Arts Derbyshire


Derby Museums Announces New Partnership with Derby Social Enterprise Upbeat Clean

Derby Museums today announces a new partnership with Upbeat Clean, a growing social enterprise in Derby that aims to transform lives through its commercial cleaning venture. Joining more than 30 other local organisations, Derby Museums has recently contracted Upbeat Clean to carry out its commercial cleaning operations for the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill and Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

This new partnership builds on Derby Museums’ long history of support for refugee and asylum-seeker communities through its involvement with the Derby City of Sanctuary network, where it has worked with organisations across the city to create a climate of welcome and inclusion. Derby Museums has been working with refugees and asylum-seekers through its programme of activities and volunteering programme for several years now, but this is a new departure.

As Dr Alex Rock, Director of Commercial and Operations at Derby Museums, explains:

“As a cultural organisation working towards Museum of Sanctuary status, we want to be innovative about improving connectivity with the diverse communities of our city. By partnering with Upbeat Clean, we are embedding inclusivity at an operational level, and taking another step towards creating a more ethical practice.”

“As an organisation, we are deeply embedded in Derby and passionate about our city. Through working with Upbeat Clean, we are supporting a fellow social enterprise based in our city as part of our commitment to source locally, for the good of Derby.”

Upbeat Clean is an innovation of Derby charity, Upbeat Communities, which has been working to improve the lives of refugees and asylum-seekers in the city for over 15 years. Created to address some of the challenges faced by refugees in finding a first job in the UK, this award-winning commercial cleaning business was a recipient of Marketing Derby’s Rising Star Award earlier this year.

Upbeat Clean investigated many models of social enterprise to address the challenge of refugee unemployment in Derby before settling on commercial cleaning, in partnership with local companies, which offered the best solution in terms of impact and scalability. The charity aims to create around 40 to 50 new jobs to support refugee parents living in Derby over the next five years, helping to alleviate the issue of refugee unemployment in the city, and potentially in other cities too.

As Michael Gladwell, Head of Enterprise at Upbeat Clean, explains:

“We are delighted to be working with Derby Museums on this new contract, building on relationships already established with the Museum through our parent charity, Upbeat Communities. The Museum of Making is one of the largest venues we have in our client portfolio, and our team is really excited to make a difference at such an iconic location.”

“We want Upbeat Clean to provide an excellent service to our commercial clients, whilst paying a real living wage and providing our staff with supported employment and mentoring opportunities that will enable them to maintain a balanced family life.”

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