It’s the latest success for the pioneering social enterprise gin Ginerosity, which was established last year to support young adults into training and education.
The company, which produces a London dry gin made with 10 ethically sourced botanicals, said it was confident that many more young adults would be able to benefit from Ginerosity funding in future.
The six young adults, who are from across the UK, will this week travel to Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Ghana, where they will each work for a local social enterprise business as part of a UK Government-funded volunteer programme run by Edinburgh-based charity Challenges Worldwide and the International Citizen Service.
Aimed at growing local economies and providing vocational training, the 10-week programme enables the young people to develop key business skills and undertake the coursework for an industry recognised qualification, while also enabling the businesses to access social investment.
The first round of Ginerosity profits was shared out in April, with the young adults having to make a short video application for the funding.
Daniel Searle, from Essex, said he couldn’t wait for the experience and to “get started and sink my teeth into this project as it’s all starting to get real”, adding that the Ginerosity funding had been an “incredible” contribution to the trip and would enable him to achieve a business management qualification from the Chartered Management Institution (CMI).
He also said he hoped to see more companies setting up as social enterprises, adding that he was keen to set up his own social enterprise in the future.
Joanna Gillan, from East Kilbride and who studies at the City of Glasgow College, said she was delighted at receiving the award from Ginerosity. “I was ecstatic, was really, really happy. I’ve never had a grant before. So it was completely new, and meant I completed my fundraising target.”
Kyle Cousins, from South Lanarkshire, said the Ginerosity award had been a “massive confidence boost” and he was even more excited about the trip as the opportunity to attain the CMI qualification meant he would gain more from the experience.
Katie Roberts, from Merseyside, said she would not have been able to achieve the CMI qualification without Ginerosity’s help, adding that it would be an enormous boost to her CV and give her a step up while trying to find a job, while Sarah Hamilton, from Leicester, said she “expected the experience to open up further opportunities”.
Cameron McIntosh, from Essex, said: “I'm feeling really excited and cannot wait to begin the Zambian adventure! I hope the experience will help the lives of the people I will be working with and improve my skills, knowledge and understanding."
David Moore, one of Ginerosity’s founders and chief executive of Flavourly.com, said he wished the six young people leaving for Africa the very best of luck, adding: “There is still a perception that these types of volunteer programmes, or even just going overseas, is out of reach to many young people, and is reserved for those from better-off backgrounds."
"We don’t believe that’s the case and we’re very excited to be working with our charity partners Challenges Worldwide and our main funders Resilient Scotland to challenge that perception.”
Mr Moore added: “Within six months of launching Ginerosity we were in a position to offer financial support to six deserving young adults, who were selected by our independent panel of Ginerosity champions.
“In that same period we’ve also achieved a listing in Asda, ScotMid and a host of major drinks wholesalers, retailers and bars. We’ve taken a stand at the Juniper Festivals and also just taken part in Asda’s own social enterprise academy, in partnership with Social Investment Scotland."
“We’re extremely optimistic about the months and years ahead and confident we can make significant difference to the lives of deserving young adults, and their communities, while also supporting Challenges Worldwide in their work on developing economic growth and social enterprises in Africa.”
Fellow co-founder Matt Gammell, who is also one half of the acclaimed Pickering’s Gin, said: “This is a major moment for us. Now we can say, ‘There, that’s where the Ginerosity money is going; these are the people you’re helping.’
“We’ve had a terrific response from other organisations keen to support, such as our investors Resilient Scotland, and businesses such as Commsworld, who have provided new phones, and the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland, who helped drive the Asda deal, as well as the many bars across the country who are stocking Ginerosity on their gantries and listing it on their cocktail menus."
“Ginerosity is really starting to capture people’s attention. We think this is a unique initiative whereby many different communities benefit, all from buying a beautiful craft gin. We’d like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has supported Ginerosity and helped us get to this landmark moment.”
Ginerosity and its parent company Spirits for Good CIC have been shortlisted in the London Dry Gin of the Year and Innovation of the Year categories at the Scottish Gin Awards. The winners will be revealed in September.