A NEW social enterprise company embracing a range of initiatives aiming to help people enter or re-enter the employment market – especially the disabled and disadvantaged – has been launched in Suffolk.

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Realise Futures has been incorporated as the new parent company for a group of services which were previously based within Suffolk County Council.

They include the contract to deliver the National Careers Service in the six counties of the East of England, for which the team behind Realise Futures successfully bid while preparing for independence from the council.

Community learning and skills development work previously undertake by the county council also forms part of Realise Futures, together with a number of individual and longer established social enterprises.

These include Whitehouse Enterprises, Growing Places, Nowton Park Nursery, Poppy’s Pantry and Eco Services Digital.

Sarah Sharlott, chief executive of Realise Futures, said the organisation would retain a close relationship with the county council but independence would also enable it to form wider partnerships with other organisations.

Other speakers at the launch event, which was held at the Kesgrave Conference Centre, included Anna McCreadie, director of adult and community services at Suffolk County Council, and Ceri Jones, head of policy and research at Social Enterprise UK, who highlighted the £24billion contribution of social enterprises to the UK’s economy.

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