Speedpak Group – Continuing to Trade, Train and Transform

Speedpak Group – Continuing to Trade, Train and Transform

Trading

We are fortunate throughout lockdown that our Speedpak Contract Services division continues to be part of the national supply chain for medical devices and catering disposables. For these contracts, we break down bulk consignments of medical masks and latex gloves for warehousing, pick and pack and distribution while disposable catering products are re-packed for distribution and sale in wholesalers. To operate safely we have maintained a core staffing while the our training staff have been temporarily furloughed. 

We have also redeployed staff from our Shamrock Rosette business. Supplying mainly to public events, Shamrock Rosettes saw its business significantly reduced. Happily, we are seeing some ‘green shoots’ as events are being advertised for the second half of this year.

The pandemic resulted in us developing closer ties with customers, as we knuckled down together to respond and innovate. In one instance, collaboration afforded the opportunity to research. This has lead to us now onboarding a new inventory and shipping platform to streamline a new added value e-commerce fulfilment service to existing and new customers. Enterprise Ireland’s Lean Business Continuity Voucher was used to part fund the research and was very beneficial. 

Slowly but surely Social Enterprises are now able to access mainstream business supports which is critical for their development and sustainability. More needs to be done and thankfully Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland (SERI) is on the case and is advocating for the needs of the sector.

Training & Work Experience

Training is currently confined to Health & Safety in the Workplace to ensure that staff can work safely at a social distance. We are delighted to be able to offer Enhanced Skills Workplace Safety training funded through the generosity of the people of Ireland through the Community Foundation of Ireland Comic Relief Fund. This training and mentoring programme will be a fantastic addition to the CV’s of our training staff and improve their employability. As a consequence we also plan to develop online training infrastructure  to ensure that we have both the capability  to maintain training in challenging circumstances but also to promote greater IT skills amongst training staff.

Transforming

The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic has been a strong reminder of the need for flexibility in business and the value of collaboration. The unemployment rate now stands at over 20% when the PUP payment is factored in and an incredible 45% for those aged 15-24 years. Unfortunately our community on Dublin’s Northside will be disproportionately affected and will have higher unemployment rates than the national average. 

So, there is much work to be done in supporting people return to work through work opportunities, confidence building and skills acquisition. We will also continue to target those most distant from the labour market and are looking forward to developing our Kickstart Employment Programme, funded through the Dormant Account fund/POBAL and in collaboration with The Irish Prison Service, The Probation Service and The Department of Justice. 

We are as relevant now as a solution to long-term unemployment as we were when first founded 25 years ago. We will continue to work hard with all our partners, Government, State agencies, Local Development, Business and Philanthropy to respond timely and effectively in our local community. We would like to acknowledge in particular the additional resources we received in recent times to help us continue deliver our social impact, in particular from Government and POBAL through the Stability Fund, Rethink Ireland through The Social Enterprise Development Fund and long term Corporate Social Responsibility supporters Allergan PLC.  

Over the past year, while challenging, we have responded positively and shown our agility and resilience and continued value. Our experience of operating during the pandemic coupled with our 25 year history has strengthened our skills, outlook and resolve to continue helping local unemployed people to transform their lives, and the welfare of their communities, for the better.

Speedpak Group features in Social Enterprise Development Fund Showcase

Speedpak Group features in Social Enterprise Development Fund Showcase

We were delighted to feature in the 2021 Social Enterprise Development Fund Showcase that took place on Thursday 21st of January 2021 celebrating the impact achieved by the Fund’s 2020 Awardees.

Speedpak Group was one of 16 social enterprises to receive cash grants and business supports from the Fund in 2020. Watching the presentations of our co-awardees made us proud to be part of a group of organisations that are so enterprising, innovative and inclusive.

The online event was hosted by Alan Shortt and featured contributions from Deputy Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Rethink Ireland and George Jones, Chairman of IPB Insurance.

The Social Enterprise Development Fund is a €3.2 million fund that has been created by Rethink Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities Ireland and funded by IPB Insurance and the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Dormant Accounts Fund

A recording of the event can be seen at https://vimeo.com/504299844

Speedpak Group Activity During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Speedpak Group Activity During the Covid-19 Pandemic

At Speedpak we are currently focussing on those parts of our commercial business that are deemed essential. We are proud to play a part in this national effort by helping to ensure working supply chains and distribution channels for disposable food trays and containers and for PPE equipment, with particular emphasis on the needs of the medical sector.

The safety of our staff and the wider community is paramount. As a consequence we are operating with reduced staff levels to ensure we can operate recommended social distancing in the workplace, while at the same time providing contract packing and fulfilment service to our customers.

We have facilitated home-working for those of our staff who undertake administration, finance, training and communications and we continue to provide support to our customers by email and telephone at 01 867 1707 and info@speedpak.ie.

We continue to work towards our strategic objectives to support our community by:

  • Maintaining regular contact and providing support to our 50 trainees on our labour market programmes, Community Employment & TÚS
  • Continuing to meet good governance requirements with Board and Sub Committee meetings being held remotely
  • Updating our partners – State, Corporate & Philanthropic Investors and Community on our activity and experience managing our way through this challenging period
  • Planning for post Covid-19. With unemployment set to reach 28% nationally, we’re planning on how we can provide over 100 work experience and training opportunities to people who have lost their jobs. We will offer industry led training and work experience to update their skills, maintain their confidence and self esteem and help them stay connected to the labour market until such time as more jobs are created in the economy.

It goes without saying that this is a difficult time for everyone. We greatly appreciate the hard work of our staff and the input from our customers, suppliers, neighbours, investors and industry partners.

We offer heartfelt thanks to all those people who are working so tirelessly in so many professions to protect the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Stay safe and stay well!

Some of the 10 million face masks waiting to be dispatched from Speedpak.

We have put the following procedures in place:

  • We have published a comprehensive and regularly-updated employee communications policy to ensure reliable, up-to-date information is provided to employees and to clarify procedures and policies around mitigating the risks associated with Covid-19 in accordance with Irish government, HSE and WHO guidelines.
  • We have identified all common touch points and have implemented a set of procedures for thoroughly and regularly sanitising these points.
  • We have posted a set of highly visible, strategically-placed information panels in our warehouses and in bathrooms to inform of good hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • We provide a sufficient supply of hand sanitisers, sanitiser stations, gloves, masks, paper towels and disinfectant materials.