Perth café among thousands of Scottish social enterprises 'putting greater equality into economy'

Deputy first minister John Swinney has visited a Perth café and training kitchen to discover how the social enterprise is boosting the local economy.

The Giraffe Café supports people with learning disabilities, those with mental ill health, and autistic people to make the transition towards inclusion, socialisation and, if appropriate, into meaningful work. Trainees come from across the Perth and Kinross area while profits from the café and catering business support training opportunities as well as a programme of activities aimed at reducing isolation and improving mental and physical health.

The venture is one of more than 6,000 social enterprises in Scotland and together they contribute some £2.6 billion to Scotland’s economy, supporting almost 90,000 jobs. Swinney, who is the MSP for Perthshire North, was welcomed to the café by Gareth Ruddock, chief executive of Giraffe, and Chris Martin, chief executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, which champions and supports the social enterprise community.

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Martin said: “We are proud to be growing a strong and inclusive voice for social enterprises in Scotland. Social enterprises play a leading role in putting greater fairness and equality into our economy and Giraffe is a fantastic example of what can be achieved.”

John Swinney pictured with service users outside the Giraffe café and training kitchen in Perth. Picture: Becky Duncan
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Ruddock added: “Enterprising social businesses like ours are the backbone of communities across Scotland and will be even more so in the face of the cost of living crisis and more. Like many other wonderful organisations in Perth and Kinross, and indeed across Scotland, we are doing what we can to support our communities.”

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