kayaking and team building. Previously they have also taken part in a group raft building challenge.
James Chadwick, Treasurer at Peel Land & Property Group, said: “People really surprise themselves with how much they are capable of doing, and everyone gets to know more about one another other. The feedback has been really positive and people enjoyed trying activities that they wouldn’t ordinarily do.
“The range of activities is very good. We have people aged 16 to 65 and everyone got stuck in. Lots of people said they were scared of heights, but at the end of the session they were 16 crates up in the air on the crate stack.”
Despite living across the North West, the Anderton Centre is accessible for the whole Peel Land and Property team, with a wide range of activities, on-site catering and experienced instructors.
James said: “The food at the centre was great, with a fantastic choice. Everyone was fed and watered and the groups’ dietary needs – halal, vegetarian and vegan – were all catered for. The staff were great – really helpful and supportive.
“Some away days can get very expensive very quickly, but the price at the Anderton Centre is very reasonable and you’re also provided with all the kit you’ll need for the activities. We would go again.”
Bolton At Home
A Bolton-based company said the stunning surroundings and consistent level of service is the reason the team returns to the Anderton Centre time and time again.
Bolton at Home, a housing association based in Bolton, have used the Anderton Centre for a number of years.
The company, which has 900 staff, regularly uses the Chorley-based centre for its business development away days.
Tina Cunliffe, Director of Corporate Services, said: “I have been many times over the years.
We tend to use the meeting rooms for away days when we want to get away from the office and focus on the business.
“The environment is ideal for that ‘away day’ feel – even though it is quite local to us. We have the option to go for a lovely walk at lunch time and talk to one another outside, and do team building events as well if we want.”
Tina and the team make the most of the four meeting rooms available at the Anderton Centre. The largest, which will hold 90 people theatre style, is regularly used for the main group discussions, with the smaller downstairs meeting rooms used as break-out rooms for smaller meetings.
Tina said: “We go through projects like business planning during our away days. The Anderton Centre enables us to do our work without any distractions in a stunning environment. The space is flexible and catering facilities are also available.”
Bolton at Home, who have also taken advantage of the team building activities, like archery and raft building in the past, said the price was very competitive to other venues.
Tina added: “The feedback when we go is always very good from staff. People like it there the location is beautiful, the service is consistently good and the staff are very welcoming.”