A group of Scottish brewers are joining forces to try to do what they can to improve accessibility and provide meaningful employment for people with disabilities who are otherwise struggling to find work.
A recent report from the government-backed Equality and Human Rights Commission has stated that “more and more disabled people are finding it difficult to live independently and be included, and participate, in their communities on an equal basis.”
A group of Scottish brewers are joining forces to try to do what they can to help. Brewers from Ride Brew Co of Glasgow, Late Night Hype Brewing Company from Clydebank and Bute Brew Co from the Isle of Bute are working together to start a new social enterprise dedicated to accessibility and providing well paid meaningful employment for people with disabilities who are otherwise struggling to find work.
The project, dubbed the Glasgow Brewery Collective, is aiming to set up a tap room in the Gorbals in the Southside of Glasgow with a goal of being 100% accessible for people with disabilities.
Dave Lannigan of Ride Brew Co, said: “We will ensure that the taproom itself will have more than the minimum legal requirement for disabled access. In addition to this we have started, and will continue into the day to day running of the taproom, a process of consulting with people whose lives are affected by disabilities so we can learn how we can best help and what facilities or services we can provide.”
Mr Lannigan, who is officially disabled through loss of hearing and suffers from ADHD and Dyslexia, says, “My disabilities have given me personal experience of being excluded and the struggles that people with disabilities face when trying to find work, I’m keen to do something to help people in a similar situation to me find meaningful employment”.
“As well as being accessible for customers, we will be working with organisations such as Shaw Trust to provide opportunities for disabled individuals to get back into work both in the tap room and with the breweries themselves.”
Mike Shaw, co-founder of Late Night Hype Brewing Company, who will be working closely with Ride Brew Co to get the project off the ground says, “Before starting the brewery I worked as an Additional Support Needs Learning Assistant at Craigmarloch School. Despite the incredibly hard work by the students and staff at the school, once graduated, the young alumni might struggle in an increasingly competitive jobs market. When setting up Late Night Hype, I vowed to myself to create appropriate jobs with good support and development opportunities for people with additional support needs.”
In order to get off the ground, the collective is turning to crowdfunding. Mr Lannigan says, “Our plans are viable; there is a lot of interest in what we want to do and there is a genuine need in the community. However it could take years to sell enough beer to raise the funds finance it, especially in times of austerity. As such, we’re asking the general public to help.”
For more information on the project, go to www.glasgowbrewerycollective.co.uk
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