Aircelle, Burnley

PARTNERSHIP with schools and colleges and a deep-rooted commitment to the town of Burnley are the cornerstones aerospace firm Aircelle Group’s social and community policy.

Appreciating the growing size of the business, with numbers employed rising from 755 in 2009 to a current level of 950, Aircelle has established partnerships with a wide variety of community education establishments.

These include Hargher Clough Youth and Community Centre and Shuttleworth High School.

Janet Ambler, skills development partner for the firm, said: “We are particularly proud of managing and hosting the Work Inspiration event held in Burnley in March, bringing together 33 firm and 800 pupils from five high schools.

“The event went beyond a careers fair, with practical demonstrations and interactive displays. It was so successful, the way it was done is now seen as UK best practice.

“We have trained 47 volunteer science and engineering ambassadors from our workforce and they work towards the science, technology and mathematics needs identified by teachers.

“Our ambassadors have supported activities involving numerous schools and more than 4,000 students throughout Lancashire.

“Not only do the students have access to our employees working in a variety of job roles but by involvement our employees also have the opportunity to meet and network with colleagues they may not ordinarily be involved with.”

Eagle & Child, Ramsbottom

DESPITE setting up just 12 months ago, social enterprise the Eagle and Child is making sure social development is at the heart of its business plan.

In just 12 months, the Ramsbottom pub and restaurant has gained a local reputation as one of the area’s top food pubs, as well as national recognition in being named best newcomer at the Great British Pub Awards.

But as well as aiming to maximise profit, the Whalley Road venue holds giving back to the community in high regard.

Having set up accredited programmes, the venture has already supported 20 youngsters into employment, one of whom was in a young offenders institute for three months before starting the scheme.

Glen Duckett, the Eagle and Child’s proprietor, said: “It is tough now to get work if you are young, so we believe it is important to give young people an opportunity.

“We have been working with young people who have been in prison and have learning difficulties to help them get over their additional barriers and into work.”

Also high on the agenda is the use of locally-sourced produce in the restaurant’s dishes.

The enterprise is a supporter of the Incredible Edible scheme, an East Lancashire campaign to get people to grow fruit and vegetables, and even grows many of its vegetables in the beer garden.”

WEC Group, Darwen

METAL fabrication firm WEC, of Darwen, has gone above and beyond the call of duty in its efforts to become a big part of its town.

The firm has a renowned apprenticeship scheme and academy, taking on 10 apprentices from the town every year.

On top of that, WEC has supported its local community in a number of initiatives, including the donation of a new dome for the iconic Darwen Tower after the previous one blew off in strong winds.

WEC spent £35,000 creating the new dome, which was made by apprentices, and even flew it into place with a helicopter to be fitted in January.

Another project undertaken by the firm and completed by apprentices was a model Spitfire aircraft that will be mounted in Darwen town centre as a memorial to the wartime plane bought by the people of the town.

The memorial took 18 months to build and has cost WEC more than £100,000.

The company has also supported a local history and heritage group, Darwen Days, agreeing to put in an annual £2,000 sponsorship, while also donating a new laptop tto the group and providing technical advice.

Blackburn-based charity East Lancashire Hospice has also benefited from regular donations this year, and a golf day organised by the firm helped to raise £2,800, donated to various charities.

Marketing manager Jean-Yves Dziki said: “WEC has adopted the habit of accepting new projects from the local authorities every year free of charge so our apprentices can learn welding and fabrication while working on projects that beneift their town and bring pride to the local community.