Jack In The Box
Martin Walker

Member Article

Prestigious award for social enterprise

A social enterprise which helps children, young people and adults with additional needs has picked up a prestigious award in its first year of operation.

Mahé Gladdon’s business, Jack in the Box, was a finalist in the Champions of Change Recognition Awards which are organised by UnLtd – a support charity for social entrepreneurs.

Jack in the Box is based in an incubation unit at Teesside University’s Victoria Building in Victoria Road, Middlesbrough.

It provides activities for children and adults with additional needs including physical disabilities, learning difficulties and autism.

Mahé was supported with a £4,000 award to help build and grow her business, after applying to the University’s £30,000 social entrepreneurship fund, made possible by a £25,000 grant from UnLtd.

The business has expanded rapidly, now employing 12 people and with 150 families on its books.

Its success was recognised at the Champions of Change Awards where Jack in the Box was named the first runner-up in the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur (Student or Recent Graduate) category.

Mahé, who studied BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise (Coaching Science) at Teesside University, said: “I was completely overwhelmed when I found out that we’d been recognised.

“We’ve always tried to do things to the best of our ability and we’ve had some fantastic feedback from the families we work with, but to win an award on a national level is excellent.

“It’s lovely to be able to get that recognition.”

Mahé founded Jack in the Box as a social enterprise in July 2012 after noticing there was a shortage of services for activities for people with additional needs.

Through her social enterprise she organises activity sessions at various locations across the Tees Valley using fully-trained staff who understand the needs of the clients and their families.

The business has grown so much it is hoping to move into purpose-built premises.

Mahé added: “Social enterprise is such a forward way of thinking – more businesses should look into it.”

Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise at Teesside University, added: “It is no surprise that Mahé was given this award for Jack in the Box – what she has achieved in such a short space of time is nothing short of amazing.”

Jack in the Box is organising a family fun day on Monday August 26, at the Noah’s Ark Family Centre at Thornaby Methodist Church from 11.00am to 3.00pm.

Activities include soft play, face painting, bouncy castle, raffle, tombola and stalls. Admission is £4.95 per family.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Martin Walker .

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