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LaunchMe case study Well-Fed Scotland

Posted: 3rd April 2019

Well-Fed is a successful social enterprise based in Whiteinch in the west of Glasgow, led by social entrepreneurs Chris Gray and Claire Lilley. It operates a community café, takeaway, home delivery service, and a commercial catering service.

Based in one of the most deprived areas in Scotland, Well-Fed is not only a thriving business, but it is also tackling food poverty and social isolation, promoting integration and providing the local community with a warm and welcoming environment from which they can socialise and enjoy healthy and nutritious food.

Having identified a second site in Parkhead and with their sights set to become a sector leader and one of Scotland’s top social enterprises, Well-Fed applied to LaunchMe to gain the support and capital needed to achieve their growth aspirations. Through the programme, they are looking to raise £400,000 in combined investment and funding which, coupled with an asset transfer from the local authority, will allow them to open a state of the art catering facility capable of meeting their growing commercial catering business needs, tender for and acquire larger and higher value corporate catering contracts as well as explore new markets.

Since launching in May 2017, Well-Fed has provided over 4000 free meals to children and 3000 free meals to their families as part of their holiday hunger initiative, alongside educational and recreational activities. They have distributed 3784 crates of fit for purpose surplus food to the community, thus minimising waste and ensuring that those in need can benefit, and have hosted 22 free community meal evenings and 19 free community events. They offer free breakfast to all children every weekend and throughout school holidays and a homework club in partnership with two local primary schools and one local high school.

Coming from a social work and community development background, the directors of Well-Fed have a real passion to tackle social and economic inequalities, both of which are prominent features within the Whiteinch and Parkhead communities. The social impact of Well-Fed is impressive and by growing their commercial activities, they hope to make an even greater tangible difference to the lives of their beneficiaries and within Glasgow’s communities.

Chris Gray, Executive Director of Well-Fed, said: “Our community café at Whiteinch welcomes an average of 600 visitors each week and as such we have made real tangible progress in tackling social isolation and have witnessed first-hand a strengthening in the social cohesion of the community.  Whilst traditionally food poverty affected those with limited financial means, this is no longer the case, we also see that social isolation and a lack of social mobility can affect people of all genders, races, beliefs, and cultures. Well-Fed welcomes all to our community café and we have created an ethos of the café truly belonging to the community.

This is a very exciting time for us. Gaining a place on LaunchMe and being in the process of opening a second site in Parkhead, we are gearing ourselves up towards growth and replicating our success within Parkhead and beyond”.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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