Visit to Ucan

Alan Brown MP visited Ucan and got to see first-hand the wonderful and dedicated work which takes place at the social enterprise in Kilmarnock.

Ucan are a business who aim to give individuals with learning difficulties an opportunity of employment and teach them key life skills which enables them to live independently.

The MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun was given a tour of the premises by directors; Matt Buckman, David Campbell and Joe Fairbairn. There, he was able to see the excellent facilities on offer which included; a gym area, kitchen, workshop, radio suite and an I.T. room.

The social enterprise have ambitious plans to open a café and expand their work further afield.

Commenting on the visit, Mr Brown said: “I thought the visit was a real inspiration. It was great to see the happiness about the place and the people working away.

“It was interesting to hear of the life skills which people who come here end up developing, in particular being put on the right track to living independently, and basically just helping them get on in life, it is absolutely fantastic.

“It’s a few years since I visited the premises and I can’t believe how much it has grown since then, which again is testament to the commitment of David, Matt, Joe and all the other staff at Ucan.

“I really can’t wait to see the finished product in terms of their café and retail space!”

Director David Campbell added: “We hope to develop people for work and help them with life skills, therefore we try to help them live more independently.

“There is one example of when one of the guys first joined us he had to be cared for seven days a week, but now that is down to just one day a week. We are not saying all of that is down to us, but it clearly shows the individual has learned a lot and is more stable thanks to our process.

“In terms of the future, what we want to do is firstly get this place finished and get the café open – but we also want to increase our reach. We currently cover the whole of Ayrshire but we would like to expand out to East Renfrewshire and the East Kilbride area.

“The ethos of the company is to build enough projects like the café to try and provide employment for the guys who come here as the trainee to then become an employee.”