MIDDLESBROUGH charity, Recovery Connections’ social enterprise arm has gone from strength to strength already this year with the official launch of four businesses, the latest being Bloom Florists, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff have said The Fork In The Road, 131 The Venue, The Fork In The Road – Stage One and Bloom Florists are just the start for the Marton Road-based charity that is passionate about offering work experience and employability training opportunities to the entire Tees Valley.

Bloom Florists launched online at the start of May amid the Covid-19 pandemic, after original plans to open the physical shop were postponed.

Bloom Florists create bespoke bouquets and are even looking to branch out to offer dried flowers.

The florist offers training and volunteering in addition to selling beautiful flowers and plants for individual purchase and events.

Nicola Menzies, Head Florist said she is excited to see where the next few months and beyond take the business.

She said: "I love how flowers can brighten anyone's day no matter what mood you’re in – that’s such an important thing for us to be able to bring to the community in these difficult times.

"It’s a privilege to be able to deliver something to someone that brings them some joy, and all the money we make goes back into supporting people now and in the future."

Dot Turton, CEO of Recovery Connections, said: "Your pound goes so much further; it is about investing in people’s futures in addition to purchasing a quality product.

"Everyone should have the opportunity to thrive in a supportive environment and we hope to give them that chance through all of the businesses within Recovery Connections Enterprises."

Recovery Connections Enterprises also includes well-known The Fork In The Road, based on Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, 131 The Venue – formerly Bar Zero – which is a licensed event space that can be hired out for anything from weddings and baby showers to business lunches and art exhibitions.

The business also runs a café within The Stages Academy on Bridge Street West, Middlesbrough, called The Fork In The Road – Stage One.

The aim of Recovery Connections Enterprises is to bring the community together, support people in living their best lives and provide valuable services to the local community such as offsite catering and meeting facilities.

Bloom Florists is currently operating entirely online, with an online shop and digital flower schools to launch in the next few months.

It will display a full offering for individuals, businesses, in addition to events once government guidelines allow them to take place.