Social enterprise buys run-down house to restore

A property renovation project which enhances people’s practical skills and confidence has been given the go-ahead thanks to an £80,000 loan from the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF).

Scarborough social enterprise Futureworks NY is a training and support provider used by people of all ages to help achieve their potential through engagement and motivation. 

Futureworks was established six years ago to offer free mentoring and support services to young people and unemployed adults. The services include educational qualifications, practical skills such as plumbing, confidence training and volunteering.

The BEF loan was used to buy a disused, run-down property which is being restored by people who are looking to improve their lives and career prospects and put their new skills and training into practice. 

Futureworks director Sarah Thornton said: “In the past, we have really struggled to secure funding. Speaking to BEF has been a breath of fresh air. They were incredibly proactive and shared our enthusiasm for the project and supporting our local community.

“The project is now under way”, Sarah said. “It is fantastic to see how transformative it has been for our learners. Everyone is getting involved with activities such as plumbing, decorating and gardening. It’s amazing to see that additional skills, such as budgeting and organisation, are being picked up during the project”.

Futureworks learner Robert Appleyard, 23, said: “It has been great learning skills in the workshop but it’s even better to be able to put the skills into real use in the house project. I am enjoying the teamwork and being able to get stuck in because I like hands-on work. I am looking forward to seeing the house develop and can't wait to see the end result”.

BEF investment manager Andy Clough described Futureworks as “a brilliant community project with a transformative social impact.

“The team have all worked incredibly hard for this project and I’m delighted to see how it’s helped them achieve their mission of sky-rocketing learners’ confidence and motivation – we’re thrilled our loan could help”.