The Winch works with children, young people and families from cradle to career, providing the activities, services and support they need to be successful. Their flagship programme for 18 – 25 year olds is The Company, a self-employment and enterprise programme which supports young people as they set up a business and begin trading.
The DM Thomas Foundation awarded The Winch £8,000 over two years to buy equipment for the young people who participate in The Company. These young people are highly creative and entrepreneurial but often face financial, social or other barriers to self-employment. This is especially the case for those whose business requires expensive specialised equipment, such as design software or machines needed for music production and textiles. With the funding from the Foundation they were able to buy a heat press for textile printing, software for designing products, and a vinyl cutter. In addition, they were able to provide laptops for young people who did not have them, so that they were able to run their business more professionally and efficiently.
As a result of this new equipment, the young people were able to develop their products and take part in test trading. For some, the success of this phase has enabled them to run their business full-time; for others, the skills and experience gained during the programme has helped them to access employment or training elsewhere. The Winch continues to recruit more young people to The Company, many of whom are experiencing disadvantage in some form, and the funding means that these young people will also be provided with laptops when needed and can use the specialised equipment.