GO keeps going thanks to Foundation grant

Jan 19, 2023

A grant from the Guernsey Community Foundation has enabled GO (Giving Opportunities), the social enterprise charity, to continue employing its general manager.

Chris Murphy joined the charity in April 2021 with COVID still to the fore. Since then, his salary has been funded by the Foundation.  Mr Murphy is responsible for the general upkeep and running of GO, managing all operational elements as well as the welfare of the team and the charity’s engagement with third party support groups.

GO’s Chair, Paul Meader, said: “During COVID, these skills were invaluable. Not only were we able to support all our teams on furlough schemes, but Chris offered emotional and well-being support for crew members whose anxieties were stretched to breaking.

“Chris has implemented a new business model and management structure, has embedded all health and safety risk policies, together with a staff handbook, and has laid the core foundations of a well-being centre. With the anxieties of lockdown now behind us, Chris is now able to focus on the charity’s strategic plan.”

GO’s plan will see the charity providing more training and access to support more people, extending its reach from young people to anyone in the community who needs training assistance to potentially access the world of work.

Mr Meader  explained how, over the last two years, despite the challenges of the pandemic, the charity has significantly improved its training and development schemes, revenue growth, and engagement with other third-party organisations such as the Committee for Employment and Social Security and the Prison Service.

“The continued support from the Guernsey Community Foundation will allow GO to continue to recover from the reduction in retail income caused by COVID,” said Mr Meader. “It will help offer us stability, as well as allow revenues to be reinvested in bespoke training plans and our crew members.

GO has now fully relocated into its premises at Quayside on the Bridge giving us socialisation benefits and access to wide training initiatives which has also reduced overheads and increased our revenues,” he said.

Jim Roberts, Chief Executive of the Foundation said: “The Foundation recognised that GO’s General Manager was fundamental to the charity’s success. We were impressed with the strides that the charity has made in recent years.”

GO is a social enterprise that focuses on providing training and support to disadvantaged people in Guernsey. It does so  in a financially self-sustaining way by providing recycling, upcycling and retail services and in doing so it gives people skills, confidence and experience to be able to manage their lives and to potentially enter the mainstream employment markets.

Individuals who benefit can come from a wide range of backgrounds, including those with learning disabilities, mental health issues and conditions such as Autism.  GO’s services have been extended to include those with short-term mental health issues, ex-offenders, and those who are educationally disadvantaged.