We currently have 95 students attending each week, from across the Fenland area of Cambridgeshire, which is recognized as one of the most socially, economically and environmentally deprived areas in the county, nationally and indeed in Europe.We are an approved training provider in our own right with City and Guilds NPTC, delivering programs such as independent living skills and employability skills. However, learning is focused on personal progression, not just on qualifications. Our students are encouraged to learn in a way which suits their individual needs and at their own pace. Some students progress to doing voluntary work or work experience placements, whilst others use our supportive environment to increase their levels of self-confidence etc. We normally work on a 1:4 ratio, but we can provide 1:1 support if required. In addition to our work as a training provider, we are a provider of social care, and are proud of our commitment to the safeguarding of vulnerable adults.
The work to establish a social training enterprise in Fenland started in July 2001, with the formation of a Partnership and Steering Group, with membership at senior management level being drawn from Cambridgeshire County Council’s Learning Disability Partnership, The Papworth Trust, Fenland District Council, Speaking Up and Cambridgeshire ACRE. The Steering Group was chaired by Gordon Lister, who at that time was the Chief Executive of The Papworth Trust, but formerly the Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire County Council. The County Council and the Papworth Trust jointly funded the post of the Development Manager, whose objective was to establish a social training enterprise in Fenland, along the lines of those which existed elsewhere in the County. The work of the Steering Group and Development Manager culminated in the formation of the Fenland Area Community Enterprise Trust, now more usually known as FACET.
The initial objective for the organisation was to offer some 15 training placements per week for adults with learning disabilities, whereas we now offer around 438 placements per week for around 95 adults.
Over time FACET has developed a range of accredited and vocational training programmes, supported by the provision of work experience and training placements in community-based enterprises which exist under the organisation’s umbrella, and include a horticultural project, a woodworking enterprise, 3 Charity shops all known as ‘FACET Homes and Gardens’ and a small catering training enterprise. All of these enterprises offer considerable scope for future growth and through these, disadvantaged individuals have been able to gain new skills and undertake work experience and voluntary work placements, which in some cases have led to paid employment.
The organisation is proud to have celebrated its 10th Anniversary in the week of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on June 2012 and is grateful for the support we have received from our partners and funders, members of the local community and local businesses.