In 1981 founder Andy Hunter formed the Edinburgh Community Trust (ECT) with the aim of creating work for disadvantaged people. Andy understood that meaningful employment is important for mental health and social inclusion. He recognised that people with mental health conditions, physical or learning disabilities are typically excluded from mainstream jobs.
ECT became Forth Sector and over ensuing years provided training, support and employment to some of the most disadvantaged people in society through its businesses and programmes.
Forth Sector operates St Jude’s Laundry, a supported business, which is a commercial laundry where people receive training, support and work experience in an environment designed to foster inclusion and wellbeing.
St Jude’s Laundry, which holds a Royal Warrant, provides commercial laundry services to Hospitals, Hotels, Restaurants and a wide range of businesses.
More than 40 staff are employed in the laundry with 50% of whom recognised as supported employees. These workers receive extra support in work in addition to the day to day support offered by the laundry leadership team.
Forth Sector also delivers employment services to people facing barriers to the labour market and helps employers looking to recruit or retain workers in order to improve diversity within their businesses.
Based at the Wellbeing Works Campus at Duddingston Yards, the building and facilities themselves have spaces available for short or long term let to organisations which demonstrate a good fit to the values of Forth Sector and its parent company Shaw Trust.
In 2017 Forth Sector was acquired by Shaw Trust.