Charity employing blind and disabled people to officially open factory (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Clarity has been employing blind and disabled people for 160 years
A 160-year-old charity that employs blind and disabled people will celebrate the official opening of its Highams Park factory this month.
Clarity was set up in 1854 to provide the means for blind people to support themselves through employment.
Now, 58 blind and disabled people have office and factory jobs helping in the production of cleaning products and toiletries at the social enterprise’s Jubilee Avenue facility.
Chief Executive Jeremy Robinson says Clarity provides jobs for people facing difficulties finding mainstream employment.
“It’s a beautiful charity because we don’t rely on donations, we just rely on people buying our products in order to employ as many blind and disabled people as we can,” he said.
“We’re a proper manufacturer and a proper factory, we just happen to employ a section of society who can’t get opportunities for employment.”
He said he looks forward to making Clarity part of the local community.
“Clarity makes good quality products, as good if not better than buying them from elsewhere, but if you buy from Clarity then you’re doing good with your money.”
Clarity relocated its workforce from Islington last year and chose Highams Park because of cheaper rent and good transport links.
All proceeds from selling products, which range from skincare to dog shampoo, are reinvested in further employment opportunities.
Mr Robinson said employment levels for disabled people across the country are less than 50 per cent.
“Our ultimate aim is for people to use us as a stepping stone to move on to jobs in our organisation or elsewhere,” he said.
Around 84 per cent of the charity’s income is from trade while the rest is from fundraising and local authority funding.
Clarity moved to its Highams Park Premises from Islington in April but will be hosting an official opening on January 29.
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