Welcome to the Initiative Factory Society incorporating the Casa Bar & Venue and the Community Advice Service Association (CASA)

Initiative Factory Achieves the MATRIX Standard. On behalf of the Initiative Factory/CASA can I thank you all for helping the organisation attain the MATRIX standard for delivering external Information Advice and Guidance on Welfare Rights, Employment Rights, Business Start-up and Consumer Affairs etc......Obtaining The MATRIX standard quality mark puts Initiative Factory in the same category as a Trade Union or a CAB for giving qualified and accredited advice..... It will give all our clients the assurance that the services we provide meet the highest possible standards.

BACKGROUND

The Initiative Factory/CASA was set-up in the aftermath of the Liverpool Dockworkers Dispute to uphold the aims and objectives of the ‘Sacked Liverpool Dockworkers’ in promoting ‘Fairness and Justice’ for all.

We were established as an Industrial and Provident Society in 1998 with the objectives of relieving poverty sickness and hardship and advancing education in Merseyside. In particular, the community work we do serves unemployed and socially excluded, both working and work-less, residents of Liverpool.

The In-house provision we provide includes:

  • Capacity building for community projects
  • ICT Support - Transnational projects
  • Local refugee and asylum seeker support
  • Advice and guidance programmes
  • Legals for workers project

In addition to the in-house delivery, 29 Hope Street accommodates a wide range of organisations that utilise the premises for an array of activities including meetings, public events, training, conferences and functions  

We operate as a social enterprise with all the profits from our Bar/Bistro and Venue being ploughed back into the non-profit side of the organisation to deliver community self-help and voluntary projects.

Since we opened our Hope Street Building in 2001 the Initiative Factory/CASA has become an open house to groups and individuals from across the Merseyside community who are fighting for a cause or have been hurt and victimised by the structures that govern today’s society. We have hosted a wide range of supportive events either by direct involvement or by offering the use of the building and its facilities. Below are some examples of the type of supportive work the Initiative Factory/CASA has been involved with over the past couple of years.

Campaigns – We have provided help and assistance to a number of local community justice and awareness campaigns. Including:

  • Merseyside Families for Justice (Victims of Murder & Violence)
  • Amy (Young Wirral girl with a rapid aging disease)
  • Gamble Brothers (Helping to reunite family members with relatives they hadn’t seen for 50 years)
Welfare Benefit Advice – For the most vulnerable people on Merseyside.
  • Claiming a Benefit
  • Help with filling in forms
  • Advice on Disability Benefits
  • Checking you are receiving the correct amounts
  • You would like to check you are receiving all your entitlements
  • Home visits for people with mobility problems
  • Representation at Social Security Tribunals, Disability Appeals, Housing, Appeals
  • Pension Advice: on-site expert advice is given by experienced fund trustees and advisers

   Last Year Alone:
  • The welfare rights service was accessed by 440 community residents from June 2007 to June 2008.
  • We have given advice to one hundred and twenty ex-dock workers and their families.
  • In addition we have maximised the income of the people who use the services we provide by approx £850,000.
  • In the past twelve months we have also successfully represented 23 local residents at benefit tribunals and appeals.
International Events – we helped to publicise and mobilise support for:
  • European Dockworkers – Spanish Dockworkers over Port Privatisation
  • ILWU – American West Coast Longshoreman’s – Building links with Liverpool and American working class cultures.

Founding Meetings.

  • Ageism in the Workplace.
  • Women’s Equal Pay Campaign.
  • Community over 50’s Remembrance Campaign.

Employment Advice – During the last 12 months we gave support and representation to 33 members of the local community who have been unfairly treated or bullied at work. The support included letters to employers, representation at disciplinary hearings (work place companion), referrals for union membership and the online lodging of Employment Tribunal Claims and representation at tribunal.
Industrial Injuries- During the last 12 months we helped over a 100 former industrial workers (Docks-Cammell Lairds-Seafarers) with General Statements-Background Information and Witness Support. On matters to do with:

  • Industrial Deafness
  • Asbestos Related Illnesses

 


COMMUNITY SUPPORT MEETINGS -
We have provided a venue and meeting facilities for community activities organised by the following groups:

SHOREFIELDS DRAMA GROUP - community based political and social drama productions.
NETWORK THEATRE. - Teenage and young people’s Drama sessions in the Venue.
EVERYMAN THEATRE GROUP - Rehearsal space.
LIVERPOOL COMMUNITY COLLEGE – Rehearsal space.
PENSIONERS GROUP - Monthly Meetings Further Education Project in Partnership with Liverpool Compact

We have taken six students from Liverpool Compact and Hugh Baird College over the year on extended Work Experience placement schemes and have given the use of our computer suite to local schools and community groups as a drop-in centre.

CHARTIES SUPPORTED

  • North West Cancer Research
  • Moonbeams Children’s Cancer Charity
  • PSS. Group who work with disabled people
  • Imagine. Creative arts group working with young people.
  • Marie Curie Cancer Fund. Organised collections and gave the use of the venue for fundraising events.
  • Strongbones Children’s Charity. Fundraising events.
  • KIND Children’s Charity. Tickets and Promotion of Fundraising events

 


NEW PROJECTS – that started during the year are:

Benefits to Business and Employment (B2B) Is a pre-employment program aimed at the long-term unemployed to help anyone coming off benefits or forced off benefits to find employment or self-employment.

Merseyside Asylum Seekers Health (MASH) in which we have come into contact with men, women and children who have faced destitution, torture and political isolation on scale that is sometimes beyond belief. The project provides community cohesion support that helps individuals integrate within their local society. The service also includes supportive statements and background research on behalf of the asylum seekers.

Young Persons Confidence Building and Work Experience programme that offers young unemployed men and women in the 18 to 25 years of age bracket practical work experience with either CASA Bar/Venue or the CASA Bistro for a minimum period of two weeks. The individuals are supervised by fully trained staff and shown the basics of bar-staff management, food preparation and hygiene and working with the general public. All beneficiaries are given the option of taking an online accreditation or workplace NVQ at the end of their work experience.

ICT/Computer Support

We continue to run a computer maintenance service for members, families, customers and the surrounding community. This includes a basic start-up program, Installation, Upgrading and Maintenance of PC Operating Systems.

For further information contact Terry Teague or Tony Nelson on 0151 709 2148