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At Exemplar, we don’t just offer training to our staff. All our residents have the opportunity to take part in educational or vocational courses.
It’s a common misconception that young people in care aren’t able to complete any qualifications. So when residents at Quarryfields decided they wanted to take a business class, Exemplar made sure they had all the resources they needed.
A group of residents got involved class ran by ASDAN, a training company who help people develop skills for learning, employment and life.
As part of this course, they set out on a mini enterprise project to raise money for the homes activities fund.
The group decided to design a Quarryfields tote bag which they could sell them to friends and family. They held a “design a bag” competition and the winner was chosen by staff and residents.
The winning design
As part of the course, they had to learn about business loans. So they wrote to Exemplar’s Communications Director Tracy Clarkson for a no-interest loan for the materials they needed.
Tracy wrote back and visited the group to arrange a business meeting. She said: “When I went to meet them I felt like the queen, as the service users had baked cakes for after our business meeting, which included everyone being involved in a wonderful presentation, showcasing the work that had gone into their business venture. “
After securing the money, the group hired a company called BIDBI to manufacture the bags for them. They even took to a trip to BIDI’s factory to see how the bags are made.
BIDI wrote on their blog: “The group from Exemplar tested our product and business knowledge with loads of inquisitive questions.”
“Each client had the chance to print their own bag too- proving they are just as good at making their bags as selling them.”
The bags, which cost £3 each, have been sold at many events in the home as well as the RCN Congress in Bournemouth.
The money from the bags are sold the money will be put towards a day trip to celebrate all the hard work they put into the project.