Compass Advocacy Network (CAN) has received support from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to attend the Social Enterprise World Forum.

The international event, which takes place in Edinburgh, brings together social enterprises from all over the world to share wisdom, build networks and discuss future sustainability.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Brenda Chivers pictured with Shirley Smyth, Janet Schofield, Bridget Mc Caughan, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Kevin Duffy, Martin Clark, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Jane Cole at CAN in Ballymoney.

CAN, a user led organisation based in Ballymoney, works with over 240 people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues, as well as their parents and carers. It provides holistic support including friendship, social, leisure, training, and health programmes, advocacy and signposting via innovative practice.

Speaking after a recent meeting with CAN representatives, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Brenda Chivers said: “CAN is making a real difference to the lives of those it helps by providing important social and learning opportunities. It is fantastic that this local organisation will be represented on the world stage which promises a unique opportunity to meet with social enterprise practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, investors and academics from across the globe. The event will aid the development of a common vision and provide a platform to learn from others and share best practice.”

CAN currently operates five social enterprises within the Causeway Coast and Glens area and works in partnership with Council to process cardboard and aluminium as well as operating textile banks at all civic amenity sites.

Janet Schofield, CAN Chief Executive said “We are delighted to get the opportunity to attend the Social Enterprise World Forum. CAN has gone through a massive change in the last 18 months and we are actively looking for new opportunities to expand our Social Enterprise activities which provide real work training opportunities for our trainees, who are generally furthest from the workplace.

All of the proceeds from our recycling, upcycling and retail go back into the organisation to better support young people and adults with learning disabilities and help relinquish our reliance on statutory funding. We are really excited about hearing from other social enterprises and hopefully being able to bring plenty of ideas back to the borough.”

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council provides support for Social Enterprises via Business Start, Enterprise Fund and Alchemy mentoring programmes. For further information please contact bridget.mccaughan@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk

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