Downton order creates new jobs at social sports retailer Sofab

Leading Gloucestershire-based logistics company C M Downton has committed to buying 300 branded high visibility waistcoats a month from Sofab Sports – the sports retailer that provides employment opportunities and training to young adults with physical and learning difficulties.

Sofab Sports is one of the county’s leading social enterprises. Through its discount sportswear store in Gloucester city centre, Sofab provides training and experience to its disabled employees and volunteers, providing them with a platform from which to pursue further employment opportunities.

Downton has forged strong ties with Sofab Sports through its sponsorship of the Gloucestershire disability cricket team through the Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB). 

As well as providing valuable income for Sofab, the monthly order for 300 branded waistcoats will create two new part-time roles through which young, disabled people in Gloucester will be able to develop vital new skills for the future.

Kate Downton, director at CM Downton, said: “We have always looked to help good causes around Gloucestershire with funding and support wherever possible.  Now we are looking to expand this by making sure social impact and value is considered in all purchasing decisions we make.

“It is incredibly rewarding to know that investing in these locally-made products will have a significant positive impact on the economy and create opportunities from those who are furthest from employment.  The fact that Sofab’s products are also well made and competitively priced makes it an absolute no-brainer for us, and we will endeavour to find other opportunities to work with Sofab and other similar partners in future.”

Sofab founder and Believe in Gloucester ambassador Dale Rawlins added: “This order will create invaluable, local job opportunities for young people with physical disabilities or learning difficulties.  It’s just one more way that Downton is delivering for the community, and especially for those with disabilities – I hope other companies will follow Downton’s lead and look at incorporating social procurement into their CSR policies.”