Social enterprise formed in Thetford to help ex-offenders find employment receives £26k funding boost
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018
A social enterprise which offers training and employment opportunities for offenders and ex-offenders will be able to help more people after receiving funding.
Based at Thetford’s Charles Burrell Centre, The Horticulture Industry Scheme (THIS) offers apprenticeships and paid work placements.
The workers spend two or four months planting, nurturing and growing salad leaves and edible flowers to sell to nearby restaurants.
The scheme was launched in summer last year and has so far helped five people.
However a grant of £26,000 from the THIS WORKS programme, funded by the European Social Fund, will enable THIS to help 15 people over the next 12 months.
You may also want to watch:
“We will be training the workers in horticulture and we will also do employability training,” said group co-founder and chief executive Georgina Keatley. “We will look at what employers want from them. Look at health and safety policies and things such as how to read a pay slip.
“They will keep a work book of everything they are doing. We will help them with resettlement issues such as how to open a bank account.”
- 1 Wanted man identified after Thetford shop burglary
- 2 Father and son admit handling stolen power tools
- 3 Bryan Cranston to Meghan Markle - how USO show brings stars to our region
- 4 Night out safety advice issued after drink-spiking reports in Norfolk
- 5 Man due in court in connection with Norfolk stab attack
- 6 Work starts on new £4.2m housing project in Norfolk village
- 7 Family's tribute to 'gentle giant' killed in A134 crash
- 8 Four-car crash leaves pregnant woman in hospital
- 9 21-year-old airlifted to hospital after car crashes into trees
- 10 Retired firefighter looks back at four-day Thetford factory blaze 30 years on
She added: “The money will help us make a bigger social impact. We are trying to capture those who don’t want to re-offend and give them all of the support so they don’t.”
Those involved with THIS grow produce including chard, red-veined sorrel, bright and spicy salad mix and a range of edible flowers including borage.
These are currently supplied to The Mulberry, Thetford, The Courtyard Restaurant at the Elveden Estate and The Northgate in Bury St Edmunds.
It is hoped with more people benefiting from the scheme they can supply more restaurants over the coming year.
Craig Hutchison, from Norwich, has been involved with THIS for two months.
“I gain skills and hopefully I can get back into work full time,” said the 27-year-old. “I like working outside and its hands on. It is helpful.”
THIS will have to match fund the £26,000 grant and Ms Keatley said this will be achieved through the sales of the produce, training in prisons and through fundraising and other grants.
For more information about visit the THIS website.