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The Gateway

Problem:

Over a million asylum seekers migrate into Europe every year from poverty-stricken and war-torn countries including Iran, Syria and Zimbabwe. Without refugee status they are denied the right to work and forced to live on state benefits as low as 5 pounds a day. Last year 59% of asylum seekers were denied refugee status. Even those that do get it struggle to integrate into society and find jobs.

 

Solution:

This initiative is an employability program aimed at empowering refugees and asylum seekers, through workshops and a mentorship program. The workshops include soft skills such as presentation skills, english-speaking skills and team-work skills. There are also IT skills workshops. This year the project is looking to expand into networking sessions and a mentorship scheme. 

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Food Intercept

Problem:

Tonnes of fresh produce in the UK is sent to landfill – costing the industry £400-500 million annually. The bulk of these perishables are fruit and vegetables, which are distributed in excess or have been rejected purely for aesthetic reasons. The Soil Association reports that in the UK, a staggering 20-40% of produce is rejected simply because it doesn’t look quite right.

 

Solution:

Food Intercept saw these challenges within the “food cycle” as an opportunity to engage our community in creating value from wasted natural assets and introduce an element of sustainability within the supply chain. Each week, an estimated 20 kg worth of fresh produce is collected from Coventry wet markets to create value-added products, such as jams, cakes and ice creams. The aim is to transfer the skills required for this process to beneficiaries that can benefit from the sale of the finished products. 

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Craft It

Problem:

Lack of self confidence and transferable skills among individuals in the women’s shelter, who have been victims of abuse

 

Solution:

Empowering these individuals  through the arts, by providing them with a source of sustainable income while bringing out their creative talents.Giving them an opportunity to showcase their artistic talents by painting on totebags and benefiting from the income earned by selling them.

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The Knitwork

Problem:

Pensioner poverty and loneliness due to a rapidly ageing population in Europe and declining pensions. International project based in Poland where mean age is 35.8 years and predicted to be 51 within the next 30 years, reducing the already-low pensions further.

 

Solution:

Creating a community where elderly people can come together and keep each other company, around the central activity of knitting scarves.The pensioners can then sell these scarves on an online platform, to supplement their income and overcome the problem of declining pensions. This summer the pilot sales of the scarves have begun to be undertaken through effective social media and marketing strategies.