Member Spotlight – The Foxton Centre, Preston

Monday, 1 April 2019 - 2:15pm

Pete Ashton from the Foxton Centre in Preston tells us how they have developed their social enterprise into a sustainable funding stream for the centre.

From our community base, The Foxton Centre works with many people on the margins of city life – rough sleepers, street sex workers, young people & the community, who often face problems with poverty, addiction, and mental health issues.  Our projects aim to provide practical solutions to help people to move beyond their limitations; to learn, grow and flourish. 

A lot of people accessing our services were /are in a desperate place, in need of security and the opportunity to prosper.  Our enterprise aims to invest in these people, identifying their skills, offer opportunities, hope and believe in them to aspire and achieve.

Our trading activity is based upon up-cycling disused pallets into alternative products (eg planters, shelves, tables, cabinets etc).  We then sell the items at local markets and via social media in order to create a profit to re-invest in the project.

Social impact for those involved is increased through meaningful use of time, training in different fields and the opportunity to give back to the centre.  This will increase the potential for employment within the social enterprise and beyond, along with the health benefits associated with contributing to the project.

The long term aim for our enterprise is to create a sustainable funding stream for The Foxton Centre, operating out of a new facility in the city centre with its own workshop and retail area, culminating in further training & employment opportunities.

Thanks to the support from both the Homeless Link and Social Investment Business, we have been able to get this enterprise off the ground, creating the time, space and resources to make our vision a reality and the potential to grow into a fully fledged enterprise.   At present we have already generated a small profit and those involved have expressed how it has made them more ‘motivated, physically fitter and they are benefitting from keeping their minds active as well as meeting different people’.

This is part of the Enterprise Development Programme funded by Access –The Foundation for Social Investment: https://access-socialinvestment.org.uk/

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Pete Ashton

Community Development Officer

Pete Ashton is the Community Development Officer for The Foxton Centre in Preston – identifying needs and planning, implementing and reviewing programmes to enhance the well-being of the community and homeless people of Preston.