Member of the Week - Calman Trust

Calman Trust, usually known as ‘Calman’ has 35 employees, comprising young people working towards a Modern Apprenticeship, business staff, support, learning and development professionals and management team.

Calman was formed in Easter Ross in 1998 and moved to Inverness in 2005.  The organisation is dedicated to enabling young people who experience challenges in life to achieve a good transition towards independent living and the world of work.  Every young person is different, as are their hopes for the future, and Calman Trust support each individually to achieve the best they can.  To this end, Calman Trust provide a range of support and learning opportunities, from learning to travelling independently through to work experience and employment in their Café Artysans on Strothers Lane.  For each young person there is also support to manage the circumstances that might hold them back, so that they have the best chance of success.  

In 2010 Calman established Café Artysans in Strothers Lane as a real-life business dedicated to providing opportunities for young people to ’learn by doing’.  In 2014, Calman acquired the neighbouring Ness Soaps operation, which similarly provides a work-based learning opportunity, and this allowed them to extend Café Artysans, which by then was regularly full. 

Every business transaction is a learning opportunity, and Café Artysans customers can enjoy good food whilst providing real-time learning for the young people who make and deliver their service.  Their customers, whether in Café Artysans or using Artysans’ catering services, are truly partners in improving the life chances of young people in this area.  They celebrate with Calman in seeing a young person leave and move to their next job: where others might want to retain their best staff, seeing young staff move on is a success in Calman’s world, swiftly followed by the next young person’s nervous start on their learning.  And, any surplus generated goes straight to strengthening the work of the charity in service to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people across our Highland community.

ICC spoke to Ruth MacKenzie, Business Development Executive about her roll at Calman Trust: “Ruth MacKenzie – Business Development Executive. Ruth’s role is in managing the marketing for Calman Trust and both its social enterprises, Ness Soaps and Café Artysans. Ruth also oversees the retail area of Café Artysans and manages Catering by Artysans.”

Ruth told us why she would like Calman Trust to feature as member of the week: “Featuring as Member of the Week is a great way to showcase the work that Calman Trust is doing across our community, and some future plans of the organisation and our social enterprises.  It’s also a great way to raise awareness of aspects of Café Artysans that some may not be aware of, including our catering and delivery service.”

Café Artysans provides fresh, quality buffet lunches perfect for business meetings as well as bespoke and adaptable menus for customers looking for high quality event catering.  

For the summer months Calman Trust are to extend their opening hours at Café Artysans to 8.00pm each evening, with live traditional Scottish music from talented Feis Rois musicians every Thursday evening.  From testing this combination, Calman know it is a popular choice of local people and visitors alike. 

Meanwhile, Calman Trust continue to develop their services to young people, always evolving to meet their changing needs in a fast-changing world, including the digital space, where young people are comfortable and also perhaps at risk.

Ruth shared Calman Trust’s plans over the coming 12 months: “We are delighted that Café Artysans has been awarded the contract to provide the catering service to Scotland’s first purpose-built Justice Centre, as from April.  Also, as we have already said, the extension of Café Artysans opening hours through to October means that we can offer family friendly meals in a relaxed atmosphere to a growing visitor public. The continued involvement in this of fantastic traditional young musicians from Feis Rois every Thursday is a bonus!”

We asked Ruth what Calman Trust Value most about their Chamber membership: “It’s a very valuable opportunity to network with others in the area and allows us to be part of a community of businesses working together, supporting each other.”

Ruth provided her top-tip for other Chamber members to maximise their membership: “Attend some of the fantastic networking events that the Chamber of Commerce host, they are great for networking and developing working partnerships.”

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Twitter: @CalmanTrust