Gordon Allen set up Wee Toon Environmental Solutions after being made redundant from Argyll and Bute Council's Employability team. He felt he could fill the gap in local service provision, including garden maintenance, landscaping and joinery, left by the team’s closure. He soon secured a council contract to provide gardening maintenance services and a number of private customers.
Wee Toon Environmental Solutions aims to create employment and work experience opportunities for people facing barriers to finding work. Gordon currently employs two people who have learned new practical skills, as well as improved confidence and communication, social and life skills.
He has benefitted from support in areas including business planning, bookkeeping and funding applications. Since receiving two awards available through the Vital Spark programme, Gordon has been able to establish his venture, secure premises and buy a work van.
Gordon has found being part of Vital Spark valuable, particularly meeting and sharing ideas with his peers. He now plans to grow his social enterprise further, offering more jobs, growing service provision and expanding his client base. He also plans to recruit a charge hand to allow him to focus more on the strategic side of the business.
Being involved in Vital Spark has been a challenge (but an enjoyable challenge) and exciting. I have been able to take the business idea forward and am much further on than I thought I would be and I have learned loads.