Co-op provides training opportunities for social enterprise

Date: 12/10/2010

A new partnership, which will provides the opportunity for adults with learning difficulties to experience a real work environment, has been launched between The Clydebank Cooperative Society and social enterprise company, Unity Enterprise.

Unity Enterprise promotes the ability of people for full social and economic inclusion within their community by helping individuals who have traditionally been marginalised for a range of reasons, such as learning difficulties and long-term unemployment.

The initiative with the Clydebank Co-op will give Unity service users a chance to gain training and work experience in a range of retail roles, equipping them with skills which will help them to find permanent jobs.

Currently, two service users are training in the Cooperative’s main department store. Kathleen Stewart and Sean O’ Brien are both 25 and have learning difficulties. It is hoped that the training programme can be expanded following a trial period.

The Clydebank Co-operative, which was founded in 1881, has a long tradition in community involvement and support and the partnership with Unity Enterprise is very much in line with their ongoing commitment to the community.

Commenting on the partnership with Unity Enterprise, Cooperative Chief Executive, Robert Sider said: “The Co-op has been at the heart of the Clydebank community for nearly 130 years and we take pride in our ability to involve the community in our business. This initiative is a great opportunity for everyone – we get some enthusiastic trainees and local people have the chance to gain skills.”

Unity Enterprise runs a variety of social enterprise services, with an emphasis on helping the community. These include: housing services, working with adults with learning difficulties, training and work experience projects to help people back into the workforce and services for carers. Any profit generated is used to fund additional activities.

Jackie McQuillan of Unity Enterprise said: “The Co-op was really receptive to the idea of our partnership as it fits so well with their commitment to encourage community spirit, involvement and improvement. This is a model of partnership which we hope to develop in order to create more opportunities for our service users.”
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For more information please call Ilya Scott of Real PR on 07799 416476

Company Profile


A Glasgow based Social Enterprise, Unity Enterprise provides a range and quality of services which assist in empowering individuals, enriching their lives and enabling them to achieve positive outcomes.

Their services include carer centres, housing support services, community care, education, training, business partnerships, travel agency, and cafes. Through these services we provide training, work experience, guidance and support, personal development, education and social activities for young people and adults experiencing disabilities and/or social disadvantages.

Real PR works with Unity Enterprise to develop their own communications office while providing ongoing support.

If you are interested in one of Scotland's oldest Social Enterprise please contact us.

Unity Enterprise website