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How an influential buyer helped social enterprises support each other

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This is a guest blog by Supply Change Trusted Supplier, ABC Life Support

ABC Life Support is a Social Enterprise based in Cambridgeshire. We provide Physical and Mental Health First Aid training and bespoke Mental Health Awareness training across the UK. As a Social Enterprise, our mission is to deliver accessible First Aid and Mental Health Training to all. We do this by understanding the lived experience of our learners, recognising the barriers to learning and striving to overcome them. We work with businesses, schools and charities and work to achieve equity in the availability of training.

We have been working with Wates for the last 5 years and in the last 12 months we have been part of their ASSETS (Assisting Social Enterprises to Succeed) programme which enabled us not only to learn how to scale up, but it helped us to build and widen the relationship with Wates, especially with the Social Value team.

Wates has always been focused on supporting Social Enterprises within their supply chain. As a Social Enterprise training provider, we found that our First Aid and Mental Health Awareness courses dovetailed nicely with a number of their community initiatives. We have been able to deliver First Aid and Mental Health First Aid courses to the team at Wates in sites including Warrington, London, York and Oxford.

One of which was Cook for Good ( an amazing Social Enterprise based at the Priory Green Estate near Kings Cross. The team has built a community kitchen with services including community cooking classes, a community meals programme and a surplus food pantry. They also offer corporate organisations the opportunity to hold team-building cooking events where they prepare meals for the community.


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Cat Holland, Social Value Manager for London Construction recognised that we could collaborate and offer both Emergency First Aid at Work and Mental Health First Aid training to 25 members of the Cook for Good team. Being able to train their team ensures that they are ready to react well and quickly in an emergency. This helps not only families who attend the food hub but the community as a whole. The impact of this training cannot be underestimated, not only can this be gained through the skills gained but the ongoing support the learners have in a wider context.

“Wates is a huge supporter of social enterprises so being able to bring two together in this way provides twice the benefit! Being able to fund training for Cook for Good saves them money to invest in their core purpose and they were really impressed with ABC’s delivery on the day, so much so that we are hoping to be able to further support them with more mental health training in the future for their volunteers.”

Cat Holland – Social Value Manager

Being able to deliver this training to the team helped us to work towards our mission, something we couldn’t have done without the relationship with have with Wates. There are so many Social Enterprises in the UK doing amazing work and really making a difference. For larger companies like Wates to be able to provide a platform for the work we do, enables us to have a wider impact and support more communities.

“Working with another Social Enterprise is a gift. Both organisations understand the impact of supporting one another. Knowing that the impact from the skills learnt are going to be felt far and wide as part of the community that Cook for Good has created is a great feeling”

Danielle Bridge CEO of ABC Life Support


Interested in getting more income and support for your social enterprise, B Corp or co-operative? Register interest in becoming a Supply Change Trusted Supplier


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