Two companies shortlisted for Social Enterprise category at Fenland Business Awards

OUR look at the shortlists for the second Fenland Enterprise Business Awards continues with a look at the candidates for the Social Enterprise Award.

HOPE SOCIAL ENTERPRISES

HOPE is a reuse and recycle business in March that offers employment, work experience and training to the long-term unemployed and individuals who may be prevented from gaining work experience due to personal circumstances.

HOPE, owned by the Luminus Group, sources damaged or unwanted goods and repairs them for resale, benefitting the community and the environment.

Lorraine George, of Luminus, said: “HOPE has supported, mentored and trained 39 people over the past year, making a valuable contribution to the local economy.


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“The combination of recycling goods and providing employment and support for local vulnerable people has created a financially viable business model that supports homeless charity The Ferry Project.”

The business model also provided opportunity for expanding the business and in 2009, HOPE moved to two new warehouse units.

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A number of employees and volunteers have also gained appropriate qualifications this year to process small electrical appliances, ensuring they are safe for resale.

Lorraine said: “HOPE is not just a business, but a social enterprise delivering a first-class service to the environment, community and individuals.”

• HOPE won the Social Enterprise Award at the inaugural awards last year.

FACET

FACET, or Fenland Area Community Enterprise Trust, helps adults with learning disabilities across the district. It provides training and work experience to help people prepare for the workplace.

Training is offered in retail, horticulture, woodwork, catering, IT, literacy, numeracy, art, craft, drama, music and sport. Work experience is provided through its charity shop, furniture warehouse, garden centre, woodwork shop and catering enterprise.

Linda Ingram, chief executive of FACET, said: “We help our students to become much more integrated with the rest of the community and to help them live independently or in supported living.

“Our training provision includes things like handling money, budgeting, going to the supermarket, etc. We also teach cookery skills, travel training, in fact anything that helps our students to live the same everyday lives as other members of the local community.

“We have also been very successful in working with volunteers with mental health problems, providing them with the help and support they need to learn new skills and re-enter the workplace.”

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