Social enterprise gets £700,000 boost

A social enterprise supporting people with disabilities is getting a major cash boost to help more people gain skills and jobs.

Friday, 31st May 2019, 8:27 pm
Members of the Azure Garden Centre team. Picture by Ian Murray.

Azure Charitable Enterprises is receiving £700,000 from the North East Social Investment Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures.

Azure, which was set up in 1982, aims to improve the lives of people with a disability or who are disadvantaged by helping them to live independently, gain skills and training and get into employment.

It provides care services across the north east and also runs a number of charitable businesses, including Azure Garden Centre in Cramlington.

The funding will help the organisation continue to deliver and expand its services, providing new education, training and employment opportunities for people with a disability and those who want to pursue a career in care services.

Peter Wilson, chief executive, said: “Many people will be aware of our successful garden centre, printing, and landscaping businesses, but not realise that they are, in fact, integral parts of our charity.

“We operate these businesses with the support of the general public and business customers to generate the funds we need to provide care and employment for people with a disability.

“The investments we are making across our businesses, with the support of their customers and business patrons, will really help us to continue to help more people in the long-term.”

Julie Wake, investment manager at Northstar Ventures, said: “Azure has been going for many years. It is a great example of delivering impactful charitable activities, as well as at the same time running successful businesses.

“We are pleased to be able to invest funds to support its plans, which will impact positively on many more local people with disabilities.”