Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Inverness charity is recognised as top employer

New Start chief executive salutes his ‘exemplary’ team of staff and volunteers

A CHARITY has been recognised as “overall excellent employer” in the Highland Diversity awards.

Inverness-based New Start offers practical help and advice to homeless people making the move into their own accommodation.

The charity supplies reconditioned furniture and white goods to about 2,000 people a year, and offers a one-to-one housing support service to about 50 people at any one time.

Each year New Start also gives out about 600 starter packs of basic household items, from bedding to cleaning equipment.

Chief executive James Dunbar has been with New Start since it was founded seven years ago, and said the service was continually evolving to meet the needs of the community.

“We have a training centre offering different types of SVQs,” he said, “and we also offer support in life skills to help people get back to work.

“Our latest project is a service that will help tenants to learn practical and useful painting and decorating skills.

“The work we do in recycling furniture and white goods diverts around 750tonnes of waste away from landfill sites.”

Mr Dunbar said the Highland Diversity award was due to the culture within the organisation.

“It’s a great place to work. Our 88 staff and volunteers have created a positive culture in which people from difficult backgrounds have the opportunity to work in a constructive, supportive atmosphere.

“We have an exemplary team.”

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