At the heart of The Factory is an up-cycling retail warehouse selling everything from a spare gear lever for your bike through to pallet wood furniture and everything in between. Also based at The Factory is:
- New Leaf Training: providing accredited qualifications including Painting and Decorating and Carpentry and Joinery.
- New Leaf Repairs: providing a professional property maintenance service.
- The Food Factory: an onsite café for customers which, during off-peak hours produces healthy cooked meals for over 100 of BCHA’s customers.
- New Leaf Support Solutions: providing a cost effective remote monitoring service that maintains security and support for vulnerable adults.
They monitor services for 36 housing schemes across Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset and Plymouth. All profits generated by The New Leaf Company are redistributed to local community initiatives that improve the lives of residents living in and around Poole and Bournemouth.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated January 2020
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
We have several social aims, the most important of which involved working with our customers to help them back into work through training and development programmes.
The ultimate aim of these programmes is to get people into work and about 60% of participants find work after they complete the course.
However, New Leaf continues to develop relationships with charities, NHS and public bodies to provide (in particular conference) facilities that work to the public benefit. Recognising the financial and other organisational problems that these organisations face, New Leaf has tailored its business development programme to meet the needs of these customers.
We do not ask for deposits, we only invoice after events and we offer extremely flexible booking, cancellation and rescheduling facilities for all events booked. Moreover we offer a significant discount to these organisations over our commercial rate.
This means that training programmes, in particular for third sector organisations, which directly improve the lives of those most in need, are delivered with ease and flexibility. Feedback from these organisations confirm that the way of working, delivers positive results for these organisations.
We also aim to provide a hot meal everyday for c.80 people in schemes that provide homes for some of the most vulnerable in society (for example those with dependencies or recovering from dependency).
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
The course run by New Directions successfully meet the needs of the clients that we work with.
The conference facilities we provide ensure that charities, NHS and public bodies get excellent value for money and are able to keep money within the third sector. The flexibility of our service means that there is almost zero money spent on cancellation fees when these bodies have to change plans at short notice (as would be the case with most commercial providers of these facilities). These means that with each of these customers more money is available to be spent providing the services that they are set up to deliver.
New Leaf is working in ever closer partnership with the schemes for whom we provide food to meet the very specific needs of our customers. Moreover we are working with these schemes to minimise waste. The target is to enable New Leaf to reduce prices of food to the customers enabling them to eat good food and have more money available to meet their other living needs.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
- New Leaf opens its facilities to the local community and, in conjunction with on of its tenants at its site The Factory, provides “coffee and craft” type activities in its main reception area. This serves the needs of local people with specific needs. There are weekly sessions for those with dementia and their carers, there are weekly open sessions attended by local residents with anxiety, social issues and those living in sheltered accommodation.
- Weekly sessions are run by one of our tenants for home educated children with New Leaf providing the space to run these free of charge.
- The local Bourne Estate has been identified as an area of deprivation with specific needs and New Leaf work with them to provide administrative resource and space within the building when necessary.
- New Leaf provides space for one of its tenants to work with several young adults with learning difficulties enabling them to get volunteering and work experience.
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
New Leaf asks all its customers to complete feedback forms and we know that we have improved significantly within the period under review. Currently feedback tells us that 78% of customers report that service is Excellent (10) and 100% is good (8) or above.
Qualitative feedback informs decisions taken about how to develop and progress facilities and services provided witin the enterprise.
New Directions monitors and will continue to monitor performance in the detailed and moderated way that has been outlined already.
Business plans for the enterprise set target for delivery tat are monitored monthly by the administration team, reviewed quarterly with the CEO and separately quarterly with the New Leaf board. Targets are set for social projects but also functional delivery of the services.
The below questions are not mandatory, but Mark holders are encouraged to answer them where possible, to provide a fuller account of their social outcomes and the social value they create.
5) How many people have benefitted from your actions?
New Directions has supported over 100 people through the programme with about 60% going on to employment.
Working from just the one location in Poole New Leaf provides services that affect the lives of many locally and in the wider community. The specific numbers have not been recorded but this will be considered going forward into the future.
6) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
This is the story of Elaine as articulated by herelf for the BChangemakers website:
Elaine was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder as an adult five years ago, and it provided an understanding of some of the difficulties she’d faced in social situations growing up. She had a creative background and a degree in photography but was finding it hard to see opportunities for work. Now, after taking part in a New Directions course, she volunteers at Dorset Scrapstore, based at The Factory.
“I first heard about New Directions last summer through a community self-help group I attend.
“I’d been volunteering and I hoped to find employment one day, and I thought the New Directions course sounded enlightening and would be useful as it offered exposure to various industries in the locale which may be looking for employees.
“I graduated in photography at the time of the recession and finding employment was difficult. I tried to diversify into graphic design and different skillsets and for a short time they served me well. But the underlying issues I have with ASD don’t disappear overnight and I was finding it difficult. The New Directions course helped show possible avenues for someone with my diagnosis. I found the site visits very useful, especially the mock interviews at JP Morgan. And the Barclays Eagle Labs were great – learning about 3-D modelling, laser etching, 3-D printing – all things to get the creative juices flowing.
“I started looking into Dorset ScrapStore because it’s based at The Factory – the same site at which the New Directions course was delivered. I spent an hour or so looking around at what they did and was interested.
“I had finished the New Directions course and was at a loose end in the new year. I was considering what to do with myself and asked the Scrapstore if they needed volunteers.
“So now I do two days a week here. I enjoy spotting what’s popular in crafting circles and it’s always interesting to see what people are planning to do with the things they pick up here. We have all kinds of things you just don’t see anywhere else!
“I’m still looking for employment eventually but there is a well-recognised statistic that only 16 per cent of people on the autistic spectrum are employed.When I started New Directions I could tell that the course facilitators had previously come into contact with people with neuro-diverse conditions and could understand me. There were some very good workshops helping with communications skills and boosting assertiveness, self-esteem and confidence. I’m glad I took the course.”
A local dementia care group was searching for a venue to provide support to local people and their carers:
The Factory has supported this group by opening up a new space once a week to cater for this group. It provides the space at an extremely competitive rate and provide tea, coffee and biscuits througuout the sessions.
The space is self-contained and allows the group to operate at their own pace and in their own style. It has opened up a new avenue of care for those needing support once a week.