Social Enterprise Kilmarnock offers sponsors life changing partnership

By November 21, 2019General News

CCL sponsors Kilmarnock Enterprises, encourages other corporates to get onboard 

Leaving high school is a stressful time for many young Kiwis. For those with a disability it can be harrowing. As they navigate limited pathways to live a purposeful life, their peers chase further education, new jobs, and freedom.

Kilmarnock Enterprises is changing the lives of Kiwis with a disability for the better. But they need corporate sponsors to keep doing the job.

Founded in 1958, Kilmarnock – then known as the Canterbury Sheltered Workshop Association – soon acquired its first commercial contract, assembling leather sandals for the Suckling Brothers.

Today, Kilmarnock is regarded as one of the country’s most progressive social enterprises, providing commercial services to business juggernauts including Fonterra, The Gough Group, Murdoch Manufacturing (Pams range of herbs and spices), and Air New Zealand.

The organisation’s sweet spot, contract manufacturing, has developed significantly since its days of producing ANZAC poppies – a contract that ended in 2010.

And though contract manufacturing perhaps doesn’t have quite the same sizzle as new forms of work driving the digital economy, it is nevertheless work highly prized by both clients and the 70-plus people busy at workstations in Kilmarnock’s Wigram facility.

Like employees everywhere, Kilmarnock’s people relish the opportunity to earn a wage and bring purpose and meaning to their lives, turning their hand to recycling, assembly, and packaging.

More recently, the social enterprise launched a learning academy to help its people achieve NZQA qualifications in numeracy and literacy, a development that sees around 20 graduates each year extend their talents and work further afield.

But without government funding to run and develop its academy, Kilmarnock requires corporate sponsors to deliver the classroom training for its NZQA programme.

CCL has signed on as a corporate sponsor, but more are needed if Kilmarnock is to continue its good work and, longer term, achieve an audacious goal to replicate its services in Wellington.

“Sponsors are extremely important,” says Michael Toothill, CEO of Kilmarnock. “We’re extremely grateful that CCL has got onboard. While our factory operation benefits from some government funding, we’re on our own when it comes to the academy. The great thing for our sponsor partners is that we can show them outcomes.”

Cherie Roache, director of CCL’s southern region, says CCL is excited to support the academy. “Kilmarnock’s work is inspiring. We feel privileged to support them and the work they do to enrich the lives of Kiwis who face challenges most of us can’t even imagine.”

Contact Michael Toothill, CEO of Kilmarnock, to learn how your sponsorship could change the lives of Kiwis who deserve your help. Michael.toothill@kilmarnock.co.nz or 03 348 5162

Brenda Caseley

About Brenda Caseley