A charitable retail centre that provides employment and training services to islanders with disabilities is expanding its services to include collections and house clearances.
Acorn Enterprises' new services have been made possible through a £47,000 donation from the Lloyds Bank Foundation, which will support the roles of Driver, Supervisor and Collections & Sorting Supervisor.
Acorn Enterprises is a social initiative run by Jersey Employment Trust (JET). It provides training and support to enable people to gain additional skills and build confidence prior to going into the workplace. It comprises Acorn Nursery, Acorn Woodshack, and the newer Acorn Reuse Centre - a 1,600sqm charitable retail centre.
Pictured: Acorn's new store is Jersey’s largest social enterprise project.
The Jersey Employment Trust was formed in 2002 to help people with disabilities and long-term health conditions secure work. The charity provides a comprehensive employment placement service, vocational training and long-term support to ensure its clients can maximise their full potential and achieve their career ambitions.
JET also provides employers with advice, guidance and a recruitment service to enable them to successfully recruit and support its clients and to retain existing members of their workforce who have enduring health conditions.
Since Acorn Reuse’s inception in 2018, it has created more than 40 employment opportunities, seen 100 clients access sessions at Acorn every week, and diverted 50 tonnes from the waste stream every month on average.
Pictured: Since Acorn Reuse’s inception in 2018, it has created more than 40 employment opportunities.
It also benefits local charities by redistributing items to them to make sure everyone can benefit from reuse. So far in 2019, re-donations from Acorn have supported local charities, such as the Salvation Army and Mind Jersey, and helped organisations further afield.
Jersey Africa Projects, for example, received a piano, which will be used to accompany a children’s church choir from Jangjangbureh, a small village in Gambia.
The recent grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation will allow Acorn to create new opportunities for islanders, while also bringing in more money to be reinvested in the social enterprise.
Pictured: Acorn Enterprises includes a wood workshop.
“We are so grateful to the Foundation for this support," Jocelyn Butterworth, Executive Officer, JET said. "The grant will not only create two additional jobs but also increase our income stream, enabling our social enterprise Acorn to become self-financing by the end of 2020.
"This will secure the future of 50 paid jobs and more than 100 training placements for our clients with disabilities and long-term health conditions.”
Pictured top: Items being dropped off at Acorn Enterprises. (Gary Grimshaw/Photo Reportage)
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