An enabled workforce Company rises from the ashes to offer its disabled workers a framework for success.
Enabled Works Ltd was formed in response to the closure of Leeds and Pontefract Remploy sites, as a not-for-profit workers co-operative which is owned and run by its own disabled workforce.
The current premises on Howley Park Road in Morley comprise of a suite of offices above a 4,500 square foot factory workspace area, which lends itself to two very different income streams.
On the upper floor the aim is to train and rehabilitate disabled and disadvantaged people, giving them access to potential work placements using a network of former business contacts and fulfilling the mission to assist the local community.
The day-to-day operations within the lower factory area focus on the provision of goods and services through contracts with businesses and local authorities in a pick/pack and distribution environment, involving a mixture of contract packing, mailings, fulfilment and electrical assembly work.
Morley-based company Delta Design and Print Ltd is one of the latest to benefit from this service. George Wright from Delta said:
We really believe in what they are doing. They have such confidence in their ability. We should be supporting organisations and individuals like this and I wish them luck.”
Year of progress
2013 was a hugely successful year for the fledging organisation – the team reached the final of the Morley Business Awards and won a Social Enterprise Start-Up of the Year award for the Yorkshire and Humber region. Managing Director, Tina Brown, also received the MBE from Prince William at Buckingham Palace for services to disabled people.
The Enabled Works team was entered, along with Seagulls Paints and Bramley Baths, in Yorkshire Venture Philanthropy’s (YVP) Dragon’s Den event; compered by Dave Parkin from thebusinessdesk.com and Sir Tim Smit (the man behind the worldrenowned Eden Project).
The three local companies were asked to pitch their ideas to some financially powerful business guests in an attempt to attract new investment from YVP.
Enabled Works was announced the winner after an audience text vote. On receiving the winner’s cheque for the largest share of the £10,000 total prize pot, Tina Brown said:
We managed to win this award and the associated prize money but all these causes are just as worthy.”
Enabled Works also houses a learning centre for use by employees, trainees and local organisations to deliver on the job training and possible employment through its own in-house packing and production unit.
Collaborative working is key for the group and this includes a free monthly clinic with Independent Financial Advisor Philip Clark. Free impartial financial advice can be accessed in recognition of the fact that people with either confidence or disability-related issues can often feel intimidated when dealing with the complicated world of financial services.
Besides this, a current search for grant funding will look to develop cooking facilities and a new partnership with Emily Carey at Get Cooking! who will offer cooking lessons for some of the members.
An established partnership with training organisation Fleetmasters Operational Support Services Ltd based in Ossett already exists offering a range of computer-based learning opportunities.
This training gives those with disabilities and mobility issues easier access to a range of personal development and employability courses which help build confidence and inspire disabled and disadvantaged people.
More recently, Enabled Works has been granted approved provider status to deliver forklift truck driver training by Fleetmasters, which will provide another valuable funding stream for this ever evolving organisation.
For more information visit: www.enabledworks.co.uk