A Time of Change
In 2019 James was getting ready to leave school. For a young person with a disability that can be a very daunting time. Planning a future can feel like "filling up a week" with activities, and much of what is on offer revolves around Day Centres. Rarely is someone with a learning disability encouraged to think about careers.
James' mum and Mecoco's founder Jenny felt strongly that all young people should have the opportunity to do something meaningful with their time, even for just part of their week.
James was already volunteering every week at his local parkrun, which he loved. Finding other opportunities was proving difficult. There are some businesses and organisations that offer employment and volunteering to disabled people but not to those with more complex needs.
Jenny wanted James and his peers to have the chance to experience all the benefits of going to work, like being part of a team, meaningful tasks, learning new skills, meeting a variety of people.
Knowing that there were no other businesses where James could go to work she knew that she would need to start something herself ... but what?!
The kitchen table
After a chance conversation with someone about candle making the concept of Mecoco was born.
Candle and wax melt making is an ideal process to break down into small steps, each one adaptable. The possibility of making the work fully inclusive was a reality.
The business began at their kitchen table before then inviting more people to join them in a local space.