Health, disability & well-being

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Who we are
Giraffe Trading CIC is an inspiring and innovative local community business. That’s what we’re told by our customers, staff, volunteers and the people we support. We provide rarely-available work experience to job-seekers who face significant barriers to employment and social opportunities. We run 2 busy cafes (one with a gift shop), a training kitchen, two weekly lunch-clubs for older adults and an outside catering service.

What we do
Every year our small businesses provide work and social opportunities to over 60 job-seekers living with mental ill-health, learning disabilities and other significant barriers to work. We are passionate about helping people in our local community to improve the quality of their lives. We know one of the most effective ways to do this is by providing work in our vibrant and supportive community businesses. We’re often amazed how quickly people can make new friends, learn personal coping skills and grow in confidence even after just a few weeks in the busy kitchen.

“I was sitting in the library with nowhere to go until I came to Giraffe. Now I have a job and friends and a life. I feel a little better every day.” - Giraffe job-seeker

Why we are entering the Aviva Community Fund
We are entering the Aviva Community Fund because our popular social enterprise is unique in Perth. All our trading activity is dedicated to providing work experience, paid jobs and training. Most importantly, we use our work places to help socially excluded people feel valued in the community. Working closely with our community partners Giraffe is all about helping people experience more control in their lives. By far the most important thing we do is to enable people who are currently excluded from work to feel less stigmatised and to improve their health and wellbeing.

“We are passionate about helping people with disabilities make the difficult journey to feeling fully valued in our local community.” - Giraffe manager

In the last year we helped
• 18 people find part-time paid employment. For some, this was the first experience of a paid job!
• 37 people gain an accredited qualification or progress to further education
• 16 people find a work placement or progress to local volunteering

Take the Biscuit needs your support!
Take the Biscuit is an exciting new social enterprise project. We now need £5,000 to purchase a commercial packaging and professional food labelling machine along with a starter pack of biscuit wrappers and point-of-sale advertising. Every year we sell hundreds of delicious oatcakes and shortbread biscuits in our cafes and at outside catering events. These have been carefully hand-made and baked by our job-seekers in our training kitchen.

We need your help to nurture and grow this inspiring little business. We now want to start selling our great range of delicious biscuits further afield to offices, businesses, shops and farmers’ markets. By doing this we will generate significantly more trading income which will help to sustain our overall business. We’ve done our marketing homework and there is a huge local demand for our delicious range of tasty, locally made biscuits.

How the project will benefit the community
The Aviva Community Fund can ensure the success of the new Take the Biscuit enterprise. We want grow our impact in our local community and create additional work experience and jobs for people who are most excluded. By making more biscuits and selling these further afield we can
• Provide 9 additional training opportunities to new job-seekers
• Increase training opportunities for 24 existing job-seekers in our training kitchen
• Offer 2 part-time paid jobs
• Recruit an additional 6 community volunteers to help run the project

And, above all else, our enterprise will be helping more people who are making the often fragile journey from social exclusion to working and being valued in a thriving social business.

Project Video


Moment of Pride

We’re proud that Giraffe is a truly community based project. Over 60 volunteers share their time and skills each week. They’re at the heart of our project’s ‘can-do’ culture. They laugh and smile through our ups and downs. Above all - they share our vision and value and respect our job-seekers.

Location: Perth and Kinross, United Kingdom