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Published Date: 08 December 2009

A PROJECT which provides work opportunities for young people with autism has received a national award.

Perfect Pots, which is run by students at the Holbrook Centre for Autism, has been given a prestigious social enterprise award for the Best Social Enterprise in a School.

The project was chosen for the way it has inspired students and made a positive contribution to the community.

Students beat off competition from two other shortlisted schools before being presented with the award in a special ceremony run by the Social Enterprise Coalition in London on Thursday.

The annual awards scheme recognises successful social enterprises around the UK.

Perfect Pots, which provides filled plant pots and hanging baskets, has been running as part of the charity Holbrook Opportunities for Placement and Employment (HOPE), which aims to provide students with work experience to equip them with employable skills when they leave the school at 19.

The charity’s managing director, Caroline Bell, who is also the deputy head of the school, said: “All of us are thrilled by this award, and really pleased to have been recognised on a national level.

“Working in a social enterprise has already made a huge difference to young people with autism and learning disabilities at the centre.

“It has helped them to believe in themselves and to better understand their abilities, as well as to cope with the challenges they face.”
Social enterprises are businesses run for social purposes.

Perfect Pots lets students at the school take part in all aspects of the business, from planting and designing the pots to overseeing the accounts.

The products have been distributed to local businesses and organisations, including Belper Town Council.

Dylan Nolan, one of the students involved in the project, said: “I like working for Perfect Pots because I am good at it and I like earning money.”

Source:   http://www.belpernews.co.uk/news/National-prize-for-autistic-students.5892929.jp

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