Paperworks is a Social Enterprise, this just means we are a business but primarily aimed at delivering a social benefit, whilst relying on trading income for financial support.
Our main aim is to provide work preparation training and support to adults with learning, physical and mental health related disabilities. This includes basic work skills, as well as other more specific skills vital in the workplace.
We also support trainees (and their employer) in work placements within other organisations. To find out more about our training services click here.
Our method of providing this training is based around the whole organisation very much functioning as a business and treating trainees in a similar way to employees.
The basis for our business is based around print and print finishing. We have also developed services such as mailing services, stock holding, pick pack and despatch, and assembly of items such as information packs and customer product ready for despatch. To find out more about our business services click here.
Through all of the things we do we try to balance the social and enterprise aspects of what we do, ensuring we create a supportive working environment with plenty of variety and challenges. This builds the experience and confidence our trainees need to help them towards work and contributes to the enjoyable experience of work that motivates them. It also makes Paperworks a great place to work
The Paperworks Story
Paperworks was incorporated in February 1994 as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Its aim – to allow people with learning disabilities a chance of gaining the skills to work in any vocational area. We would use our range of print finishing services to provide the environment for this to happen.
Soon, premises, two members of staff, funding from Social Services and the Training & Enterprise Council and print finishing business contacts were in place to start the business.
For the first year six trainees were chosen to attend full-time. Each trainee, with support, set themselves a training program and their path to paid or unpaid work. By the end of the first year four of the six trainees had gained experience of work, or were moving on into employment. From the second year we provided part-time places to assess people’s readiness for work. We also had the opportunity via JobCentre Plus to work with people with physical disabilities and mental health problems.
Paperworks became a registered charity in 2000. Going from strength to strength, we have relocated twice since beginning. In October we moved into fully refurbished, fully accessible accommodation. This is where Paperworks Harrogate office is still based.
Since then our staff team has grown; as has our commercial work income and cohort of trainees. We also have a dedicated and valued team of volunteers to help us in our work.
In October 2012 we officially opened a Leeds office. This office has grown rapidly, providing similar work and training opportunities as our Harrogate office. In 2015 the Leeds office expanded into New Premises.
Paperworks now provides part time training, based around the individuals abilities for as long as it is appropriate. We recognise also that for some trainees we have become their place of work, whilst for others we are a bridge into the wider world of work, as illustrated by our logo.
We continue to give people the opportunity to maximize their potential and demonstrate their independence. We are continually developing our business to sustain the environment for this to happen.
Paperworks now employs 15 staff across 2 sites and operates an outreach programme into more rural areas.
Thanks to some of our funders