From humble beginnings more than 50 years ago as Hansel Laundry Service, the modern day Hansel has evolved to become far more than a simple soapsud service.
A well-known Scottish institution working for people with support needs, Hansel has grown to become a successful commercial laundry providing high standard, quick turnaround services for clients large and small across Ayrshire.
In recent times, and in recognition of increasingly uncertain access to public funding for employability projectcs, Hansel wanted to avoid potential soapy bubble by considering alternative business models, and approached CEIS for advice and support to reconfigure its legal structure.
CEIS were able to offer Hansel ‘relationship-managed’ support through adviser Kevin Smith. Despite the considerable challenges of finding time and capacity to work on a new legal structure, Hansel’s senior team committed themselves to working with Kevin across a series of development sessions including the design and implementation of a detailed roll-out plan.
CEO Gerry Lindsay appreciated the collaborative nature of the relationship right from the start, “We really enjoyed working with CEIS, the process was good – structured but also flexible enough to work around the operational needs of the business. Kevin was very approachable and easy to work with. He provided very good guidance and was able to facilitate conversations without taking control.”
One main issue became apparent very quickly during the process, and that was the need for a board who could easily differentiate between ‘funded projects’, and income which is earned from fee-earning services under the new social enterprise structure. Careful planning and collaborative working resulted in a new board structure and the set-up of a new social enterprise laundry division called Hansel 3e.
According to CEO Gerry Lindsay, the development process was essential to get everyone at Hansel on board.
“Everyone, including our Board of Directors, now has a really clear understanding of how their roles fit together to help us deliver our mission. We have a new sense of purpose and direction. Because our people were involved, they’ve really taken ownership of what we are doing, and that buy-in is significant in such a challenging funding climate.”
He is full of praise for the partnership process, “Without CEIS we would have struggled to do what we did, and we certainly wouldn’t have achieved it in the timescales we did. The result of the work we did together has been transformative – we have a new structure for all of our employment and enterprise activities."
Indeed, the success of the laundry’s fee-earning services through its new social enterprise model has been so successful that Hansel is now exploring the potential to include horticultural projects to its portfolio.
Gerry Lindsay feels that further social enterprise development at Hansel offers a welcome level of sustainability, “Like a lot of charities, we have challenging times ahead but I am confident that thanks to the work with CEIS we have resourced ourselves in the best way to take advantage of future opportunities. “
Far from being put through the wringer, Hansel’s support from CEIS now sees the organisation flying high and facing a bright, breezy future.
Contact Hansel / https://www.hansel.org.uk / firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: 01563 830340