Onward Enterprises CIC
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Its Christmas Time at OE
Christmas has come early to Onward Enterprises thanks to one of our customer companies Antistat. A rather large Christmas present found its way on OE, Thetford's doorstep via the North Pole with strict instructions not to open it until this Wednesday. We are all excited at this generous gift and cant wait to tell you what's inside.
Update 20/12/17 Santa's sleigh bells were heard over Harleston in the early hours of this morning. When staff and service users came into work there was a second parcel from the collaboration that is Antistat and Santa. Thankfully we have been instructed that both presents at Thetford and Harleston can be opened this afternoon. Watch this space!!
Update 20/12/17 Santa has been and gone at our Harleston and Thetford units and we have now opened our presents from Antistat and the man in the red coat. Want to know what they were, just to say that we are sure that there will be a few (S)Elfies taken tonight at the Christmas party, Thank you Antistat.
Article published in the Diss Mercury by Andrew Papworth 24 July 2017
Many of us take for granted the normality of a workplace where we make friends and are respected for our talents. But Onward Enterprises has helped people with learning disabilities realise their dreams of the ordinary working life they have struggled to find, despite their obvious skills.
The organisation was founded by Peter and Margery Sindall in Harleston in 1990, after Mr Sindall took early retirement to set it up. He was given Norfolk County Council funding to give people with learning difficulties and mental health problems the chance to experience a real life working environment.
Although Onward Enterprises is a non-profit community interest company, it is run like any other factory packing business - so people who go there can treat it as a normal job, like their friends and relatives might have.
And as the Thetford branch of the organisation - which caters for people from Thetford, Watton, Attleborough, Bury St Edmunds and surrounding area - celebrated its 25th anniversary, families who have benefited from Onward Enterprises said it has helped transform lives.
Thetford business owner Simon Samuel, whose sister Amanda attends the service, said: '' if people like my sister didn't have a place like this to come, they would be behind the scenes. A lot would be in their own homes.'' The owner of Breckland Shipping, who also volunteers at Onward Enterprises, added: ''They would very much be on their own. They would not be getting out and meeting more people and broadening their horizons. Not only is it important for them to work in a normal community, but it is important for the other people to recognise what these guys are about and that they need support to fulfil their potential. My sister is an example - it has helped her personal skills and developed her confidence. It gives people the confidence to go into a shop and buy something - that's something we would take for granted. They feel like they have got some sort of purpose. This is a facility that enables them to express themselves. I think people are really touched by it and want to do everything they can to encourage it.
Rachel Allum-Sindall, managing director of Onward Enterprises and daughter of the founders, said: ''Onward Enterprises was one of the first providers to offer this service. In the early 1990's, social workers were picking up a lot of people who had done their college courses and wanted to be like their mums and dads and have their own place. For many people here, its their job. Many people here would find the pressures of industry too difficult to keep up with. However we could be a stepping stone to employment.'' She added that the organisations motto is '' valuing people, valuing industry, valuing community''.
Onward Enterprises also has a vibrant social scene, with an annual holiday to Butlins and plenty of activities during the working week. The team also produces a Christmas pantomime. ''Onward Enterprises is to show people what we can do and achieve given the opportunity'', Mrs Allum-Sindall explained. She added that the team prides itself on the quality of its work, tendering for contracts alongside other companies. It will break some tasks into smaller chunks to make them manageable for some members of the team-but Mrs Allum-Sindall said ''We don't want any sympathy from industry''.
Genevra Champion, group marketing manager for Antistat in Bury St Edmunds - a production company which has used Onward Enterprises for assembly work for 10 years-said the quality of the work is ''exceptional''. She added ''The owner of our company is very philanthropic and believes this company can do what we need. People can sometimes be pushed aside because they don't conform with what society regards as normal. Its about giving something back to the community, giving people an opportunity and doing business ethically.''
Onward Enterpises in Thetford celebrated its 25th anniversary with a party at its Telford Way premises on Thursday July 20, which included cream teas and cakes provided by Antistat and a band.
Rachel accepting a cheque for £1000 raised by the Thetford Motorcycle Club
The monies raised wil go toward new training facilities
Thetford 25th Anniversary
Founders Peter and Margery being presented with a bouquet
Rachel introducing Lee Vasey
Party in full swing
It's Butlins Time!!
Cream Teas and Bucks Fizz being served by members of the Onwards team
Watch this space, we will be announcing the dates for Butlins 2018 soon. All who went on our Butlins 2017 holiday had a brilliant time returning home happy but exhausted. Places go very quickly so please keep an eye on this page for dates and booking details.
Packaging Pantomime and Play
Onward Enterprises is more than just a packaging and fulfilment company. This year so far we have produced and performed in our annual pantomime at the Archbishop High School Harleston. We have also had our annual holiday at the Butlins Holiday Complex in Skegness and are already planning our Christmas get together.
In memory of some of our friends
Barbara Hall and Spencer Foulger were both not only regular attendee's at Onward Enterprises CIC Harleston but were well known within our community. Both Barbara and Spencer were active participants in the activities that we at OE organise including Panto. Spencer especially enjoying this with many lead roles to his name. Both Spencer and Barbara will be fondly remembered and sadly missed. Spencer's friends and family have raised funds to purchase a bench in the heart of Harleston. Barbara's friends and family made donations to Onward Enterprises CIC Harleston which will be used to purchase a TV to be used as a training tool within our rolling training sessions.
June Woods who was a regular attendee of our Thetford unit for many years has also sadly passed away. June was a lady who had a great many friends at Onward Enterprises and regularly joined in with the annual Panto and Butlins holiday alongside her friend Suzie. June was a great fan of wrestling and could be seen close to the ring when this was happing at Butlins, shouting encouragement to the wrestlers.