miEnterprise Herefordshire 

Was founded in 2007. It is a Community Interest Company that runs as a marketing co-operative - we will explain more about that later. We will shorten our name here to miEH to save typing it all out each time we talk about ourselves! 

It was set up by Jon Pitts and Geof Cox initially. Jon was managing a day service for adults with learning disabilities and Geof was an expert in social enterprise and business structures. They both knew that lots of people with learning disabilities wanted to work - but not many were.

A very few people managed to get a job but even then they often didn't last. But people still wanted the chance to earn a bit of money but maybe even more important they wanted to have something good to do with their time, to have a purpose, and identity - an answer to the question we all ask each other "what do you do"? It's also about having a role in your community, self esteem, confidence and responsibility. 

Jon started thinking about how we could do something about this through knowing a lady called Thelma. Thelma was an older lady (sadly she is not with us any more) who used to come into the day centre and knit all day. She usually had to make scarves out of fairly horrible acrylic in really bright colours that someone had 'donated'. But her knitting was really good. So Jon thought about what would happen if Thelma could use really good quality wool, maybe from a Jacobs sheep from a nearby Welsh hill farm. If she could choose really nice natural colours and a good pattern, then have some nice labels made and have someone help her get her products in to good shops and markets. Thelma could then have a really good little business making high quality hand knitted scarves. She had the skills - she just needed some help and support with the other things.