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New campaign is put in the Frame

PembsFrameA PEMBROKESHIRE business is fronting a new campaign to showcase the contribution of social enterprises to the economy.
Community re-use organisation Pembrokeshire Frame is being featured in ‘Go Full Circle’, a national campaign to raise the profile of social enterprises – a business or service with primarily social or community objectives.
The company provides work practice, training and employment opportunities to people with, or recovering from, mental ill health and or a learning disability and those who are socially disadvantaged.
Originally established as ‘Furniture Recycled and Managed Effectively’, it was set up to maximise employment opportunities for people who are severely disadvantaged in the labour market.
The company provides opportunities for people to undertake work, develop new skills and change the direction of their lives. It employs 34 people and has helped more than 3000 people in the county since it was established in 1994.
The ‘Go Full Circle’ campaign, which has been launched by the Wales Co-operative Centre, aims to demonstrate to consumers the services offered in their local communities by social enterprises and encourage a broader understanding of the benefits of using the goods and services of a social enterprise.
It’s aiming to challenge common myths around social enterprise as a business model and educate people on the importance of a thriving social economy.
It will culminate in Wales’ first ‘Social Saturday’ event on September 21, when people will be encouraged to support their local social enterprises, for example through shopping with a consumer-facing social firm.
Jenny Sims, CEO Pembrokeshire Frame said: “Pembrokeshire Frame was established long before social firms had been thought of as a concept, to provide work opportunities for a group of people with, and recovering from, mental health illness.
“For many of these people it’s been a lifeline; helping them back into employment when they saw no hope of returning to work because of the stigma.
“Being able to operate a commercially sound business while staying true to our ethical values is something that’s really important to us. There’s a huge lack of understanding amongst the general public about social enterprise, with people often thinking that they’re not as viable as those based on more traditional models but we’re evidence that this isn’t true.
“There’s a body of work to do to tackle these misconceptions and demonstrate to people the benefits of using social enterprises like our own in Pembrokeshire, The social return on investment of the goods and services of businesses like ours goes far deeper into the community than you might think.”
Derek Walker, Chief Executive of Wales Co-operative Centre, said: “Raising awareness of the existence and contribution of social enterprises in Wales will be key to increasing their number, sustainability and growth in the future.
“The aim of Go Full Circle is to promote the existence of social enterprises in Wales, highlighting their widespread offerings and encouraging consumers across Wales to recognise the benefits of using one.
“Part of these efforts must focus on tackling common misconceptions about social enterprise – such as that social enterprises rely on grants or donations to exist – and Go Full Circle is aiming to do just that.
“The campaign’s also aiming to empower the enterprises themselves to shout about their good work to demonstrate how they’re helping the community in which they are operating.”