27th April 2015
Often visitors to our organisation ask what is wrong with the young people we work with. What an upside down view! We see each person as able to actively contribute to our society and make a difference – we genuinely believe community is about being better together.
As a social enterprise, it is easy to be dismissed as having a “fluffy” view of the world but Calman Trust operates in a very unfluffy space. In order to survive our organisation needs to be commercially rigorous and we need to constantly balance this with ensuring that our work with young people is core to our business.
We believe that the focus on moving young people off benefits is missing the point. What is much more important is that the capability and enthusiasm of young people in the Highlands should not be wasted but that they become active contributors to society. If they simply sit and do nothing there is a cost to society that is more than the cost of benefits, it is the cost of lost opportunities for everyone.
It is important to support young people because the whole community is stronger when everyone participates. There is a benefit to everybody to utllise the entire resource of the community.
Practically we don’t just provide training for the young people we work with. We help them learn how to work, we give them real work experiences and we support them to become able to live independently. We see all their fabulous skills and potential, not what is wrong with them.
6th August 2014
Calman has been running cooking groups in Inverness under our ‘Cookwell’ project for a number of months now with great success. Young people come along to our bi-weekly groups run by Gillian, one of our Good Food Champions, and learn how to cook healthy and nutritious food on a budget, get a stock of reliable recipes to take home and enjoy eating the fruits of their labour in a friendly atmosphere.
Now Calman has received over £200,000 of lottery funding, working alongside Changeworks, to take our cooking groups across the Highlands to Dingwall, Invergordon, Golspie, Aviemore, Fort William and Portree. This new service will be called ‘H-eatwell’ as, in addition to Calman’s cooking groups, Changeworks will be offering advice to young people on making the most from their fuel bills in order to combat fuel poverty as energy costs continue to rise.
Our Good Food Champions will be recruiting volunteers across the Highlands to help with these cooking classes and our hope is that, once they have gained some hands-on experience, our volunteers will be able to continue providing the classes for their local community with less support once Calman’s initial six-week run of classes ends. This will allow our Good Food Champions to take their cooking classes to other Highland communities and recruit more volunteers – thus enabling Calman to maximise the usefulness of our funding by providing a service that is sustainable and has the potential to expand.
Calman is also developing online resources to complement our cooking groups so that young people have the information they need about nutrition, budgeting and healthy eating at their fingertips.
If you are interesting in learning more about our H-eatwell project, would like to volunteer or know a young person who might be interested in coming along then please get in touch or see here for more information:
Fiona: 07730 141512
Maggie (Volunteer Coordinator): 07540 703329
5th August 2014
Calman’s rebranding of NESS Soap into Ness Handmade Toiletries has been covered by BBC Scotland with an interview with Stewart Nicol, chief executive of the Inverness Chamber of Commerce.
We appreciate the support of the local media in raising the profile of the Calman Trust and the quality products of our social enterprises – read the BBC coverage here.
1st August 2014
The work of Calman has been nationally recognised by being awarded the 2013 Social Enterprise Award for Scotland’s best Education & Training Social Enterprise. In particular, the judges praised our “far reaching social impact” and commended Calman’s “sustainable and flexible business model”.
Winning such a prestigious award is especially gratifying for Calman as it vindicates the ambitious growth of the Trust in recent years and underlines the value of the work that we do in the Highland area. We also believe that it is important for our supporters to see that Calman’s work is being recognised – there are many organisations competing for support and at Calman we place a great deal of importance in providing evidence that we use our resources in the most effective and efficient way possible.
You can find out more about the award’s sponsor, Social Enterprises Scotland, by visiting their website. For information on the valuable work of the winners in other categories see here.
9th April 2013
Calman services in Easter Ross have recently moved to new premises in Invergordon. Whilst this has been a big change for staff, some of whom had worked from the Alness base for a number of years, everyone has settled in well and are enjoying the new environment.
The significant and overwhelming benefit of this move is that young people are able to access all the services which Calman have to offer – be that housing support, training or employment support and training – under one roof. Calman has always ensured that young people have equal access to all services which it has available, but Invergordon is the first ‘one stop shop’, which will help ensure that young people get the support that they need from Calman when they need it.