Wakefield launch for social enterprise Create

SOCIAL enterprise Create is aiming to work with around 300 people and create a number of jobs in 2013 after launching a new café in Wakefield.

The restaurant and catering company has opened a venue at the newly built local authority offices at Wakefield One.

Speaking to TheBusinessDesk.com, Sarah Dunwell, founder of Create, said the past 12 months had been “a mix of fabulous opportunities and real challenges”.

However, she said she was excited about the organisation’s future.

Ms Dunwell, chief executive of Create, said: “It’s been a tremendous year for the restaurant in Leeds and we are hoping to mirror that success here, with Create at Wakefield One, and bring our unique dining experience to the city.

“Create is more than just a business. Every penny we make gets ploughed back into training, work experience and jobs for people who need them most. It’s amazing to think that five years ago we were working out of the back kitchen of a night shelter.

“We had a passion to start a business with the specific goal of training marginalised people so they could show the world what they were capable of. This has now led us to open a café here in Wakefield and we hope it will become part of the city’s culture.”

Create, which presently employs 36 staff but is planning to recruit more following the launch in Wakefield, has set itself a taregt of working with around 300 trainees a year, 50 of which will be from Wakefield.

The social enterprise, established in 2007, runs a work-based mentoring programme which creates job opportunities for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those who have been homeless, alongside professional staff.

Create made a number of staff redundant and closed its catering operations in Manchester and Sunderland earlier this year after losing a vital line of funding.

Despite the setback, Ms Dunwell, who has received support from sections of the region’s professional services community, is upbeat about the future and the positive social impact the venture, which re-invests its profits back into the organisation, is having.

“This is all about jobs for local people,” Ms Dunwell told TheBusinessDesk.com. “We’re taking people from deprived areas and taking them on a journey.”

She said Create was unlikely to open further cafes and restaurants in 2013 but was looking to work with other businesses and caterers in Leeds and the wider region to enable people it had trained to find full-time work.