Foster announces new social enterprise schemes

Aug 30, 2012

Pictured with Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster are Health Minister Edwin Poots and Daisies Café's Rory Proctor and Louise Gregg

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced plans by Accept Care Social Firms Ltd in Bangor to establish three new social enterprises, creating 23 new jobs in Northern Ireland’s social economy sector.

Two new Daisies Cafés will be established in Belfast and Lurgan as part of this expansion, creating 11 new jobs. The 12 remaining positions will be created in a community farm project.

Daisies Café in Newtownards forms part of Accept Care’s network of services, which includes helping people access training and employment opportunities. This award-winning social firm is a fully operational café, which also offers a carefully planned, supportive working environment for the proportion of its workforce with mental ill health or a learning disability.

Invest NI has been working with the company to develop a business plan for a number of new projects and is supporting the new jobs under the social economy measure of its Jobs Fund.

Commenting following a visit to Daisies Café in Newtownards where she was accompanied by Health Minister Edwin Poots, Arlene Foster said: “Social enterprises have a unique contribution to make to the Northern Ireland economy in regenerating disadvantaged communities and areas. Accept Care and Daisies Café have demonstrated the potential for growth and success within this sector.

“This expansion, supported under Invest NI’s Job Fund, will help to further develop the social economy sector by promoting entrepreneurship and offering job opportunities for those most remote from the labour market.”

Health Minister Edwin Poots said: “Daisies Café provides trainees with valuable training and work experience that will help people with a learning disability find employment in the workplace. Daisies Café provides young people with the opportunity to gain the skills, self belief and confidence they need to take their place in the community as equals.

“We must continue to ensure that we work together for the future so that many more people can avail of the skills and opportunities the young people here today are benefiting from.”

Accept Care Social Firms Ltd is part of the Accept Care Group which offers a variety of services to help disadvantaged and disabled people enhance their lifestyle and operate more effectively in education, work and in the community.

Derek McClure, Operations Director at Accept Care Group, said: “Accept Care Social Firms is focused on creating a supportive and enabling environment for disadvantaged and disabled people and helping to create sustainable and cohesive communities throughout Northern Ireland. Our new Daisies Cafés and community farm projects will contribute to the growth of the sector and ultimately the local economy.”

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