‘We need to move away from rattling charity tins” - the message from social enterprise founder
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
The founder of a social enterprise in Norwich has said that 'we need to move away from rattling of charity tins and being reliant on charity grants' as he discussed stepping down from his position.
Barry Allard created the social enterprise LEAP in 2008 but as he makes preparations to step down, Zoe Ward, who has benefitted from the charity, was invited to quiz Mr Allard on his work.
LEAP - and their trading arm The Feed - help vulnerable adults to gain skills, build confidence and get a job through teaching catering skills. Miss Ward was able to get a job as a support worker after LEAP gave her experience of helping with the homeless.
Miss Ward asked why he created a social enterprise.
'We need to move away from rattling of charity tins and being reliant on charity grants' Mr Allard said.
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'It's not about social enterprises. It's about purpose driven business that will impact society. The bottom line isn't just making a profit it needs to impact the community and the FEED shows that.
'Young people are beginning to vote with their feet, saying I want to see where this product comes from and what impact it has.'
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Mr Allard started LEAP after working on the front line of the homeless services for Norwich City Council.
'I realised that more needed to be done as people were coming to me with a mental health problem or a housing problem,' he told Miss Ward. 'But six months later they were coming back with the same problems.'
Miss Ward asked what will Mr Allard miss most.
'I'm always humbled by people who come in and have faced extreme disadvantages and their ability to turn their lives around.' He said
'When we were opening the FEED stall and Dariusz [a beneficiary] turned round and said: 'This is the best day of my life' It was amazing. Its easy to forget that your having an impact of peoples lives.'
Mr Allard is hoping to take a breather before helping others to set up there own enterprises.
He is being replaced by Matt Townsend of North Norfolk Community Transport.