By putting SMEs in the spotlight, the initiative helps to underline what small businesses have to offer their local community and beyond, and also how they add diversity and innovation to the economy. More than that though, it also aims to show how small businesses can bring communities together and help contribute to society as a whole. To celebrate this aspect of the scheme, Aldermore identifies five remarkable SMEs who are working hard to give something back and shape the world we live in for the better. Wood Recycling As the first scheme of its kind in the country, since 1998 Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling has been taking scrap wood destined for the landfill and transforming it into unique furniture and home ware items. Selling these bespoke pieces through the company’s Brighton store, the business is self-funded and also provides vital opportunities for its volunteers to gain vital skills and experience. Cosmic East Devon based IT and consultancy business Cosmic dedicates much of its time to supporting projects based on enabling the local community to make the most of new technology. Cosmic’s achievements include running a digital apprenticeship scheme with Bicton college and working with the Devon Digital Inclusion initiative to ensure vulnerable people understand how to use online government services. Fine Cell Work Set up by the late Lady Anne Tree, Fine Cell Work is an unusual success story, teaching prisoners to sew intricate needlework creations which are sold on to the public and collectors, including the Tate Modern. Though an unlikely combination, the project has given inmates a therapeutic, productive way to use their time, income and a sense of purpose that aims to help them re-integrate with society on release. My Full Circle My Full Circle is an educational organisation that assists schools and youth groups, delivering PSHE workshops and training that empower today’s young people. In particular, the business focuses on overcoming stereotypes and tackling common issues such as bullying, gender equality, homophobia, mental health and body image. Thirsty Planet In 2007, Harrogate Water brands joined forces with charity Pump Aid to launch Thirsty Planet, a new water brand with a proportion of the proceeds going towards providing clean drinking water for poverty-stricken African nations. What does your small business do to support the local community? Let Aldermore know on Twitter to spread the word about the great work SMEs do within the UK, ahead of Small Business Saturday UK. The content published on this website is intended to provide information only. The reader should seek advice from experts on the subject matter and independently verify the accuracy and relevance of any information provided here before relying upon it or using it for any reason. You can view our terms and conditions here.