In celebration of the first ever UK Social Saturday this weekend, each day this week we are running a series of case studies to showcase different social enterprises operating in Leicester.
Social Saturday is a new campaign to drive awareness of social enterprise and the impact that they have on the community around them.
Today’s study is of local social enterprise Tomorrow Together.
Social enterprise Tomorrow Together is the brainchild of successful entrepreneur Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan. Established in 2010, Tomorrow Together provides sustainable employment opportunities for people from hard to reach groups and transform the lives of people in the local community. The enterprise came into existence as a result of the work carried out by the Zinthiya Trust, a registered charity. The trust was set up in 2009 and provides free confidential services helping people to change their lives and get them back into education and employment. The trust works with disadvantaged women including women who have come into contact with the criminal justice system, exploited by the sex industry, who are fleeing domestic violence, homeless and in long term unemployment.
In 2012 Tomorrow Together set on a journey to turn two neglected buildings into thriving community spaces. Today the social enterprise is successfully running two cafés, the Chapel Cafe within the Methodist Church in Leicester’s Town Hall Square and the Library Cafe at New Parks library.
The cafes now employ 4 people on a permanent basis and have over 25 regular volunteers from a variety of backgrounds including those with physical disabilities, learning difficulties, young people coming out of care, asylum seekers and long term unemployed. In addition both cafes have worked with local organisations such as the Princes Trust Team Programme run by Leicester Fire & Rescue, Leicestershire Cares and most recently Remploy.
Zinthiya Ganespanchan, Director of Tomorrow Together commented “This has been an extremely positive experience and we have seen real progression in the people who have come to us on placement. They are provided with training and the opportunity to gain a qualification in food hygiene as well as receiving support to improve their confidence and interaction with customers. One particularly positive outcome was a young lady who, after completing a two week placement, became a regular volunteer then went on to became our first apprentice”. The Chapel Cafe also helps individuals who are aiming to set up their own hospitality business to gain experience and improve their commercial knowledge.
Both cafes try to support local businesses wherever possible. The tea and coffee is all fair trade and the coffee is roasted locally at St Martins Coffee Company. Cakes are made by a local woman who has started her own company, Bebalicious Cakes, and fruit and vegetables are sourced from Leicester Market. The cafes offer a range of dishes including homemade soup and a wide variety of sandwiches, paninis, jacket potatoes and salad bowls.
Social Saturday takes place on Saturday 13th September 2014. Choose Social Saturday as your day to buy from a local business that puts people and planet first. Visit www.socialsaturday.org.uk for more information.