Social Enterprise

We use social enterprises as a way of providing valuable work skills training and experience in a range of settings to help students prepare for life after college. Social Enterprises operate at all of the Trust sites. The key to the social enterprise is that students are given the opportunity to create something for someone else.


Why Social Enterprise?

In creating an item of service, students are expected to deliver a certain level of quality and craftsmanship. There is also an expectation of consistency of quality, can you make something useful and then make it again and again? The social enterprise environment provides space for students to develop these skills in a supportive environment without the economic pressures to deliver. Once these skills are developed, students are more likely to succeed in employment post college.

Cafes and Bakeries

Ruskin Mill Trust operates cafés at the following sites:

  • Ruskin Mill College, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire
  • Glasshouse College, Stourbridge, West Midlands
  • Argent College, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham
  • Freeman College, Sheffield
  • Clervaux Artisan Bakery and Café, Darlington

Our cafes serve organic biodynamic food and cakes, with many vegetarian and vegan options. Many of the cafes have received awards for their food and drinks. The cafes provide warm and welcoming spaces for the community.

Shops

We operate a range of shops selling biodynamic and organic produce, student craft work and other unique and interesting items from local craftspeople.

The following sites have shops:

  • Ruskin Mill College, Nailsworth, Glos operates Gables Grocery Store at Gables Farm (click here for website)
  • Freeman College, Sheffield operates Academy of Makers shop in the Butcher Works
  • Glasshouse College, Stourbridge, West Midlands operates a shop selling student work and produce in the Ruskin Glass Centre
  • Sunfield School and Children’s Home, Clent, West Midlands operates a farm shop

Heritage Centres

Our heritage centres provide the community, and the students with an experience of the past and what has come before. The Heritage Centre in Argent College, located next to the Hive Café, allows visitors to explore life in the Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham during the industrial revolution. The Webb Corbett Visitor Centre in Glasshouse College invites visitors to set back in time and experience life in a glass factory.

Student working at the Fusion café in Sheffield
A Freeman College student working at the Fusion café in Sheffield
The Ruskin Mill Farm Shop on Gables Farm, Gloucestershire
The Ruskin Mill Farm Shop on Gables Farm, Gloucestershire
The Hive Café and Heritage Centre at the New Standard Works in Birmingham
The Hive Café and Heritage Centre at the New Standard Works in Birmingham