A Black County social enterprise is celebrating its 25th birthday in style after it joined forces with one of the West Midlands’ leading recruitment advertising specialists.
Candidate Source, which helps to place thousands of candidates every year, has chosen Dudley-based Lunch on the Run as its ‘Charity of the Year’ and is planning to help it increase its catering business and the number of trainees it can support.
The firm has already committed to funding the direct costs, uniform and travel expenses of one new employee and will also look to raise more than £2500 through a series of events that will run throughout the year.
This additional backing will help the social business grow its external catering services and continue to attract new customers to its coffee shop located at DY1 in Dudley…all geared towards generating revenue that will help it provide even more mentoring, training and employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities.
“Like many other organisations in our sector, we have had to endure funding cuts so have tried to become more commercial in the way that we operate…basically generating our own revenue,“ explained Sally Bassett, Manager of Lunch on the Run.
“This has been fairly successful with a number of catering projects completed for local businesses and schools, whilst taking on the coffee shop has given us the chance to increase sales whilst giving our trainees fantastic training and work experience.“
She continued: “The news that Candidate Source has chosen us as their ‘Charity of the Year’ is a fantastic way to celebrate our 25th. We’ve put our heads together and come up with some exciting ideas that will raise money to buy a commercial refrigerator and, importantly, get the message out to the business community about what we can do!“
Michelle Davies, Managing Director of Candidate Source, added her support: “We wanted our charity to be a smaller one where we could get more involved and see exactly how our expertise and support was benefitting them.
“The minute we visited Lunch on the Run, saw the enthusiasm of Sally and her staff and then met the trainees we were sold. We immediately agreed to fund one additional trainee and are looking to put on tribute acts and a race night to help raise the additional money needed to improve the facilities in Dudley.“
Lunch on the Run currently supports 17 people, providing them with training, life skills and important work experience in their catering business or coffee shop.
The latter has enjoyed a whirlwind first year after it opened its doors in Dudley and now provides shoppers, workers and tourists with a range of cold/hot drinks and great tasting cakes and snacks, including sandwiches, soups, salads and jacket potatoes.
Paul Jaunzems, Chief Executive of Lunch on the Run, concluded: “The difference we make to the people we help is significant and, in the last year, we have seen five trainees secure employment…something their families admitted they never thought would happen. There are also the life skills we are giving them so they can live independently.“
Candidate Source was set up by Michelle in 2010 after she spotted a gap in the marketplace for a resource that would provide job board support to recruitment firms across the UK.
In just six years, the Birmingham-born entrepreneur has built a client base that features the likes of Mynt Recruitment, Midas, Wote Street, Pertemps and Probe.
The firm works across all sectors and has significant expertise in candidate attraction, media buying and content creation.
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