Enterprise case studies

The Life and Soul Kitchen Ltd

Life and soul cafe logo

The Life and Soul Kitchen Ltd is a registered charitable company who provide the services of a regular café but also have a defined social purpose by providing training and education to people who have a learning disability and want to learn new vocational and social skills in a real work place environment.

They have recently extended the premises so that there is space for pre-school and school holiday activities in the form of Pace Boogie tots, Dinophonics, Circus tots and gym tots and they are dog friendly too. This means that the charity café is a friendly, fun and inclusive place to be. They provide volunteering opportunities too.

They found out about our services from another social enterprise, Choices Foundation CIC, which provides work place opportunities for people with learning disability through manufacturing items from recycled wood, in particular garden furniture.

The local enterprise and resources team has supported the Life and Soul Kitchen Ltd through a re-branding and re-focussing of their charity aims and brand, to access funding and increase trading income through diversification and seizing new business opportunities. The difference our support has made has been that their governance is much more robust and the activities are diverse. Just a few months on and the charity is fast becoming a sustainable enterprise and provides 10 placements for people with a learning disability.

They have a large following and buy in to their services, warm and welcoming environment and very active on their Facebook page.

C.A.R.E. Herefordshire CIC

C.A.R.E CIC logo

C.A.R.E Herefordshire CIC is based at Pontrilas Business Park and is an award winning 'social enterprise', working in the community for the community.

The local enterprise and resources team has supported C.A.R.E to develop its business model which is to run the local Post Office and village shop and use the profits to fund services and activities that support older residents to continue living independently in their own homes. The team provided advice to Sonya Cary, the founder of C.A.R.E to develop her business plan, which had to be approved by the Post Office, to demonstrate that the enterprise would be a sustainable business as well as fulfilling a social purpose.

As C.A.R.E. has developed, advice has been provided on funding and finance to develop activities as well as a bespoke social impact model to demonstrate the positive impact it is having on the local community. Activities includes community lunches, a foot clinic and fitness classes as well as a good neighbour scheme, all serving Pontrilas and the wider Golden Valley community. C.A.R.E. has been helped to expand through significant funding provided by the Herefordshire LEADER Programme (funded by the European Union and managed by DEFRA). This has enabled it to provide a community café in premises adjacent to the post office and shop. It is also about to open its latest venture - a fitness centre.

Sonya Cary, Founder/Director, C.A.R.E. said

"At the heart of the area, we aim to attract people of all ages and abilities to exercise on a regular basis and benefit from improved health, wellbeing and social connectivity. Our facilities will feature a full suite of brand new fitness equipment including, CV, resistance and free weights areas as well as a fantastic functional training area that doubles up as a group exercise studio."

"We've a great deal of gratitude for the council's support in all of C.A.R.E.'s community endeavours. Words could never express my sincere and humblest gratitude. "

C.A.R.E fitness studio impression

Golden Valley Fitness Centre architect simulation

Further information on community finance options can be found on our funding pages.

 

Avenbury Care Farm

Images of animals and people at the Avenbury Care Farm

Avenbury Care Farm has been developed in Bishops Frome, for the purpose of delivering high quality outdoor and indoor farm based activities for people with physical and learning disabilities, additional needs, mental health and dementia.

The care farm includes a large barn, a training kitchen, arts, crafts and woodwork rooms.  The 3.5 acre site is completely wheelchair accessible including sensory planning which provides quiet places.  A large vegetable growing area comprising of 12 raised beds.  There are friendly animals for opportunities to connect with and learn about animal care.

Avenbury is an Approved Specialist Provider for Herefordshire Council and firmly fits into principles of supporting residents to remain independent and lead fulfilling lives, whilst creating and maintaining a successful economy.

Social Objectives

  • Improve mental health and wellbeing
  • Provide positive contact and connection with people
  • Learning new skills
  • Create a beautiful and tranquil, natural community space for people to visit and enjoy

Support from the Community Enterprise and Finance Officer

Advice and support has been provided since the beginning of their venture by Elaine, our Community Enterprise and Finance Officer. From advising on incorporation, to discussing different company models, advising on writing a professional business plan, income generation and social finance, Elaine has supported them closely on their journey. 

Elaine has also helped with funding applications and networking opportunities enabling, them to form valuable connections, especially in the Adults and Communities directorate within Herefordshire Council.  Avenbury were put in touch with the national organisation NYS by the team, where 10 volunteers created raised beds and outdoor seating.

Founder and CEO Ina said

"Elaine's vast knowledge of the funding and enterprise landscape is only a phone call away and we have been very lucky to receive advice when we need it".

The service they are running is very successful and valued by those who use it, but as a start up, it is also about building the brand to encourage more people to use their services.

Improving health and wellbeing is one of their key objectives, and spending time with the animals has a definite positive impact on service users.

Ina, reports that

 "our current service users have shown marked increases in confidence and learning new skills when it comes to undertaking regular activities at the care farm. Developing life skills such as cooking is an important aspect of what we do."

Quote from a carer

"...this is the best place I have ever taken disabled adults. The experience they received was out of this world, the staff were friendly, helpful, kind, caring, patient, knowledgeable and nothing was too much for any of them.

Quote from one of the service users

What do like best? "All of it!"

Watch Harriet's video on her morning at the Care Farm.

You can find out more about Avenbury on their website www.avenburycarefarm.com