Scotland’s social enterprise and charity sector, today (17-08-20), sees another merger of two successful social impact organisations. Scran Academy, the Edinburgh based youth charity, which also today marks its third anniversary, has formally united with catering enterprise, Prep Table Scotland whose mission is to make the food industry more open, fair and ethical for producers, suppliers, employees and customers.
This exciting merger became an increasingly obvious and positive move for both organisations as the dramatic events of 2020 unfolded. Whilst conversations to join forces were well underway before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, Covid-19 and the Scran Meals Programme, developed to feed the most vulnerable of Edinburgh during lockdown that both charities played a major part in, was a real testing ground and ‘accelerating force’ for integrating both organisations.
This announcement formally comes following a period of joint operations for both organisations to rapidly respond to the Covid-19 food crisis. This core partnership helped pioneer a citywide food operation, the Scran Meals Programme, that has so far produced and delivered over 112,500 meals to around 3,500 residents across Edinburgh.
All core delivery, assets and staff will continue within the Scran Academy operations. This primarily includes the café that operates from the NHS Comely Bank Centre becoming the Scran Café (which will be a trading element that creates job placements for young people), securing employment for the Prep Table staff team and the Prep Table Scotland assets transferring to enable increased value for Scran Academy young people.
John Loughton, Founder of Scran Academy, said: “The staff and Board at Scran Academy are delighted to welcome this merger with Prep Table Scotland. We see this as a mature and exciting move that helps us all collectively deliver better social outcomes than either of us could have alone. The epic response we were able to initiate in these last 4 months immediately proves how important it is for social enterprises to work together and embrace change. When things got really tough, we recognised we needed to collaborate, not simply compete.”
“We are honoured to take forward the impressive legacy Fiona Donaldson and the Prep Table Scotland team have built up using food for social change. We are fused by two core beliefs – the importance of empowering young people and communities, and secondly the transformational role of food to change lives and challenge norms. Our new increased capacity will see us continue to build a social catering business model that is better known, creates more jobs, enhances our impact and critically creates more life changing opportunities for young people.”
Fiona Donaldson,Founder of Prep Table Scotland said: “Looking at what has been achieved by Scran Academy and partners since March this year, gives me great pride in an organisation I had admired for quite some time. In a culture which can be difficult to navigate, to find the core meaning and outcomes of, Scran has always had young people and their families as the engine that powered every decision they had to make.”
“Both organisations had concerns about losses incurred from the cancellation of income generating events, the closure of schools and the café. This decision has delivered a long-term plan for young people in Edinburgh, to flourish and to engage with their community. It has given hope to people who feared for their jobs in the catering industry and that’s a proud legacy of my organisation.”
“I look forward to joining the Scran Academy Board, with the great pride and excitement for what we will collectively achieve for years to come. I feel incredibly proud to have played a part in its most incredible rise.”