Social Enterprise Spotlight – CANAPE

Posted: 25 August 2015, in Press Release

In our latest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Jane Bainbridge and CANAPE – Choosing A New And Positive Employment SCIO, a South Lanarkshire social enterprise that works with vulnerable young people aged 16-24 who have offended in the past. Get in touch with Jane on 07909 978 583 / and check out 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. CANAPE – Choosing A New And Positive Employment SCIO 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? CANAPE work with vulnerable young people aged 16-24 who have offended in the past. We currently offer three services, Trauma Therapy, Emotional Peer Mentoring and Voluntary work experience in our outside / event catering social enterprise. We use our social enterprise as the tool to build young people’s employability skills in catering. We believe that ‘you can’t look forward to a positive future, until you have dealt with a negative past’.

How do you do it?
Our young people are now being referred through various organisations working directly with young people who have offended in the past, who are finding it difficult to find employment. We offer a range of products from basic buffets to high end bespoke menus. Having trained at Entrepreneurial Spark in 2014 we have various chiclets we work alongside, who are also in the food industry.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? My husband and I co-founded CANAPE after we identified gaps in support for vulnerable young people. We chose catering as our social enterprise as this is not so much an academic subject but more a creative one. This gave us a product that we could use as an employability tool to help us provide a wider support package.

What are your current projects? CANAPE are currently moving in to our new Head Office at Langloch Farm, Lanark alongside our landlord Clydesdale Community Initiatives. Having similar goals to support vulnerable groups but both in very different business sectors, we hope to create a little social enterprise hub. Our new building is a resource for Clydesdale, and includes a training kitchen, shared office space, conference/training room and therapy room.

What exciting things do you have coming up? We have plans to turn our award shortlisted Scottish Curried Goat into a packaged product to sell. This increased income will support our vision of being able to employ some of our young people, rather than them just volunteering with us. This would allow us to become a true Social Firm.

Who do you want to work with more? CANAPE would love to work with some more experienced chefs, to help us build upon our product range and to give our young people some top tips and some new inspirational ideas for using our local produce.

What’s your biggest challenge? Finding a kitchen was our biggest challenge, but we now have that covered and we look forward to pushing forward with developing new plans in Lanarkshire and a few other places.

What top tip would you give to other social enterprises? If you can, apply for support from an incubator. The support, while sometimes very challenging and mind boggling, is the best way of picking up new skills in a very short space of time. No, you won’t be great at everything, but the more you practice, the better you will get, and the better you get, the better chance of your social enterprise being a success.