Evolve - Taylor Barrett
Evolve has created its first Social Enterprise Lead role and is welcoming long-serving team member, Taylor Barrett, into the position. With two cafés, three years and numerous awards to its name, the social enterprise is entering a new dawn with Taylor at the helm, which it hopes will see a period of tremendous growth… and even another venue.

Since opening its doors in 2017, Evolve has helped provide young people facing barriers to employment with training, qualifications and job opportunities. Created by addiction support charity Aquarius, Evolve has since gone on to help 28 young people, offering over 1,000 hours of one-to-one support.

One of the facilitators that made this possible was Taylor. Previously the support worker operating alongside the project, Taylor has been on hand since day one of the project. From here, she has grown to have an understanding of the barriers each of the staff members at Evolve faced and worked with each of them individually to carve out roles for them at the café.

Now, stepping into her new role as Social Enterprise Lead, Taylor will continue to facilitate both sites’ staff’s needs; however, she will also be building on this to bring consistency across the project, ready for its transition period.

Speaking about her new position, Taylor commented:

“Having been part of the Evolve team since its inception, I couldn’t be prouder of where we stand today, and I’m looking forward to taking over the reins of the strategy for Evolve. Starting out as a passion project, we were determined to address an immediate need that we identified and help at-risk young people to find drive, purpose and opportunity. Now, three years later, we’ve enjoyed tremendous success here, and our mission now is to scale this up.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many amazing managers at Aquarius and I’ve learnt a lot from them – their humanity, willingness to support their staff and going above and behind to ensure a job is done well. I hope to take with me these skills and apply them to our social enterprise, to put a friendly face to our small business.”

Evolve currently operates from its original Digbeth café and event space, within the former Adam and Eve pub; as well as its second location, which is a grab-and-go café on the Pershore Road. Now, the team has set its sights on the city centre, holding out hope that the third site will be within Birmingham’s business district.

Taylor concluded:

“I’m really optimistic about the future for Evolve and I’m eager to extend the support we can offer as a social enterprise. The opportunities are boundless and the young people we support, who overcome huge barriers daily, are the true heart of the project. I cannot wait to continue this in my new role and maintain a successful, nurturing business along the way. Watch this space!”

To find out more about Evolve and its team, visit www.evolvebirmingham.co.uk, and to see more of the work done by Aquarius, visit www.aquarius.co.uk.