In February 2021, Highland BlindCraft were proud and delighted to have won the Best Social Enterprise award from The Highland Third Sector Interface. The Highland Third Sector Interface exists to ensure that the Third Sector in the Highlands is strong, developing and a valued community and regional asset. They are an independent charity on a mission to support, encourage and inspire work with community groups, clubs, charities and other Third Sector Organisations throughout Highland.

HTSI said: “This award is about recognising good practice, innovation and impact of social enterprise in Highland. “Highland BlindCraft makes high-quality beds, but that’s not all it does.

“It’s all about making people feel involved, valued and cared for.

“As a charity and a business, the employees’ wellbeing is at the very heart of their philosophy and practice.”

Denise Clark, Executive Manager, was inspired to nominate Highland BlindCraft for the Best Social Enterprise Award. Not only do they make high-quality beds, but it is also all about making people feel involved, valued and cared for. As a charity and a business, the employees’ wellbeing is at the very heart of their philosophy and practice. The workforce could almost be described as a family – a close family looking out for one another and supporting each other in their individual development and quality of life expectations. Highland BlindCraft is committed to lifelong learning and improving the quality of life for all the people they are responsible for.

Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, Highland BlindCraft kept in touch weekly with every employee to ensure their mental health and well-being was ok, and when the Government gave the green light for them to return to manufacturing, they have managed to get the whole team back from furlough. This has involved them working in different shift patterns and days to ensure everyone is kept safe but ensure they are all back working.

Denise said:
“When we had to close in March 2020, we put in place a few things to keep everyone together through a Facebook group, weekly emails and phoning anyone who didn’t have access to those platforms. It was to keep everyone’s spirits up. When we came back off furlough, we decided on a system of having two teams, effectively bubbles, who would always work together, so that if anyone had to self-isolate the other team could step up. It’s worked really well, with the teams making every effort to stay away from each other.”

“We have also stepped up our social media and online selling and are finding lots of local support with orders picking up hugely. We all feel so fortunate to still be here, working the flexible furlough scheme and with no redundancies.” 

“2020 was an especially challenging year for everyone. And despite all the difficulties and challenges everyone has faced, all the staff at Highland BlindCraft are very proud of each other, continuing their support for each other and ensuring the continued viability of the business and charity, so this award is for each and every one of them.”