We are very excited to be nearly ready to launch our very own social enterprise – Crescent Cleaning Services!
Why does a homeless charity need a social enterprise?
Losing employment can be a cause of homelessness, but research from nationwide homeless charity Shelter suggests that up to 55% of families who are experiencing homelessness are still in paid work. This indicates that the benefits system does not adequately support all of those which it has been put in place to.
A report from Crisis, another large homeless charity, shows that an overwhelming number of single people experiencing, and those at risk of, homelessness want to work - up to 88% - despite having higher support needs. Sadly though, only 10% of these individuals are actually in paid employment.
Someone experiencing homelessness is likely to face several barriers when it comes to finding employment and accessing employment opportunities. These can include, but are in no way limited to, poor mental or physical health, loss of confidence, lack of basic skill, learning difficulties, substance misuse, offending, being a victim of violent crime, coming from an unsettled background, lack of understanding from employers, and lack of experience.
Homelessness is likely to cause someone to lose their confidence, and as I am sure many of you are aware, there is often a lot of anxiety involved in all aspects of seeking employment, from CV writing and job hunting, to dressing for and attending job interviews. Even something simple, like a lack of transport or suitable clothing or equipment can hold someone back from finding an employment opportunity.
Here at Arc, we are very aware of the struggles our clients experience when seeking employment and we want to do something about it!
How will Crescent Cleaning Services work?
Crescent Cleaning Services will employ and train Arc clients who have are ready to start employment and have recently moved on from our services. Our employees will be fully supported every step of the way, and we are very prepared to tackle any issue which they may face! We currently have two employees ready to start with their training in the coming days.
The employment will be staged to ensure that each employee is sufficiently supported and ready to move forwards. Each stage will involve a set of training to complete, allowing confidence and transferable skills to build gradually. After passing probation, each employee will be offered an opportunity to complete a Level 2 qualification in Cleaning and Support Services Skills (NCFE).
By eliminating the barriers to employment, we aim to support each Crescent Cleaning Services employee in such a way which sets them up for long term employment in a field which they are interested in.
As well as having a social impact, Crescent Cleaning Services will be environmentally friendly, meaning that we will strive to minimise the cost of this social enterprise on our planet.
Who is making this possible?
A massive amount of teamwork and collaboration has been required to bring Crescent Cleaning Services from an idea to reality, including staff members from all across Arc and other organisations. We are so grateful to have been supported and funded by the Enterprise Development Programme and Homeless Link to get this project off the ground, allowing for thorough research, business planning, training, and the employment of a Social Enterprise Manager – Jordan Canter.
Jordan has extensive experience in business development and management, as well as setting up and running his own cleaning company. Jordan has had to start from the beginning – writing policies, developing recruitment processes, researching equipment, and all other related business frameworks, all of which are suitably tailored to meet the needs of those who we are supporting.
We are pleased to announce that Homeless Link have also just approved funding for a Supervisor position, allowing for an extra member of staff to support employees along their journey.
Who will be your customers?
We will be our first customer, providing cleaning services within our 16 properties and for cleaning recently vacated rooms in these properties. This is where we will be starting on October 1st 2021. Once we are ready, Crescent Cleaning Services will be offered externally.
What about the branding?
We are absolutely delighted to have been working with some incredibly talented Graphics Design students at Richard Huish College. We set the task of creating a logo, slogan, values, mission statement, uniform and vehicle design, and there were some amazing results! A huge ‘congratulations’ and big thank you to Cerys for designing our logomark, Jemima for our slogan, Ellie for our values, Isla for our mission statement and Matei for the placement of our brand on uniform and vehicles! We think these are perfect and we are so grateful to the students for their hard work.
To find out more about Crescent Cleaning Services, please head to the website: https://crescentcleaningservices.org.uk/