Development in Social Enterprise (DISE) hosted a networking event last week at the Welcome Change CIC Cafe in Shard End, Birmingham. The event was well attended by local social enterprises and charities including Colebridge Trust, Accord Group, Inspire Health and Mind CIC, Beyond Recovery CIC and Renewal Christian Centre. The Welcome Change CIC Cafe was a lovely and relaxing location for an afternoon of summer networking. It was very good to see local organisations all coming together to hear about the successes and challenges of setting up the social enterprise, Welcome Change CIC in 2013.

The group were attended by Angela Sankey, Centre Manager, who spoke about the opening of the community centre and cafe and promoting recovery in Shard End. Welcome Change CIC has now expanded and a charity shop and warehouse have opened up to serve the community.

Joanne Mackinnon, the Chief Executive of Welcome Change CIC, set up the social enterprise with an aim to integrate people back into the community and rebuild their lives after receiving treatment, by helping to support them with the necessary skills to get them into employment and increase public awareness of those in recovery. Welcome Change offer a Recovery Hub for people in recovery from addiction, domestic violence, drug, substance and alcohol misuse. They also help people into volunteer placements within the community to gain work experience and build confidence to write a CV and find a job.

The community centre and cafe host regular events every day to encourage the community to get together and socialise. On Mondays there is a Healthy Minds Class, Tuesdays there is a beginners sewing class and Zumba, Wednesdays, Birmingham and Solihull’s Women’s Aid host a drop in session and Slimming World in the evening. On Thursday afternoons there is a youth club for 6 to 13 year olds, Fridays there are free employability and training courses. Saturday the community hall is available to hire plus a bouncy castle and on Sundays there is an indoor car boot sale! There is a lot going on down at Welcome Change, so if you’re around, why not pop in one of the days and see for yourself. Don’t forget to stop for a cup of tea and slice of cake!

All of the food produced in the cafe is made with all natural ingredients and they do not cook fast food! The cafe is open Monday – Friday 9am -4pm and Sunday 10am -2:30pm. For more information about Welcome Change CIC, the work they do and the services they offer, [ilink url=””]please click here[/ilink]