Bishop Nick has paid a visit to an unusual brewery in Keighley which provides an environmental and charitable service alongside its brewing business.
The Old Bear Brewery in Keighley has set up 'Bottle Rescue', which collects, sorts and recycles waste glass with the help of local people with physical and learning disabilities.
Owner Ian Cowling says, "Every week around 15 Care Trust service users work on site (with two support staff), colour sorting the waste glass which we've collected from around the region. We collect around 1.25 tonnes of glass per week and 25% is processed for reuse by breweries and soft drinks manufacturers.
"I invited the Bishop to visit after I heard him giving a Lent talk on BBC Radio 4, in which he commended all the local charitable work that takes place without any big government initiatives. We're very glad to be giving local people the opportunity to enter the work place. As they're all working towards a work-based qualification, one day a week a WEA tutor visits and it's wonderful to see their job skills and employment potential develop. We all really enjoyed showing the Bishop what we're up to - and giving him a
Bishop Nick says, "I'm full of admiration for Ian and the Old Bear Brewery for developing such excellent work with the wider community in this way. The leadership is inspiring and the atmosphere wonderful. I hope more people will take notice of what the Old Bear Brewery is doing and support it. As for me, I can't wait to go back."
Ian adds: "'Bottle Rescue' is a significant cost to the business which is facing challenging times, as many small businesses are, but it's something I feel strongly about doing and would like to develop. I would, for example, like to be able to employ the Care Trust service users, but we need support to enable this side of the business to make money."
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