Ghandi’s famous quote: Be the change you want to see in the world, quite aptly describes how Social Enterprise Kilmarnock Enterprises chooses to operate.
Focussed on projecting positive attitudes about disability and helping smooth the transition into work for school leavers with disabilities, CEO Michelle Sharp strongly believes that to achieve the organisation’s objectives, projecting the changes they want to see, through their work is imperative.
“For us, it isn’t enough to just say that we would like to see attitudes change towards people with disabilities, we need others to know in the community that we really believe what we are saying, and the best way to do this is to live and breathe it ourselves, so it is reflected in the support, training and employment opportunities we provide for those we work alongside.”
Measures in which Kilmarnock can gain validation for committing to this positive ethos have come in the form of coveted awards for example; being named Charity of the Year by the Canterbury Champion Business Awards 2015. Seeing as the award celebrates excellence, innovation and success, naturally Kilmarnock were absolutely delighted and honoured with the win, with the primary reason being that it showed “they were heading in the right direction”.
A further accolade that helps strengthen this belief is its ACC Workplace Safety Award it received in 2014. “Once again it was nice to be acknowledged, as for us adhering to health and safety practices isn’t just about ticking the boxes, we are genuinely dedicated to insuring that everyone that works with us is safe and strife to be a top employer. Never has this been more important, as we continue to secure more business contracts that require increasingly complex and robust safety practices,” Michelle says.
Keeping things in a healthy state is also reflected in the workplace activities Kimarnock offers to their staff which include; a weekly Zumba Class and chances to participate in fun runs/walks/events which are always very much about fostering team spirit. In fact, Kilmarnock are such strong advocates for a healthy lifestyle, last year’s Christmas present was a pair of professionally fitted sports shoes from the Shoe Clinic for all staff and those they work alongside.
“It’s all about healthy body, healthy mind and engaging in this stuff is also really fun, with the added bonus of team building. After all, we see it as part of our job to provide the very best working environment for the people we work alongside, so they in turn can continue to grow, learn new skills and make meaningful contributions to the communities they live in,” Michelle says.