A BENARTY firm that's giving much-needed jobs to people with disabilities received ministerial approval.

Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell, visited Re-Employ at their new units in Crosshill Community Enterprise Centre last Wednesday.

They make bespoke promotional items for businesses, such as pens, mugs and bags, and also create personalised gifts sold direct to the public.

Their talents don’t stop there though – they also work with clients providing fulfilment services – and they're going from strength to strength after a previous employment venture in Cowdenbeath for people with disabilities, Remploy, closed in 2013.

Irene Donaldson founded Re-Employ in 2017 and said: “I am delighted to welcome our guests and the opportunity to showcase the efforts of our workforce and volunteers.

"We have had invaluable support from Susan Oak, who is a social enterprise advisor with BRAG (Benarty Regeneration Action Group) Enterprises Ltd, funded by Fife Council.

"Together we have managed to secure funding through the Scottish Government and the Robertson Trust to secure a new business development manager to move the business on to a new level.

"We hope to secure new contracts to sustain the business long into the future.”

The staff have multiple disabilities and many of the volunteers also face barriers into employment, but Re-Employ provides a safe and friendly workplace which brings out the best of their skills and abilities.

They're also out to prove that the most vulnerable members of society possess unique skills and abilities which can contribute to a quest for excellence and the creation of quality outcomes.

The minister was joined on the visit by Cowdenbeath MSP Annabelle Ewing, who said: "It was great to meet up with Irene who has done so much to secure the jobs of former Remploy workers and bring other newer members into the team.

"I pushed very strongly for Scottish Government funding to help out, as the phoenix of Re-Employ began to rise from the ashes after the closure of the Remploy factory, and I was pleased when some funding was indeed granted.

“This was another really interesting visit and I was very impressed with the wide variety of bags and key rings and other promotional items that they make.

“Re-Employ clearly foster a very happy work environment and it was fabulous to see at first hand, the benefits of the social enterprise model."

For more information about Re-Employ, to place an order with them or to volunteer, please contact Irene@Re-EmployFife.com