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Burwell Print celebrating 30 years of making a difference

By Adrian Curtis

Some of the team at Burwell Print who are soon to celebrate their 30th anniversary, at the Burwell Print Centre, The Causeway Burwell Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
Some of the team at Burwell Print who are soon to celebrate their 30th anniversary, at the Burwell Print Centre, The Causeway Burwell Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

A Cambridgeshire social enterprise is to celebrate 30 years of excellence by undergoing a complete rebranding of its image.

Burwell Community Print Centre will change its name to Burwell Print Centre and unveil a new logo when it hosts an anniversary event on September 8.

The company, a registered charity, has gained a first-class reputation for working alongside people with learning disabilities, through three decades of success.

Manager Sue Anderson has spent 15 years at the company and has seen many changes take place during that time and remains excited by its future plans.

She said: “I arrived in 2003 which was four years after our current premises had been built. Prior to that the business was in a portable cabin within the Burwell Village College Primary School. The cabin had been donated as had quite a lot of the print machines.

“A major identified need for people with learning disabilities was that more choice and more daytime opportunities were needed. At that time people were beginning to value people with learning disabilities more and seeing their full potential. I love my job and it is a really good place to work.

“People feel appreciated and we’ve got a great team.

“In the beginning there were two or three people with learning disabilities each day in the portable cabin and it wasn’t open all week but now we are in purpose-built premises, nine or 10 people attend each day and we are open all year round.

“We’ve kept up with the times. It is all digital printing now. We have a professional design service and that means we can offer a total package to many of our customers.

“Our bread-and-butter customers are 15 community magazines. Last year we printed over 52,000 magazines and newsletters, but over the last few years we’ve added T-shirt, mugs and other bespoke design products.

“We are not looking for the kind of jobs that involve 25,000 letterheads in two days, but rather the magazine jobs because there are so many tasks involved. Printing is really good example of work for a social enterprise. There is the printing, collating, rolling, counting, boxing-up and booklet-making itself is brilliant. We also do business mail shots which is another favourite job of people here because they can all sit around a table and work together.”

Ms Anderson already has one eye on the future growth for the company following on from the forthcoming rebrand.

She added: “We have still got capacity for increased print and design work but we are also planning some diversification.

“Several years ago, we started making jewellery products in our down-time and this year we are organising our fifth Christmas Fayre in Burwell. We manage the event and one of the stalls is our own stall where we sell our ‘own brand’ craft products. This is a really valued community event and another way of getting people to recognise us.

“We are very involved in most of the community events such as the Burwell Carnival, the Christmas Fayre and we try to have a presence at anything going on in the village. We are using social media more and more which is proving to be a very useful way to engage with people.

“What we don’t skimp on is quality.

“We will compete with anybody else no matter what we are printing or printing on. That also links to being a social enterprise because sometimes people have low expectations of people with learning disabilities and we just show them the real potential by producing excellent quality goods and services.

“We currently have 30 people with learning disabilities, plus four placement vacancies, and some people come for one day or two days. They come to work where they feel valued and where they can walk out at the end of the day knowing they have done a good job. If you want to find out about the vacancies please do get in touch.

“We provide an excellent business service whether it costs a couple of quid or a couple of grand, we value our customers and we all work to make them happy and meet their deadlines.”

The birthday party, music and barbecue get under way at 12.30-4pm on Saturday, September 8 and certificates of achievement will also be presented. It will take place at the Burwell Print Centre, The Causeway (school site) in Burwell.

Anyone interested in joining in the celebrations or finding out more about this unique social enterprise can get in touch with Sue on 01638 613102 or sue.anderson@burwellprint.co.uk.


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