This innovative enterprise project allows the young adults we support at Hoylands House to make and sell produce in the local community.
Making full use of produce grown at Hoylands House, our residential service near Barnsley, and our links with the local area and our schools and services, we've created an enterprise where the adults we support can take part in a meaningful activity with a strong connection to the community. This enterprise is highly valued as it enables us to expand opportunities for the adults we support and develop their independence, purpose and confidence.
Activities range from gathering fruit from the orchards or vegetables from the allotment, to collecting eggs from our free-range chickens and taking part in workshops led by a local soap company. The people we support learn to be resourceful and experience the full process of making a product ready for sale.
The adults we support can get involved at various stages in the process, depending on their individual interests and abilities. They can help in the production of various items on-site, such as preparing jams or hand-printing wrapping paper. Or, they can help in the shop itself and meet some of the customers. They develop new skills, confidence and independence through being part of a team and having a project that they look forward to and enjoy.
Every member of staff is fully trained to support autistic people and continues to build on their knowledge throughout their career. We provide staff for each activity according to the needs of the people we are supporting.
We sell a variety of products including:
- hand-made soaps
- scented candles
- insect repellent candles
- hand-printed wrapping paper and gift tags
- free-range eggs
- fudge (produced and packaged at Robert Ogden School)
- bird boxes (also produced at Robert Ogden School)
- hand-made cards
- jams and chutneys
- potted plants, hanging baskets and perennials
While Hoylands House and the shop are located in large, tranquil grounds, they are also close to transport links and a main road, making them easy to find. The shop has a number of regular customers and has become a welcome part of local community life.
The people we support get valuable experience interacting with new people in a shop environment, and customers can often see their products being made in the workshop area. Profits from the shop are reinvested into developing new enterprise opportunities and products. We're always looking to create new, innovative ways to support more autistic people and help them to be part of their local community through our enterprise activities.