Social impact (report in progress)
In a traditional business, decisions are driven by return on capital. At RDM, decisions are based on social impact for capital, revenue and resources invested.
Our search for impact starts with understanding what our local community needs, shaping our approach to services and then maximising our impact across four main areas:
- re-investing commercial profit into sustainable employment
- developing training and employment opportunities wherever possible
- maintaining low environmental impact, and
- creating employment, supporting local economies and being engaged and accountable.
Specific reference is needed to our project ROOF - click HERE to access the webpage.
The main measure of social impact is the number of individuals trained, employed and retained. As at August 2017, these figures stand at:
- six staff in regular employment, five recruited through our established referral processes.
- retention figures show we are a stable team, five staff have been with us over two years.
- we currently have three trainees and one intern
- we have trained a total of 97 people since inception
- we have received 210 applications to train and work with us to date.
Production capacity and workspace have been limiting factors. Some individuals decide at interview that the job/training process doesn’t suit them.
The positive impact of being part of a team and developing skills is significant.
Previous barriers to employment that RDM has helped overcome include race, culture, language, illiteracy, age, hearing impairment, caring responsibility, emotional trauma, mental health, substance misuse, history of imprisonment.
Staff engagement such as appraisals provide qualitative information about factors that impact on recruitment, training and retention. This ensures that HR processes remain responsive to individual needs of (potential) employees and their role in the business.
Impacts on people
Personal stories of trainees/employees are a matter of confidentiality, but we share here anonimised examples on request.
MB came to us in March 2014 as an ex offender with building skills and a long term arterial and mobility disability. He was primary carer for his 11 year old grandson who has ADHD and is excluded from full time education. MD has OCD and fear of people he doesnt know and had been unemployed for over five years when we interviewed and offered him a place on our training programme.
Before moving away from the local area in April 2017, MB became an invaluable member of our staff for just over three years and through persistent determination and hard work. He was our go to man of many skills - reliable, trust worthy, dependable and funny. MB found his confidence and learned to trust his own judgement. He always said he feared he's become institutionalised but he proved the referral agencies wrong by achieving so much and making such a difference to the team around him.
MB's skill set when he left us was such that he was offered special dispensation from the Governor of Parc Prison in Bridgend to be in line for a role as Head Supervisor within our manufacturing unit onsite and achieved DBS clearance.
We supported MB in getting his grandson back into full time education, attending local education authority meetings, school governor and city council meetings and sponsored him with retaking his driving licence and use of the business pool car.
MA came to us as a frightened teenager of 18 years old in 2014. She is a mixed race girl who suffered from bullying to the extent that her single mother (who has ME) took the decision to relocate them both to Swansea to distance themselves from the area MA was suffering in.
When we first met MA, she was presented to us as an elective mute. If a door unexpectedly opened onto a room she was in, MA would immediately decline into a state of panic. She had never been in a work environment before let alone touched a sewing machine. MA's work experience and training period were supported by the Shaw Trust and after five months of training 16 hours a week and barely talking to any of the remainder of the team, MA became an employee. Over two years later, MA is our lead trainer, has incredible people skills, is articulate and about to start studies as a Training Leader. RDM is sponsoring her driving lessons.
ST came to us via the Shaw Trust as a single mum of a six year old boy. She had no formal education, minimal essential skills and had spent much of her own childhood in foster care. ST had basic sewing domestic sewing skills but zero social skills. She was a very defensive person with anger management issues and spectrum obsession with her son's safety and appearance as well as very bad language habits. ST was having a detrimental effect on her son, endangering the stability of having her son remain with her and limiting her ability to earn a living.
ST stayed with us for a month short of two years when she married and moved away. During her time with us she learned the benefits of religious and racial tolerance and became a less angry, less rash and more positively motivated person with the knock on effect that her son grew to trust other people (and spent many of his school holidays at work with his mum and co-workers) and she was able to form a relationship with her now husband based on trust and confidence rather than by materialism and desperation.