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  • Ashley Walsh

A Memorable Day: Ed Davey Visits Our Learning Disability Organisation in Carshalton, Sutton

Yesterday was an unforgettable day at Nickel Support, our learning disability organisation branch in Carshalton, Greater London, as we had the honour of hosting Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey as part of his election campaign tour. Sir Davey’s visit was a significant milestone for us, shining a spotlight on the crucial work we do at Nickel Support and the positive impact of our social enterprise, "Interestingly Different." We were also joined by local Liberal Democrat candidate  Bobby Dean, making the day even more special. 

Rolling Up Our Sleeves with Sir Ed Davey 

The highlight of Sir Ed’s visit was undoubtedly the hands-on jam and chutney-making session. The adults with a learning disability who attend our service, full of enthusiasm and pride, welcomed the chance to showcase their skills. Together,  they showed Sir Ed and Bobby Dean each stage of the process. From chopping onions and chillies for our Sticky Chilli Relish to labelling  jars of our Caramelised Onion Chutney, everyone worked together as a team. The atmosphere in the kitchen was electric, filled with the sounds of chopping, stirring, and laughter. 

Interestingly Different’s jams and chutneys are more than just delightful treats; they represent the hard work and dedication of our trainees. Each jar sold in our physical shop and online store supports our important mission, providing valuable work experience and fostering a sense of accomplishment for everyone involved. 

Conversations That Matter 

During the visit, we had the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with Sir Ed about the wide range of work we do with our trainees. We discussed our efforts in the areas of employment, health, and relationships, highlighting the wide range of support we provide to help our trainees and their families lead fulfilling lives. 

Ed Davey's also took the time to take an interview with Sky News presenter Sophy Ridge using our shop as the venue.

Showcasing the Power of Social Enterprise 

When Sir Ed visited our shop for his interviews, we proudly showcased the diverse range of products homeware, gift boxes, bath & beauty products and food and drink that we offer, all designed to create positive social impact both within our organisation and across the UK. Every item that we sell tells a story of empowerment and community. It was gratifying to highlight how social enterprises like ours play a crucial role in the UK economy, driving social change while fostering economic growth. 

A Vision for Inclusivity and Support 

In his address to our staff, trainees, and supporters, Sir Ed expressed his admiration for our work and reaffirmed his commitment to promoting inclusivity and support for people with learning disabilities. His words were a powerful reminder of the importance of our mission and the positive change we can achieve together. 

Reflecting on an Inspirational Day 

As we reflect on the day, I am filled with pride and optimism. Sir Ed Davey's visit was more than just a political engagement; it was a celebration of our community and the incredible potential within each of our trainees. By participating in the jam and chutney-making process, Sir Ed and Bobby Dean experienced first hand the joy and fulfilment that comes from working together to create something meaningful. 

Our shelves, both in-store and online, are stocked with jars of jam and chutney that symbolises hard work, creativity, inclusivity and community. This visit has reinforced our belief in the power of social enterprise to transform lives and create a more inclusive society. 

We are grateful to Sir Ed Davey, to Bobby Dean, and to everyone who continues to support our mission. Together, we are making a difference, one jar of jam at a time. 


Shop our full range of Jams and Chutneys here  

Shop our full range of products made in house at Nickel Support here 

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