St Jude's workers make a clean break

St Jude's workers make a clean break

Monday, 1st January 2018, 7:00 am
St Jude's provides laundry services to the royal household. Picture: Chris Watt

Duddingston-based St Jude’s Laundry opened its doors to the community and customers to highlight the work it is doing to support more disabled people into mainstream employment.

Its volunteers and staff hosted a “meet and greet” event, welcoming guests for a tour of the state-of-the-art facility and sharing the charity’s ambition to contribute to a thriving Scottish social business sector, ensuring there are more employment opportunities for disabled people in Scotland.

The laundry, which was founded by Capability Scotland in 1963 and is now operated by Forth Sector, in partnership with major UK disability employment charity Shaw Trust, is staffed by individuals with mental health, physical or learning disabilities.

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It is the only industrial laundry in Capital and serves customers such as Spire Health Care Limited, Edinburgh University, Scottish Youth Hostel Association and Lush Spa.

Organisations choosing to use its services are supporting local people living with a disability and are contributing to their own corporate social responsibility strategies.

St Jude’s Laundry has held a Royal Warrant for more than 25 years as launderer to the Queen, meaning customers’ items are laundered to the same standard as those from the royal household.

The event comes after a new disability, health and wellbeing plan was announced by the UK Government, aiming to help one million more disabled people into employment over the next ten years, aligning the Westminster Government to plans already being progressed in Scotland.

Iain Grieve, chief operating officer of St Jude’s Laundry, said: “We are proud to showcase to our customers and stakeholders the important work St Jude’s Laundry undertakes in Scotland’s social business sector.

“Forth Sector employs 24 local people living with a disability, who each play a vital role in the business. Working together with Forth Sector, Shaw Trust, and the private, public and third sectors, we want to help create more opportunities for disabled people and make a significant difference to narrowing Scotland’s disability employment gap.”

Alistair Kerr, director of partnerships at Shaw Trust, said: “The event highlighted to St Jude’s customers the difference it makes to the lives of many local disabled people by providing them a supportive place to work and meet like-minded individuals.

“Research shows us that people living with a disability are twice as likely to be unemployed as an able-bodied person, meaning that employability programmes like these are extremely important in supporting more people into employment in Scotland.”