Waffling on pays off as scheme scores entrepreneur grant

Frank Lyford. Picture by onEdition
Frank Lyford. Picture by onEdition

A north Northumberland man’s scheme to increase the skills, independence and life chances of young people with learning difficulties has received a major boost.

The Splinter Group aims to raise awareness of learning difficulties and disabilities – everything from dyslexia and dyspraxia to autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

A recent pilot project saw the group launch Waffling On, which sees young people with learning difficulties and disabilities selling waffles on a market stall.

At the same time, it raises awareness of various conditions as customers are encouraged to look at fact sheets and answer quizzes to learn more about learning difficulties and disabilities.

And now, 27-year-old Frank Lyford, from Alnwick, has landed a £4,000 grant from the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme.

The money will be used to buy items to help the initiative carry on its work such as a generator, iPads, an awning and plates and cutlery with The Splinter Group and Waffling On branding.

“It started off because we realised there’s a lot of unemployment and people haven’t been given the chance to work because of the economy,” said Frank. “I was really delighted to get the grant. It will be a great help, we are really pleased.”

So far, Waffling On has set up once at the market in Alnwick and at some other events.

Now, with the backing of the Lloyds grant, they are looking to push on and do further markets and events as well as investigate the possibility of a pop-up shop or getting a van so that they can travel to other areas.

Frank would also like to expand the number of people involved from the six or seven involved at the moment to 20-plus.

If anyone is interested in finding out more or getting involved, they can get in touch with Frank on 07557 539202 or f.lyford@aol.com

Graham Lindsay, group director, responsible business, Lloyds Bank, said: “I would like to wish the best of luck to our new cohort of entrepreneurs who are just starting on the journey of turning their idea into reality.

“We believe that social entrepreneurs have real potential to deliver a positive impact on society and our partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs sits right at the heart of our business strategy to help Britain prosper.”

For more, visit www.your ideastartshere.co.uk