MarketBeans is a social enterprise providing young people with a learning disability and/or autism with work skills and training which will increase their employability. This is recognising that only 16% of adults with autism and 6% people with a learning disability are in fully paid work in the UK, highlighting a real need for improving the employment prospects for these groups. We will sell a range of high quality coffee at events and in public spaces from a 'coffee bike', which we will cycle to the location, supplementing mains power with solar panels so minimising the environmental impact of the project. Supporting this project will mean we can buy our bike and coffee making equipment to get started! Surpluses/profits will be reinvested into the project and also used to help support other local charitable organisations, working collaboratively with those organisations e.g. SOLD in Shoreham, broadening the reach to more beneficiaries, as well as sharing ideas and resources.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Huge numbers of people love drinking high quality coffee and are prepared to pay for it. MarketBeans will feed this demand in an exciting, vibrant and innovative way which will capture people's imagination! Our coffee bike will be visually engaging and will draw people in with its very clear environmentally friendly ethos. Our workforce will be young people with autism and/or a leaning disability who will be trained to prepare coffee to a high standard and with excellent customer service skills. This will help prepare them for future employment, as well as provide them with a recognised Barista qualification. All our profits will either be re-invested in the organisation or will help to fund other local charitable organisations to meet their social objectives, so the more coffee we sell, the more money can be put to good use in these challenging economic times. Linking up with other organisations will enable us to provide these opportunities to as many as young people as possible.
Steps to get it done:
We, Roger Lightbown and Katherine Wynne, are setting up this social enterprise as we have a shared passion to improve the life chances for young people with autism and/or a learning disability. We have both worked for a local disability charity Independent Lives for the past 13 years leading on innovative health & social care development, Roger Lightbown as head of business development (recently made redundant from this position) and Katherine Wynne as director of services. We have both been involved in high profile development projects e.g. Guardian Public Service Award winning innovative clinical skills training service for people managing their own personal health budget. This has provided us with the skills and experience to efficiently and effectively manage this social enterprise to ensure it becomes sustainable and successful in achieving its social objectives. Roger also has lived experience of supporting his 17 year old daughter who has autism to achieve her life goals.
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