How we make sure our organisation is run fairly and ethically.
How we benefit and enrich our local community.
How we do our best to protect our environment and improve sustainability.
How we help the people who use our service, and how we serve our café customers.
How we treat our paid staff and volunteers and help them achieve their goals.
We are a registered community interest company. All our profits are reinvested into achieving specific social goals. These can be anything from helping the environment to enriching our community.
Our assets and profits are locked: They must be permanently retained within the CIC and used solely for community benefit and aims.
We have a Board of Directors that makes all the final decisions of the organisation. These positions are voluntary and unpaid. This ensures decisions are made fairly. As part of their roles, all directors are required to volunteer some of their time in our events and activities, ensuring they understand our ethos.
We have an 'articles of association' that states our mission and we complete an annual impact report.
The community is at the heart of what we do and we work with the needs of the community. We host regular events, bringing the community together and reducing isolation in vulnerable groups. This helps to increase understanding and remove negative stigma.
We offer annual trips away for our members to experience 'holidays' with friends. Our last trip, we went to an inclusive cottage for 2 nights in Fife, where one of our members in a wheelchair was able to join.
We offer volunteering opportunities for our members that connects them to the community including phone befriending isolated elderly individuals through Dial-Op and making sensory items for local care homes and PAMIS.
We also work in partnership with a range of other organisations where we provide safe, inclusive and meaningful placements for individuals seeking supportive work experience including Project Scotland, Community Job Scotland, Barnardos and Abertay University. We provide mentoring to individuals who face barriers to employment and skill development.
We host events that help develop skills and bring the community and multiple age groups together, such as Burns Night Suppers, craft fairs, bake offs, social/meeting nights, BBQ's etc.
We work with other businesses on Union street, where our café is based, and create community events. We also offer our cafe space to be used for free by local organisations, such as Food Not Bombs. Our cafe is also a collection point for DOPE magazine. People ranging from rough sleepers to asylum seekers can collect the newspaper for free, sell it for the cover price of £3 and keep the proceeds.
We are carbon footprint conscious. We follow a non-violent approach, therefore providing alternative positive ways of thinking. We build confidence in individuals to make a change through a supportive and non-judgmental environment.
Our café is vegan to combat the pollution and harm associated with the farming industry. We use Fairtrade and responsibly sourced hot drinks, and sustainable ingredients. We also work with Fare Share to provide free sanitary products to fight period poverty, as well as free nappies.
We are reducing food wastage to protect the environment while providing for those who do not have enough. We receive excess food from supermarkets, through FareShare, and then share this with like minded groups such as Food Not Bombs. We also use this food in our cooking skill groups aimed at individuals with additional needs. This also helps provide an opportunity for our members and volunteers, to be adaptable and resourceful in their own lives.
We also use this food to make soup, where any customer pays what they wants, any day of the week. This is to ensure anyone has access to a yummy and nutritious meal. We also offer this on all drinks once a week. We also provide free fruit within our café. Any food that is made for the café and hasn't been sold before the use by date, we give away through Too Good To Go or to local community groups.
We follow a circular economy model, wherein waste is minimised as much as possible and all resources are reused to the best of their ability. Our café and creative uses all second hand furniture, as well as second hand plates, cups and utensils.
Uppmakes is our upcycling project, where we do up unwanted furniture, refashion clothes and jewellery, and make new items out of unwanted scrap materials. This helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and provides an opportunity for people to learn new skills in woodwork/upholstery/painting ect.
We have our own gardens where we grow our own produce. This helps reduce plastic waste and travel miles. It provides an opportunity for our members to get in touch with nature and develop skills in plant care, as well as a safe social opportunity. We also encourage wildflowers and native insects to our garden to help biodiversity. We have recently started an orchard, to help to offset the carbon footprint we do have..
Within all our services, we promote health and well-being, responsibility, creativity, fun and self belief. Our clients benefit from increased confidence, creativity, motivation, skills and a sense of achievement as well as feel more engaged with their community and society.
We have signed up for the Charter for Involvement. The Charter for Involvement is written by the National Involvement Network (NIN). It sets out in their own words how supported people want to be involved, in the support that they get, in the organisations that provide their services, in the wider community.
We regularly ask our client’s feedback/opinions. We do this informally, such as during groups and through catch ups, as well as formally through questionnaires. For example, when planning the activities for a therapeutic group for the following week, we will ask our clients what activities they would like.
Another example is when having a catch up with one of our clients, we found out that they wanted to sell some of their crafts. From this, we then set up a space in our café to sell it. We have developed this project further through further discussions from our clients, and are now developing a creative skills programme.
We supported five individuals to achieve formal REHIS Food and Hygiene certificates. These individuals are being supported by us to develop their employability skills further. Two individuals have gone on to employment. Ten individuals took part in a formal garden qualification (Grow and Learn), supported by us. Many of these individuals have no formal qualifications. This boosted their confidence while developing transferable skills.
The type of skill and strength focused groups we offer (online and in person) are: Yoga, Cooking and Food Hygiene, Self-Awareness and Goal Setting, Working and Volunteering; and Stress Management. Various tools and techniques are used in these topics including mind-maps, ‘how I see myself’, short term and long-term goals, and ‘if I could be anything’.
During lockdown, we found that being isolated and without a routine was having a negative impact on their mental and physical health, with carers and families also suffering as a result. Within weeks of us restarting some groups and volunteering, the wellbeing of the individuals attending increased greatly. We will help boost participants’ confidence, increase their skill set and help them realise their full potential.
All staff, whether paid or unpaid, are part of Uppertunity and its development. At Uppertunity, we do not believe in hierarchies. We are person centered, placing an emphasis on mutual respect and trust.
We provide placements and employment opportunities to individuals who are ready for work but are facing barriers, such as low or no qualifications, mental health barriers etc. Over 60% of our staff have employment barriers.
We are a registered living wage employer. We work with our local universities, Abertay University and Dundee University, having provided 8 students placements since September 2018.
Majority of our staff started off attending as volunteers from employability skill development placements. We provide regular mentoring to our staff, where we support with personal and career development.