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Delivering hope to disabled people out of work

Firstport is Scotland’s development agency for start-up social enterprise. They offer a full package of free business support and resources that includes start-up funds, business advice, practical tools and connections.

How Firstport supported Bruce Gunn to start an exciting new chapter in his life

Bruce Gunn set up Delivered Next Day Personally (DNDP) to break down the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from working. His life changed overnight when an allergic reaction to a mosquito bite on a family holiday in 2008 led to a pulmonary embolism and long-term illness which left him housebound for three years.

“I went from being a successful IT consultant to joining the lost generation of disabled people on the scrapheap. I had lots of interviews but never got anywhere due to a degenerative condition. I was sitting thinking what I could do when a parcel arrived.  I did some research and realised the UK logistics market was growing, despite the recession.”

As a result, Bruce drafted a business plan and set up East Kilbride-based socially driven courier company Delivered Next Day Personally C.I.C. which employs disabled people on a flexible basis as lifestyle couriers.  He explained: “If you feel fit enough to work you can log onto our network and be sent parcels to deliver in the nearest postcodes to you.  It gives disabled people control over their own lives, which is what everyone strives for. “

Firstport Start It funding enabled Bruce to develop marketing literature and a basic website. He recruited four staff in July 2013. DNDP now has 19 staff  and 18 self-employed couriers and plans to double this number this year. The company also employs 16-24 year-olds as co-pilots, “to do the leg work”, who in turn are mentored by their disabled colleagues. 

Bruce was selected for the first cohort of LaunchMe, Scotland’s first social enterprise accelerator programme , giving him access to intensive business support, investment readiness, mentoring and seed funding, plus match funding on any investment secured during the programme.

His future ambitions include partnerships with housing associations and sourcing potential community postmen and woman, from their disabled tenants, “keeping money within the community, while creating employment”. Replicating his business model nationwide through social franchising is the ultimate goal.

“I have so many hopes and ambitions for DNDP. It has the potential to be extended to other groups who find it difficult to find work, such as veterans and over 55s. I want to see a DNDP franchise in every local authority, run by disabled people and with disabled drivers in all 470 postcodes in Scotland, potentially creating up to 700 jobs, including co-pilots. LaunchMe gives us the platform to do this.”  

 Bruce has featured in the media including the Herald, BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland and Reporting Scotland programmes.

Read Herald article

Watch BBC film

“I want to see a DNDP franchise in every local authority, run by disabled people and with disabled drivers in all 470 postcodes in Scotland, potentially creating up to 700 jobs, including co-pilots. LaunchMe gives us the platform to do this”

- Bruce Gunn

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