Our Social Enterprise of the Week:

Artizan International

Artizan International are an arts and crafts social enterprise, supporting people with disabilities both here in the UK and across developing countries.

Their Vision / Mission:

Established in 2013 (originally Craft Aid International) Artizan International’s mission is to reduce social isolation, fight poverty and challenge attitudes towards disability. Working both in the UK and across developing countries such as Ecuador and Peru, they help people with disabilities to live more fulfilling lives.

From their premises based in Harrogate, Artizan International offer free weekly arts and crafts sessions to adults and children with disabilities and special needs, allowing them to gain new skills and meet new people. This helps reduce feelings of isolation which are often prominent in these groups and enables them to socialise and gain confidence. Artizan International also take their arts and crafts sessions into hospitals so that long-term inpatients are able to try their hand at something different and exciting.

As well as this work in the UK, Artizan International also work overseas in developing countries, where people with disabilities often lack access to employment and training opportunities. They help these people by providing them with jobs and training, so they are able to support themselves and their families by working in the craft industry. This is hugely important as without help from Artizan International these people would be living in poverty.

Artizan International have also recently expanded to open a shop in Harrogate where they can showcase and sell the work of their talented artisans. The money they raise in their shop helps them to continue their work in both the UK and abroad. They also have plans to integrate a café within the shop next year, which will offer job opportunities to people with hearing disabilities.

Why We Chose Them:

During lockdown Artizan International have been unable to run their face-to-face craft sessions so they have moved these online. They have also been sending out craft packs to people at home, so they can continue to participate in the activities. This is really important to keep people connected in what could otherwise be an extremely isolating time for many.

The Work They Do:

How They Align With Our Values:

Artizan International aim to enable, empower, and support disabled people to reach their full potential by providing them with opportunities they would not otherwise have had access to. This is something we strongly believe in at Ground Up Digital, as like Artizan International we are a social enterprise providing job opportunities to people who may have struggled previously to find work. We believe that everyone deserves the same opportunities in life regardless of disability, neurodiversity, or past mistakes, so it’s great to find another social enterprise that aligns with our values so closely.

You can read more about our values here: https://groundup.digital/our-values/

How You Can Support Them:

Artizan International are looking for volunteers to help them continue their amazing work. Find out more here: https://www.artizaninternational.org/volunteer.html