Leading social housing maintenance provider, Wates Living Space, has marked its commitment to Yorkshire-based social enterprises (SE) with a unique SE tour to drive increased investment across the region.
Alongside Social Enterprise UK, Wates has travelled the country to showcase the local social and economic impact of the SE sector and to encourage more businesses to work with SEs as part of their supply chain.
Wates’ ninth ‘Seeing is Believing’ tour took place in Leeds on 24 March and commenced at Shine, a social enterprise offering conference and meeting spaces that works to support regeneration, raise aspirations and create employment opportunities for the community.
A mix of local and regional businesses were invited to take part in presentations from Shine and Futureworks Yorkshire before travelling to Seagulls ReUse, an environmental SE specialising in collecting and re-using paint. Participants also toured Paperworks, which provides support for individuals with autism, learning disabilities and complex needs.
The tour forms part of Wates’ commitment to support the social enterprise sector. This pledge saw the business spend £2.13m with SEs in 2016, supporting its target to spend £20m with the sector by 2020 as part of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge.
John Flower, Business Director at Wates Living Space, said:
Social enterprises are an imperative part of the local economy. The work that they carry out not only makes them self-sufficient businesses that contribute to the economy, but their work also extensively benefits the communities in which they are based.
“Our ‘Seeing is Believing’ tours are a fantastic opportunity for businesses and social enterprises to be introduced and to discover how they can benefit each other. The tour in Leeds was a great success and, as our ninth event to date, it shows the true commitment Wates is making across the country in support of this important sector.
Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK said:
“Wates has been leading the way in its support for the social enterprise sector. The ‘Seeing is Believing’ tour is a great opportunity for other businesses in Leeds and the surrounding area to follow suit, providing the chance for them to see first-hand the transformative impact social enterprises are having in their communities.”
Dawn O’Keefe MD & Founder of Shine, commented:
“We were excited to be part of the Seeing is Believing tour. Wates is leading the way in its commitment to using Social Enterprises within its supply chain. We hope the company’s actions encourage more businesses to seek out Social Enterprises as potential suppliers. At Shine we deliver an inspirational and high quality conferencing and catering service, while at the same time making a positive impact on society. We are proud to have recently been chosen to deliver multiple catering events for Wates.”