Local Social Enterprise ReZolve at Risk of Closure
Local Social Enterprise ReZolve is this week appealing for help in securing the future of their organisation.
After nearly fifteen years of trading, the company which runs a number of projects including the Bodmin based furniture reuse shop: RE:SOURCE, is now facing the threat of potential closure.
The organisation has worked incredibly hard over the last five years to move from dependency on Government grants to a position where over 90% of its turnover is from either self generated income or competitive contracts. This achievement helped them to gain the Best Third Sector Business at the 2011 Cornwall Business Awards and a short-listing for Best Social Enterprise in England.
Chief Executive Jon Rolls has highlighted a number of contributing factors to their current situation which have created what he calls a “perfect storm” and resulted in the company undertaking a period of redundancy consultation with all of their staff.
“The worsening economy has had a negative effect on the retail sector and this has extended to our own furniture reuse shop. Also, due to the change in Government two of our successful training contracts were brought to a premature end and new contracting policy has made it difficult for us to compete against larger national organisations.”
“A Payment by Results approach from Government which means that we could be working on a contract for 6 – 12 months before receiving payment necessitates a high level of cashflow, which many small businesses would find difficult to cope with.”
The organisation currently employs 24 staff and approximately 50 volunteers, many of whom depend on their time at the company to help them find their way back into employment, gain confidence or just give structure to their day.
One volunteer who has been at the company for nearly four years said:
“It is heartbreaking, I love going there as I am able to do the type of work that I trained to do before getting ill. I have done volunteering before but there is nowhere like ReZolve and I don’t know what I am going to do without it.”
The company also offers a free collection service for unwanted household furniture and appliances which are sold in the Bodmin shop. This activity not only diverts a significant amount of waste from landfill but also gives the local community the chance to buy affordable furniture, a vital service in these times of austerity.
“When you look around the shop and warehouse, at all the items that have been donated to us and the fantastic quality of the majority of pieces, it is devastating to think that soon it will all end up in landfill or be crushed for recycling. The hardest part of this whole process is the knowledge that that the services that we currently provide will no longer be available.”
Jon advised that he is currently talking to partners about what can be done to save the organisation and is keen to hear from anyone who feels that they can offer a solution.
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