Social Enterprise Spotlight – Ayrshire Childrens Services CIC
In our latest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Marianne Greenway and Ayrshire Childrens Services CIC – a social enterprise that supports children aged 6-18 who have Additional Support Needs. Get in touch with Marianne on 01294 601974 / firstname.lastname@example.org and check out www.ayrshirechildrensservices.org. Connect with them on Twitter and Facebook too.
Every few weeks we focus on a randomly selected social enterprise member for intense marketing support and promotion. Ayrshire Childrens Services CIC will feature in all e-bulletins, on our website homepage and on all our social media, alongside other support, reaching thousands of people across Scotland and beyond.
What’s your social and/or environmental mission? Ayrshire Children’s Services CIC (ACS) provides personal one to one support for children who have additional support needs (ASN). We support children aged 6-18 years to become more connected to their community, helping children become less isolated and be more independent.
How do you do it? Each child is matched with a support worker who visits them on a weekly basis, they begin by building a relationship with each other and the workers aim is to find out what the child’s hopes, dreams and wishes are, from there they set out on a journey of change. We help the child come out of their home environment and become a part of their community.
What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? My personal motivation for being a ‘social entrepreneur’ stems from three different themes. The 1st being my 23 years of experience as a community development worker and seeing the differences good innovative ideas can make. Secondly, it comes from the wider financial challenges within my local community and the need for more effective community services, delivered more ‘cost effectively’.
What are your current projects? ACS runs two ‘Why Don’t you…’ Activity Clubs, for children with Additional Support Needs. These clubs give children the opportunity to come and play whilst their parents take a back seat and catch up with friends. We also deliver over 400 hours of one to one bespoke support each month to children and their families.
What exciting things do you have coming up? ACS has a few great projects to look forward to this year. Alongside our two Activity Clubs, we plan to open a third in the next few months. We will be launching our first ‘Tumble-in’ Club, which helps children develop their ‘motor skills’. This summer, our children will be involved in our ‘Arts Blast’ project, a fashion show event in partnership with North Ayrshire Council and CAPR Style Scotland’s most innovative small business award winner in the ‘Face of British Businesses’ awards.
Who do you want to work with more? ACS works with children up to the age of 18 years and we have started to focus some of our attention on the older age group and their need to be more independent and for some the ability to work and earn a wage. ACS and E+ would like to grow our working relationship to help young adults with additional support needs become confident individuals and to help them gain sustainable employment.
What’s your biggest challenge? Competing in a wider world – The biggest challenge lately is the completion of two Procurement Tenders, which weren’t easy, especially when they’re not conducive for smaller SME’s to bid. I sense there is positive change coming, as we all know SME’s are vital contributors to the Scottish economy and locally the council are addressing some issues.
What top tip would you give to other social enterprises? Don’t dwell on things when they go wrong, just get up, move on and keeping looking forward. When seeking advice, ask people you respect or those you would like to become. If others don’t get it, they will hold you back and will eventually break your confidence. Join Social Enterprise Scotland and become part of a bigger voice.