Working with Young people with disability to structure a working and learning programme tailored to meet the personal development needs of each individual.
WESC recognised that there were difficulties faced by their students in accessing the labour market and have in recent years developed a Social Enterprise Department. This aims to prepare young people for life after WESC Foundation, instilling in them the self-confidence, belief and skills necessary to aid transition into adulthood.

The Department creates and offers new opportunities and experiences for students with emphasis placed on their abilities. By structuring a working and learning programme specifically tailored to meet the personal development needs of each individual training is provided in real working environments, supported by qualified Manager/Trainers, who encourage each learner to progress to meet their full potential.

WESC Foundation’s eBay shop is a key part of the Department it is part of the BTEC business course, and aims to pass on the skills the learners needed to learn business, and leave the college with the skills to set up on their own. Students were involved in administration and business management on a small scale (almost like a domestic account), perhaps listing 5 items per week. The positive feedback score sat at a rather modest 350.

Resources needed

Staff to support students.
Work space large enough to store, prepare and process stock for sale.
Packing equipment , scissors, tape, card board boxes, letters, envelopes, franking machine.
Effective cash management systems.
A ready supply of items for sale, theme decided by learner.

Evidence of success

Their online eBay shop; “wesccharityshop” is a “top rated power seller” with positive feedback of 15,898 (at time of writing) and a 99.7% satisfaction rating.
Has a turnover of £45,800 for the last financial year and has in excess of 4,000 items listed.
WESC eBay shop provides work related learning for WESC Foundation students, as well as other local schools.
In addition to these students to date four Supported Interns and one apprentice, who has been employed by the charity.

Difficulties encountered

Ensuring the business grows with a corresponding increase in workload.
All items listed on eBay require a similar amount of work in processing and research prior to listing, so high value items are preferable.
High quality accurate description as well as photographs are important.

Potential for learning or transfer

WESC have over 12 years of experience in this field of work and would be keen to sue their findings and experience to help others.

The areas that they feel they could support our in:
Setting up such a business.
How to work with people who have barriers to moving into employment.
How to develop your staff structure to accommodate those seeking employment.
How to match such projects to qualifications.
How to work with the private sector to create employment pipelines.
Main institution
Devon, United Kingdom
Start Date
January 2009
End Date


Jacob Coburn Please login to contact the author.