Letchworth-based Herts Independent Living Service among 100 firms celebrated by UK Small Business Saturday

Sarah Wren.

Sarah Wren. - Credit: Archant

A Letchworth-based social enterprise that helps vulnerable people stay independent at home is among the 100 small businesses that will be celebrated by this year’s UK Small Business Saturday campaign.

Herts Independent Living Service – which delivers 500,000 meals and welfare checks a year to thousands of elderly, frail or disabled people – has bucked the trend in a declining meals-on-wheels market to return a surplus for the last six years.

And chief executive Sarah Wren is delighted to have their work put in the proverbial shop window as part of Small Business Saturday.

“Small businesses are the mainstay of our economy and our communities, providing local employment as well as accessible products and services on which people rely,” she said.

“We now serve over 10,000 people each year across Herts, and employ 200 local people.

“Being part of the Small Biz 100 will provide a fantastic opportunity for us to tell people about the services we provide to help people maintain their independence.”

As well as delivering meals and welfare checks, HILS also installed personal alarms for people at risk of domestic violence, runs fun clubs for people living with dementia, and provides emergency grocery packs.

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It also helps former offenders, students and people with physical or mental health difficulties find employment and work experience.

This is the fourth year of Small Business Saturday, which culminates with a dedicated day on December 3, following 100 days on which a business is featured each day. HILS’ feature day is October 15.

Campaign director Michelle Ovens said: “The British public has a great affection for small businesses and we see that grow year on year.

“Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mindsets so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round.

“Most people in this country own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does – so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is absolutely personal.”

See hertsindependentliving.org and smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com.

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