The Communities Minister met trainees learning new practical skills to help them get back into employment at the Cafe on the Hill project.
The Cafe on the Hill, together with an arts and crafts studio, print and design studio and a commercial gardening business, are run by the successful Ealing-based Accession Social Enterprise Partnership.
The minister was joined on the visit by local councillor Julian Bell, and they were shown the work of the trainees in the design and print studio. Project manager Ezekiel Ikomoni explained how the trainees had learned to master design software to create the logo for Accession which is now used on all of their branding. Taking a tour of the gardening business, supervisor Robert Brooks showed the minister the thriving allotments full of fresh produce from pumpkins to tomatoes that will be sold at the local market.
Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said:
“Our social enterprises play a hugely important role in communities across the country, providing vital services that are not only relied upon by local people but contribute to strengthening the community as a whole.
“The Accession Social Enterprise and the Cafe on the Hill project are excellent examples of what can be achieved when local authorities and social enterprise work together. Today has been a great opportunity to meet the trainees and see how the skills they are learning now will help them in the future.”
The visit coincided with the launch of a new report by the Young Foundation called Grow Your Own: How local authorities can support social enterprises. The report highlights the different ways that local authorities and social enterprises can work to together to achieve better value for money and better services for local people.