Inspiring Enterprise have been helping a Social Enterprise set up and develop in Wickham.
The Project in Wickham, set up by Sue Cooper and her team of volunteers collect and recycle food and products – which otherwise would be sent to landfill – from major supermarkets with permission. Goods are then laid out on Monday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons at Wickham Community Centre and can be picked up by anyone in return for a cash donation, a skill swap or simply the giving of time.More than 60 people, a real cross-section of society from across the region, regularly attend the sessions.
Sue said: “I hate waste and today’s throwaway society drives me mad. I’m a single mum and instead looking for a job I decided to create a business which benefits our community, with help from the Inspiring Opportunities team. Many big name supermarkets and shops have come on board and now they even approach me to take part.
“We are open to anyone – the young, elderly, those on benefits, working parents who don’t have benefits and even richer folk who also hate waste and can give something back to help sustain The Project. It is also a hub for people to meet and we are creating a real community feel and helping to tackle rural isolation.”
Sue is currently receiving support from Action Hampshire, Social Enterprise specialists for the Inspiring Enterprise project with developing a company structure, identifying financial support and implementing income streams to make the project sustainable. There are also plans for a ‘fix it’ workshop demonstrating how things can be repaired and a car care section with affordable vehicle check-ups.