For many people who have been out of work for some time or who have yet to find their place in the job market, jumping straight into a new workplace can be especially daunting and stressful.

Cornerstone’s social enterprise is run by time-served tradespeople who have also been trained to create a workplace where young people, volunteers, and people learning vocational skills can feel safe and comfortable that they can learn from their mistakes and without judgment. We take pride in making high-quality furniture and sheds from the sturdiest of design and timber materials in our well-equipped 9000sq ft factory unit in Willington, County Durham. 

All furniture is quality controlled and assessed before arriving with our customers. All profits go to fund our work to support and house homeless people and rough sleepers and also the provision of training and support in our communities. For instance, for every £14 we make, we can house and support a person for one night.

Describing how Cornerstone’s enterprise and charity works, our CEO Steve Vasey said: “Every day, we get to know the people we work alongside as colleagues. They also get to know us. The atmosphere we encourage is of a team or workforce. We work for each other to a common purpose and a goal —independence.

We encourage each other, we find out our talents and the team finds a way to use them best. Many of our colleagues who have arrived homeless have gone on to become contributing and fully independent members of society. They have achieved this through our approach of being patient and allowing a reasonable space to grow at a rate that has suited their needs.”