Crossways Community Enterprises is the community arm of Crossways Community and is also a limited company in its own right. It is overseen by project worker Debbie Moon and her assistant Vittoria Williams.
We believe that everyone has the right to acquire appropriate skills, the chance to work out in the wider community and hope for the future. We may all take this for granted but for people with mental health difficulties, finding and maintaining employment can be extremely difficult.
Our primary focus is to help equip our residents with relevant skills and confidence so that they can take advantage of employment opportunities away from Crossways. We collect and sell donated goods either at local table-top sales, for example, or online via Amazon and Ebay. Our residents are fully involved in this process, from preparing the online listings and packing up sold goods in the Bridge (Enterprises' office) to helping at face-to-face events.
This valuable experience enables them to build and use computer and customer service skills, team working and working with cash. Those who are more confident with computers supervise those who are not, giving them valuable supervision skills. They're not confined to office work: they work with plants, fruit and vegetables in the Crossways allotments to sell.
We are also increasingly upcycling donated items of furniture for sale on our Facebook page. This involves sanding down, painting and, if the item is a chair, re-upholstering.
As well as being a useful bridge to the wider world, offering valuable opportunities for gaining and maintaining skills and confidence, these activities prepare our residents for employment and brings them into the community. The upcycling also provides a creative outlet, and a real sense of achievement if something is sold.
This also shows the community that having mental health problems does not stop you from being employed and involved within your community. You don't have to be sidelined. It's a level playing field.
Our service users (currently only our resident volunteers) say that they welcome the opportunity to learn new skills and working at Crossways Community Enterprises gives them a structure to their week, valuable work experience, and the confidence to try out new things. Take a look at their testimonials.
Recognising potential, encouraging independence, achieving self worth
Crossways Provides Mental Health Training for Schools. If you know a primary or secondary school in West Kent which could benefit please email our CEO.
Press Coverage - January & February 2018
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