New premises needed for Kenilworth social enterprise helping find work for people with autism
A Kenilworth man is appealing to the town for help in finding premises for his social enterprise helping people with autism find work.
Camillus Hamill founded ‘Turning Tide’ last year on a part-time basis. Now, he hopes to launch the enterprise on a bigger scale while still keeping it in Kenilworth.
Turning Tide focuses on three things: a valeting and car washing service which is how the venture started, a recruitment business to match people with autism with jobs suited to them, and a training service to help autistic people develop their skills.
But Camillus needs a premises where the valet business can be run from, as well as office space for the other two parts of the business.
He said: “We’d like to be based somewhere in the local area. But it’s really hard in Kenilworth (to find good premises).
“There must be someone in the town who has some space. The last thing I want to do is take it away from Kenilworth. We want to keep the business here.”
Camillus stated Turning Tide in March 2017, purely as a valeting and car washing service based in Princes Drive.
He employed two men on the autism spectrum who had previously been unemployed for a while.
Over the course of the financial year, Camillus said the business pulled in around 3,000 customers and generated £7,700 in profit.
Camillus also said the two men went on to find full time jobs due to their acquisition of skills and experience during their time at Turning Tide.
He now hopes to expand the social enterprise to help more people with autism find a job that suits their personalities and focuses on the skills they have instead of what they do not have.
Camillus said: “Autism affects one per cent of the population - so an estimated 6,000 people in Warwickshire are on the autism spectrum.
“85 per cent of those people are unemployed. That’s the bottom line.
“But we can work out their strengths - a lot of them are high-functioning. There are jobs out there for them.
“All the money we make goes back into the business and we only employ people from the local area.”
The Princes Drive unit is no longer suitable for Camillus’s plans as it could only be operated as a valeting centre from 9am to 5pm from Mondays to Fridays.
He also aims to have office space near the valeting premises, but he said this was not crucial.
Anyone wishing to help Camillus should contact him by emailing [email protected]