On the threshold of another New Year, it is always an exciting time to look ahead and think about what new challenges the coming year may bring us; However, firstly a few reflections on the previous year.
The first 12 months trading for DNDP has been a year of exceptional growth for us, despite the economic difficulties in the UK and the up’s and downs that all businesses go through. The number of people opting for a positive, forward thinking courier company with a social conscience, has really made me feel very proud and definitely justifies the decision to start the company.
To choose change and prefer their deliveries to be managed by a company that gives back to the local community, gives great hope for other social enterprises.
There have been many landmark occasions during 2013 including;
Getting to the final of the Scottish Social Enterprise awards, in the ‘one to watch’ category.
Recruiting our 10th driver in December was a fitting way to end the year.
Managing to secure our latest contract with RG Hydraulics Ltd on the 30th December means we can keep on our 1st driver recruited through the Shaw trust’s “bridging the gap” program.
Being awarded level 2 funding from Firstport in October means we can pay three salaries for the coming year. Less pressure, more productivity.
Awarded a place on the Bank of Scotland social entrepreneurs program at the end of the Summer was a personal highlight. The school for social entrepreneurs will undoubtedly teach me many things over the coming year. I have already met some fantastic people that are part of this year’s cohort and Tracey Muirhead’s enthusiasm is quite contagious! My mentor for the coming year, Craig Robertson, has already made a significant contribution to my thought process for the business.
Moving into our new offices in November, on the Scottish Enterprise Technology Park in East Kilbride gives us an excellent space to develop our courier specific software solution. It will revolutionise the way we will do business and put our customers first. No more wondering what time a delivery will be or who will be delivering the package?
The Shaw trust and Samh for believing that DNDP can deliver a service to benefit the disabled/ long term ill community.
Working with young people like FreshSight, a student led consultancy based out of Edinburgh University, or presenting to 200 students at a time at Strathclyde University’s business school and seeing their vision of where DNDP could develop.
Getting the phone call from Foundation Scotland and being told that we were successful in our category 3 application for a marketing budget. The first quarter of 2014 is looking really exciting!
And finally; the smile on everyone’s face when I have told them they have a job with DNDP. A job that is flexible enough to cater to their own individual health needs. No more panicking when they feel ill, no more dread when they need to go for an emergency appointment to the doctor or hospital. From people like Robert that hadn’t been out of the house for over 4 years, to Kris who finds it hard integrating into an organisation because he is profoundly deaf. These are the people, that when I started the company, I wanted to help. People like me; who want to work, but because of a health condition find it incredibly hard, sometimes ‘soul destroying’ to go on interview after interview only to be told NO, we can’t take the risk!
I am excited by the prospect of 2014, what it holds for us, and how far we can take DNDP. We hope to have 20 drivers by the end of our financial year in May. We hope by the end of the year to be in a position to offer Social franchises to disabled and long term ill people throughout Scotland.
I know that the prospect of facing a new year with the dreaded DWP work capability assessment looming is a very scary and worrying time! But I want to say to people that read this or hear about DNDP; things can get better, there are other alternatives to worrying about your work prospects or the DWP.
At DNDP there are 10 people who took their own destiny into their own hands and all of us have smiles on our faces again.
I hope you have a great 2014 and thank you for all your support in 2013; you make it possible for us to help make a difference to someone’s life.
Delivered Next Day Personally C.I.C.