Social Business Growth Fund – more than meets the eye

Earlier this year, ELITE Paper Solutions (EPS), a Merthyr Tydfil based organisation specialising in the collection, storage and destruction of confidential documents secured £80,000 from SBGF to invest in more staff and equipment, enabling them to progress to the next operating level, pursuing larger contracts with public bodies.

However, as well as supporting the organisation to grow commercially, the funding also meant that more paid employment, training and volunteering opportunities could be offered to individuals with disabilities or experiencing disadvantage living in the South Wales Valleys areas, something the organisation had limited resource to do.

An individual who benefitted from the scheme is Joshua O’Leary, a now confident and forward looking 19 year old with a job and career prospects, all thanks to ELITE Paper Solutions.

Joshua OLeary 1

Andrea Wayman, Chief Executive of the organisation reflected on Joshua’s achievement:

“Joshua is now a far cry from the teenager who was bullied at school, struggled with weight issues, dyslexia and dexterity issues and suffered depression after his friend committed suicide”

Joshua commenced employment with ELITE Paper Solutions in April 2017 as a Trainee Recycling Operative, following a placement at the Social Enterprise based in Merthyr Tydfil. Originally placed at the social business by Merthyr Tydfil based People Plus, through joint working between People Plus and EPS, plus support of his EPS Job Coach, Joshua has successfully completed a Level 1 Traineeship Programme and is now progressing to a Foundation Apprenticeship in Warehousing. His development has been so outstanding that he was nominated for the Wales Apprenticeship awards and found himself among the finalist at the event at the Celtic Manor Hotel.

Andrea said:”We are naturally very proud of Joshua’s outstanding achievements and are extremely fortunate that through the investment from the Social Growth Business Fund, were able to offer him employment to enable him to develop his potential. Without this funding we would not have been able to offer such opportunities.”

If you think your social enterprise could benefit from the support of the Social Business Growth Fund, get in touch with the team to discuss your business idea on 0800 288 8329 or email

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