Solaris

Our Business strategy is straight forward: Do what you love and love what you do! Also known as: Living with a purpose We feel this is best achieved by realising practically that we are the co- creators of our own lives. We embrace an approach where our primary focus and challenge is to encourage the individual to take full responsibility and conscious command of their innate creativity.

No_avatar_small Submitted by Zoe Allen
Camden Challenge - Thrive
What can we do to support people on low incomes in Camden to thrive?

Written by: Zoe Allen - Director

Executive Summary

(Ethical Transitions Consultancy) aims to create a Social Enterprise and Community Project named Solaris. A food, music & art venue that aims to engage and support various individuals in Camden.

We use practical means which are readily available to everybody completely independent of people’s ethnic background, age, gender, sexuality and spiritual affiliations

Everybody is welcome at Solaris, with Ethical Transitions focusing on engaging with young people (YP) by;

• providing them with hands-on training & life skills experiences • diverting them from welfare/benefits, criminality, substance misuse & anti- social behaviour.

Solaris will be a platform for self- empowered creative living, which in a climate of dramatic social change, is designed to facilitate transitional holistic pathways into personal freedom, inner peace and wealth.

Primarily the venue will sell organic, ethical, and affordable & (where possible) locally sourced and produced food to the public (including Vegan, Vegetarian & Gluten Free). This will be done alongside a multi-functional space which will be used as a music/arts venue, workshop/meeting area and/or space for the local community.

All of which will be done under a Social Enterprise; Community Interest Company, creating opportunities and challenging public perception of YP and welfare claminets.

This venue will also be a place for YP & Camden community members to display, sell their art work and up-cycle clothes & furniture. Through work based opportunities & training, this venue will create individuals who will be work ready and who will be able to sustain paid employment. These activities will be done through:

• Apprenticeship schemes • NVQ & BTEC training • Volunteering • Wage Incentives - DWP Youth Contract • Work Experience - DWP Youth Contract • Work Choice - DWP Youth Contract • Suitable Community Payback - LPT (London Probation Trust)

Ethical Transitions will provide opportunities to all Camden residents including YP who are not engaged in training or employment (NEETs), regardless of their situation or status and will create a diverse environment which is enabling and empowering. All individuals will receive an individual training and life skills package which will reflect their skills, needs, circumstances, long/short term goals and chosen outcomes.

All will be supported to gain (or be working towards) permanent, sustainable, paid employment, either within the company or externally. Once employed, the person and partnership companies will be able to access employment sustainment support through us. Where necessary we will provide continued support to all persons and address any concerns which may be raised by the employer, this way ensuring individuals are able to sustain their employment.

Using all my previous experience which I gained from delivering and developing front line services within the public and voluntary sector, I will build on and develop partnerships, creating pathways in to a safe, positive and empowering environment, where young people can grow to their full potential.

This venue will promote positive thinking and behaviour, and will aim to address issues such as;

Diversity Assertiveness, Confidence Building and Independent and Illicit drug use, Offending, Risk of Homelessness and Risky Behaviour, Employment Barriers and Wellbeing.

Ethical Transitions is registered as a Limited Company by Guarantee, with a Board of Trustees/Directors, who will ensure there is clear governance.

This board will consist of individuals who have the following skills:

• Finance Skills • User Experience • Human Resource Skills • Promotional & Marketing Skills • Senior Management Skills • Entrepreneurial Skills

To ensure the building is run effectively and up to health and safety standards, there will be clear policies and procedures (including Food Management Systems such as HACCP) in place, risk assessments will be carried out and all staff will have enhanced CRB checks.

The team will comprise of: • A director • A coordinator/manager • A chef • A NVQ assessors (consultant time)

Introduction

London has large number of problematic drug users with most YP accessing treatment for Cannabis use. The rates of teenage pregnancy are particularly high. In 2012 there were a large number of 16-24 year olds not engaged in Education Employment & Training (NEETs) Although there are many food establishments in Camden, there are limited options for those on a low income who would like to eat economic free-range, organic or a locally sourced meal. The choices for Vegan, Vegetarians or food which is Gluten Free is limited, particularly for those looking for a healthy ‘take away’ meals.

Deliverables:

This Social Enterprise is being set up with limited access to funds; therefore, the roll out of Solarice will be created in stages, as the business grows into fruition. The initial stages will very much focus on developing the catering side of the business, starting off trading once a week and over time, moving to providing food seven days per week.

The Business

Stage One The company will start by selling breakfasts brunches/lunches within the restaurant space and through a food delivery business on a Sunday only. All food will be free-range &/or organic, locally sourced and freshly cooked on the premises. The meals will consist of a Lunch of meat, vegetarian or vegan choice. Information of where produce is sourced will be provided to customers; this way encouraging healthy eating and reassuring customers of where their meal originates.

The business will employ trainees (initially) part time, who will work alongside the cooks/volunteers who will prepare food to be distributed to local business. These trainees and volunteers will be responsible preparing food, taking orders before they are sent out and delivered to customers. The trainees and volunteers will carry out the following tasks;

• Preparing and cooking food • Start working towards their Level 1 & 2 Food Safety Certificate • Waitressing • Taking telephone food orders • Taking payments • Be involved in the initial design and marketing of the business

Relationships will be built with local YP services and agencies, to create pathways into various training opportunities with Solarice. Ethical Transitions will collaborate with other local businesses to encourage employment opportunities for local YP and create pathways into paid, sustainable employment.

There will be a need for a delivery driver, who will be paid a flat rate, plus an agreed amount per delivery. This driver will be responsible for their own insurance.

All of this will be done alongside Ethical transitions & other agencies & partners.

Stage two Stage two there will be a focus on further expanding the catering side of the business. The aim will be for Solaris to provide Fair Trade tea & coffee, homemade cakes, sandwiches and Panini’s at lunchtime, Monday to Friday. There will be Gluten Free options available, as well as Vegan and Vegetarian choices. Space in the building, will be offered to local artists to display their art and hold exhibitions. We will be open weekdays to the general public who will be able to access our restaurant. We shall endeavour to sell food via local authorities’ spaces such as leisure centres & schools.

During this phase a chef will be recruited ready for phase three. Trainees will have an opportunity to increase their hours and when needed, additional trainees and/or volunteers will be recruited to have an additional focus on Marketing & Promotion.

Stage three Stage three will focus on further building the catering side of the business, expanding into a restaurant that will be open every day. Working with the chef & trainees, menu plans will be developed which will focus on providing high quality, healthy, fairly priced food seven days a week, all day and evenings. Menu plans will continue to incorporate the needs of Vegetarians, Vegans and those that are Gluten intolerant.

There will be focus on building relationships with local community groups and services to support projects focussed on Healthy Eating & Well being

Stage four Stage four will focus on identifying a building and developing the premises into a venue. Recruitment for a Manager/Coordinator will take place

The Trainees /Apprenticeships Solaris will provide work based experience with a recognised qualification through apprenticeships schemes. The apprentices will work a 30 hour week with one day release to college or equivalent. All learners will have a Learner Agreement and Solaris can initially take a maximum of 10 apprentices at one time. Funding is available through The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

• 16 - 18 year olds NAS will pay 100% of wages (£2.65 ph for the 1st year/National Minimum Wage 2nd year) • 19 - 24 year olds NAS will pay 50% of wages. (National Minimum Wage)

Additionally £1500 is provided to support the recruitment & management of apprentices and the following apprenticeships will be available through the Employer Incentive Scheme;

• Catering - Chef or Cook • Marketing & Promotion • Management & Project Management • Administration

Volunteering Solaris will work with National Voluntary Action (NVA) & the Work Progamme to recruit suitable volunteers.

Wage Incentives Wage incentives are available for employers who recruit an 18 -24 year old who has been receiving benefits for at least six months through Jobcentre Plus. The wage incentive is available for employers who employ someone for 16 hours or more each week in a job lasting more than 26 weeks.

There are two rates:

• For part-time work between 16 and 29 hours a week – £1,137.50 • For full-time work of 30 hours or more a week – £2,275.

This is paid 26 weeks after the employee starts work. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees can claim a part payment eight weeks after the employee starts work.

Work Experience Extra work experience places will be available across Great Britain over the next 3 years ensuring there is an offer of a place For every 18 to 24 year-old who wants one, before they enter the Work Programme.

Work Choice Work Choice is an employment programme that supports people with disabilities and long term health issues, Who face real barriers when it comes to finding and keeping work?

Community Payback Solaris will work with Metropolitan Police Probation through the Community Payback Scheme when developing the building.