Evenbreak

Evenbreak wins UnLtd award for driving social change

Evenbreak, a pioneer in disability specific recruitment, has secured support from UnLtd, the UK’s foundation for social entrepreneurs. The funding and tailored support package will help the organisation continue to drive lasting social change at a time when the UK is beginning to wake up to the value of the purple pound.

UnLtd award

Evenbreak is a multi-award winning and values led social enterprise, founded by Jane Hatton in 2011. A strong believer in ‘nothing about us, without us’, Jane created the UK’s first and only jobs board to connect inclusive employers with an untapped pool of talented disabled candidates. Evenbreak’s entire team is disabled, providing unique insight and valuable expertise to both the candidates and employers that they serve.

Savvy organisations seeking to address the looming skills shortage, are well aware of the benefits that employing a diverse workforce has to their bottom line. Once an employer commits to employing disabled people, they open the doors to a wider talent pool, a more loyal, engaged and productive workforce and an increase in revenue, profits and market share.

However, taking that step can be daunting for some, so Evenbreak also supplies employers with a best practice portal to guide them through their disability confident journey. The portal is packed with resources and advice from disabled people themselves and leading disability employers and clients, such as Channel 4.

Jane HattonJane Hatton, Evenbreak, said: “We know that our specialist job board allows talented disabled candidates find opportunities with inclusive employers who will value their skills. But we can only help the disabled candidates who know we exist! The grant from UnLtd will enable us to reach out to far more disabled people so that they have the opportunity to find jobs with inclusive employers of choice too!”

Nas Morley, UnLtd Director of Partnerships & Influence, underlined the importance of the expertise and support on offer and said: “Enterprising people are at the heart of so much positive change across the UK, so it’s wonderful for UnLtd to be able to provide support for this social venture. We hope that our tailored package of support will help to develop many more sustainable businesses that will deliver lasting social impact. We’re living in particularly challenging times, so some of these ideas and innovations are urgently needed.”

UnLtd is working hard with partners from both the public and private sectors to help deliver social impact by harnessing the huge potential of social entrepreneurs to solve society’s biggest challenges. The organisation is focused on three big impact areas; resilient communities, employability and solutions for an ageing society.

More information on UnLtd’s latest funding opportunities is available online.

Ed Siegel Charity Bank

Charity Bank responds as ‘inadequate’ UK care homes make £113m profit

Charity Bank Chief Executive Edward Siegel has commented on a recent Guardian investigation which found that some of the country’s worst care homes are owned by companies that are turning over large profits:

“It is shocking to hear a Guardian investigation reveal that some of the country’s worst care home operators have made £113m in profits despite their residents receiving ‘inadequate’ care.

“This highlights yet another example where non-profit-maximising social businesses offer a more appropriate and effective means for providing such critical public services. 

“Charity Bank provides significant financial support to the health and social care sector, with £22.9m currently lent out to 47 different providers, and Care Quality Commission ratings are a key criteria in our credit assessments.

“We know from experience that charity and social enterprise operators, because they are not beholden to shareholders seeking to maximise investment returns, are able to reinvest their surpluses to improve care quality for the benefit of their residents and their families. They are inherently driven to deliver the highest quality care.”

The Soap Co. stocked in John Lewis

John Lewis & Partners to sell
The Soap Co. products

The Soap Co. logoIn a major achievement for CLARITY-The Soap Co., the social enterprise announces that in time for the busy Christmas period, high-end department store, John Lewis & Partners, is to sell its luxury, ethical, eco and bee friendly collection across various of its stores nationwide.

Camilla Marcus-Dew, Co-Founder of The Soap Co. said: “The fact that John Lewis & Partners have selected The Soap Co.’s Eco & Bee Friendly collection to sit on their shelves alongside well-established luxury brands (with big budgets) is a huge endorsement, with confidence that their consumers will love our products and values. It firmly positions us in the high-end retail sector and clearly illustrates that luxury, ethical beauty with measurable social impact has hit the mainstream. It’s been quite the journey to get here, but big retailers are now giving a voice to ‘disruptor’ brands like ours and we are proud to be leading the charge with the support of one of the most respected names on the high street globally. We will also be turning our attention to the luxury hotels sector in 2019.

Created with eco-certified ingredients that are not harmful to aquatic life all products from The Soap Co. are crafted by a workforce, 80% of whom are blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged.

Soap Co. employeesAs Camilla explains, “Our goal is to create meaningful employment that changes people’s lives for the better, and to create ripple effects through the beauty industry and beyond. I would like to thank you John Lewis & Partners for joining the movement to address disability unemployment and underemployment in the UK, as we craft products with purpose and challenge consumers to expect more from their soap.

The Soap Co. collection will available on John Lewis online, where 50% of total John Lewis sales are achieved and will be in store at their Cambridge, Welwyn Garden City, Reading and Southampton sites, with an ambition for a wider national rollout in 2019.

Charlotte West, Assistant Buyer at John Lewis & Partners: “We are pleased to be launching The Soap Co. into our assortment. The products and unique placement of The Soap Co. in both the blend of scents and being made locally is one we excited to show our customer base.” 

The Soap Co.’s eco and bee friendly collection is vegan and biodegradable, and available in 3 British inspired fragrances: Geranium & Rhubarb, Wild Nettle & Sage and Mulberry & Amber, as a hand wash (300ml), hand lotion (300ml) or cold processed bar soap (125g). In addition, The Soap Co.’s luxurious 100% natural Rose, Uplift and Detox bath oils (100ml) with antioxidants, jojoba seed and evening primrose oils are also included, alongside three stunning gift sets priced under £40 RSP:

  • Rose Oil Duo
  • Geranium & Rhubarb Hand Gift Duo
  • Mixed Body Gift Trio, exclusively for John Lewis & Partners, which comprises Geranium & Rhubarb body lotion, Wild Nettle & Sage bar soap and an exfoliating soap pebble.

The Soap Co. stocked in John Lewis

START Common Room workshops

Common Room creative workshops in Salford

START is excited to announce our new Common Room creative workshops, open to everyone.

The Common Room is a programme of public workshops at The Make Space, START’s studio in Walkden. The workshops are all taught by professional artists and offer a friendly place to learn new skills and meet others.

Sessions include:

All sessions take place from 1.30-5.30pm.

Workshops start at £25 and the proceeds will support START’s projects that deliver creative arts sessions for people experiencing mental ill health, which promote emotional wellbeing and recovery for people across Salford.

Tickets can be bought at https://thecommonroombystart.eventbrite.com

Windrush Generations from 1000 Londoners

1000 Londoners presents:
Windrush Generations

1000 Londoners

In a brand new series of 15 short films, the multi award-winning documentary series 1000 Londoners , the flagship project of Chocolate Films, discovers the lives of 4 generations of Londoners with Caribbean heritage.

Each of the films portrays the experiences of a single Londoner, including:

  • Dame Jocelyn Barrow, knighted for her achievements in race-relations, who recalls persuading the shop owners in Oxford Street to employ Black women on the shop floor;
  • Teacher Sara Burke who led the 2018 protest about the treatment of the Windrush Generation;
  • Ground-breaking BBC journalist Alex Pascall who reminisces about interviews with Bob Marley, Mohammed Ali;

and many more.

Alongside the short documentaries, you will see new edits of rarely-seen Super 8 footage from Brixton during the 1960s to 1980s, from former pentecostal Minister Clovis Salmon aka ‘Sam The Wheels’ who came to London from Jamaica in the 1950s; and of BFI archive from Notting Hill Carnival.

‘Windrush Generations’ has been curated by 1000 Londoners Creative Director Rachel Wang, whose mother moved to London from Jamaica during the Windrush era. Rachel will host a panel discussion on the Legacy of the Windrush Generations with some of the Londoners featured in the films after each screening.

‘Windrush Generations’ is the 14th 1000 Londoners Movie Night. Previous movie nights have looked at themes as varied as food in London, women and London’s dog owners.

There are a series of screenings in London in November:

Both screenings will be followed by a short panel discussion about the legacy of the Windrush Generations, with Rachel Wang from Chocolate Films and several of the featured Londoners.

Dementia Friends

Campaign to make Bristol first Dementia Friendly City

BS3 Community Development logoBristol based social enterprise BS3 Community Development has started an ambitious campaign to make Bristol the first Dementia Friendly City in the UK.

Friday 21st September is World Alzheimer’s Day and BS3 Community has been working with Bristol Dementia Alliance to support local retailers in the city to understand dementia and how it effects people in order to make their shops and cafes dementia friendly.

They are offering training sessions to retail and hospitality staff, after which attendees are awarded lapel badges as an acknowledgment and a sign that they are a ‘Dementia Friend’. Outlets receive a ‘We are a Dementia Friendly store’ award to display in their window, which demonstrates to those living with dementia and/or their carers, that they are very welcome to shop in those stores and can feel at ease doing so.

Ruth Green, Community Development Manager says “ The training sessions are short but informative and retailers are responding really positively to the small but significant changes that can be made to a shop or café environment to improve the shopping experience of people with dementia. Bristol is a friendly and inclusive place and we hope that this campaign will mean that more of the 850,000 people living in the UK who have dementia will be able to have healthy social lives for longer.”

BS3 Community Development is offering a Dementia training session and talk this Thursday (20th September) 1pm-3pm at the Southville Centre. If you’re a Bristol resident or retailer and would like to know more, please pop in Thursday, or for more information contact Ruth Green.

#FollowTheMoney – move your savings to an ethical provider

Charity Bank logoLeading ethical bank, Charity Bank, has launched a campaign to encourage charities, businesses and individuals to move some of their savings or reserves to an ethical provider.

The Follow the Money campaign is supported by social sector heavyweights including NCVO, NAVCA, Social Enterprise Mark CIC, Social Enterprise UK, Locality, Responsible Finance, Big Society Capital, Barrow Cadbury Trust, ShareAction, CAN, Clinks, the Finance Innovation Lab, Good With Money, The Ethical Company Organisation and Ethical Consumer.

The campaign, launched a decade after the global financial crisis, will see 38 of the charities and social enterprises supported by Charity Bank loans open their doors to showcase how money saved with an ethical provider can have a positive impact on society.

It comes as research*, published by Charity Bank, revealed that 7 in 10 people agree that charities should invest their savings and investments ethically. And more than half (57%) said they prefer to buy from businesses that act ethically.

Charity Bank is now calling on charities, businesses and individuals to question how their savings are currently used. It’s asking them to consider whether that money could go beyond simply earning a fair return and be channelled into the social sector to help make a positive contribution on society.

Edward Siegel, Charity Bank’s Chief Executive, said: “It’s easy to dismiss the possibility of achieving a social return as well as a financial return on your investments but saving ethically offers the chance to do both.

“By channelling money into charities, social enterprises and social businesses, your money is used as a force for good. It empowers these organisations to grow, innovate and build upon the services and support they provide to their beneficiaries.”

Follow the Money, now in its 10th year, takes Charity Bank savers to see for themselves how their money is being used to support charities and social enterprises. This year’s 38-stop tour, which corresponds with Good Money Week (29th September – 5th October), started at the beginning of September and will run until October 5th.

To keep up to date with the Follow the Money tour and support the campaign, visit www.charitybank.org/followthemoney

Follow the Money has received widespread support from the social sector community, including Lucy Findlay, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC: “We are delighted to support the Follow the Money campaign. We encourage fellow social enterprises, as well as charities, other businesses and individuals to question how their savings are currently being used and to consider ethical alternatives, such as those offered by Charity Bank.”

Follow the Money campaign

 

 


*An online survey of 4,000 nationally representative UK adults (aged 18+) carried out between 27th February and 6th March 2018 by Opinium on behalf of Charity Bank. The results have been weighed to nationally representative criteria.

Epic Mini Marathon Trials

Mini Marathon Trials bring together talented young runners

At the Mini Marathon Trials, organised by Epic CIC, young people will compete to represent the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea at the 2019 London Youth Games and London Mini Marathon.

Mini Marathon is a trials event for young people aged between 10 and 17 in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. This event has been running in Holland Park for over 10 years and will be taking place again on Tuesday 9th October. Over 300 young athletes will be competing at the trials for a chance to represent the borough along with some of the country’s best athletes at the following events:

  • LYG Cross Country; part of Europe’s largest Annual Youth Sports Event London Youth Games – November 17th 2018
  • London Mini Marathon; part of the World Marathon Majors – 28th April 2019

Epic CIC’s Youth Sport Development Officer Alishia Williams-Gayle reflected on the importance of this event:

“The Mini Marathon Trials is so important to the young athletes of RBKC as it can propel them to events that could really make a difference in their athletic development and progression. Running in one of the borough’s most prestigious parks (Holland Park) against the best in the borough is exciting yet nerve wracking for the young people. This is why the Epic Sport Team continue to put so much into giving them the best trials experience possible. We are really looking forward to hosting all 300+ athletes, their teachers, parents, coaches and of course the RBKC Mayor.”

Anyone between 10-17 can enter the trials for a chance to compete at London Youth Games or London Mini Marathon as long as they live or go to school in RBKC. Entry packs are now available via email or by contacting Alishia Williams-Gayle on 020 7351 2346. The closing date for applications is 1st October.

For more information visit the Epic CIC website.

Roots HR logo

Unbelievable recruitment offers from Roots HR

recruitment offers from Roots HR

Roots HR CIC has launched its best ever recruitment offers, available for September only.

The above offers are available on all orders placed by 5pm on Friday 28th September 2018.

Roots HR offers a full range of recruitment, selection and onboarding services including:

  • developing job descriptions
  • designing interviews and assessment tests
  • administering psychometric testing
  • being a member of the selection panel
  • supporting decision making
  • writing contracts of employment
  • taking up references and conducting pre-employment checks
  • liaising with unsuccessful candidates
  • undertaking induction planning

 

Strong Young Minds

New Mental Health Support Programme Challenges Social Isolation

Epic CIC has introduced Strong Young Minds; a programme which provides a one to one outreach service that is led by the child or young person to help access the support they want.

The service aims to help children and young people increase their resilience, reduce social isolation and build on their coping skills to develop strong young minds. By giving young people a sense of control over their use of the service, they are shown that even in difficult times they can find their own strengths to get through tough times in life.

This service offers:

  • Emotional support and advocacy
  • Helps to learn about ways to build mental strength and coping techniques
  • Brings children and young people into social groups helping them feel less isolated
  • Aims to increase awareness and reduce stigma.

To sign up to the course, please contact one of Epic’s Specialist Social Workers for Mental Health; Imogen Keay 07714 563 253 or Renae Boswell 07739 314 573, or via email.

For more information visit the Epic CIC website.

Epic Strong Young Minds programme

Cardiff Metropolitan University in HEFCW report

Cardiff Metropolitan University showcased in HEFCW report

Cardiff Metropolitan University, which was the first university in Wales to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, features in a recent report published by HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales).

HEFCW Innovation Nation reportThe Innovation Nation: on common ground report showcases how higher education providers in Wales have been pursuing their civic mission in recent years, and how they act as good corporate citizens both locally and globally. It contains a number of case studies, which demonstrate how higher education providers create considerable impact on local, national and international communities.

Four examples from Cardiff Metropolitan University are included in the report, including a case study on how they are leading on social enterprise, which references their unique status as the only university in Wales to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark.

Please click here to view the report.

BECỌ logo

BECỌ – good, clean, fun

A brand new hand-care range that puts real change in people’s hands

How to Share With Just Friends

How to share with just friends.

Posted by Facebook on Friday, December 5, 2014

Social enterprise CLARITY has announced the launch of BECỌ, a sister brand to The Soap Cọ.

There has never been more demand for products which are better for society, better for the environment, and are just better for the people who buy them. BECỌ ticks all three boxes, meaning more consumers than ever before will be able to purchase without compromise. BECỌ hits supermarket shelves across the UK from July onwards. Just think: If every household in the UK used BECỌ in their bathrooms, BECỌ would create nearly 45,000 new jobs for people with disabilities.

CLARITY, the charity behind BECỌ creates over 10,000 days of employment every year for its staff – 80% of whom are visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged. Its ambition, with the launch of this feel good and playful brand, is to generate 2,000 days of employment in 2018, enabling ever more people to have a positive impact on the world around them through their consumer choices.

The new BECỌ products consist of a 250ml vegan, eco-foaming hand wash, which saves 88 litres of water per bottle compared to liquid hand wash; and a 97% organic, vegan, 100g triple-milled bar soap in three planet-friendly and eco-certified fragrances: Honey Blossom, Spring Meadow and Wild Berries. The eco benefits go far beyond this. Each bottle of foaming hand wash lasts 2.5 times longer than a liquid hand wash, meaning less plastic waste. The organic bar soap is also made with ingredients that have not been produced with herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or pesticides.

Every product bears the names of three different team members involved in BECỌ’s creation – from product development through to customer services. Like Abhi, whose name appears on the Wild Berries foaming hand wash. Blind at the age of 14 following an accident, he manually feeds BECỌ bottles onto the production line, ensuring there are no dents or scratches on its surface. Or Nic in the customer services team, who has learning difficulties and Noonan Syndrome. He says: “I’m thrilled to be recognised and to show that I don’t have to hide myself and my disability.”

Camilla Marcus-Dew, co-founder of The Soap Cọ, said: “BECỌ stands for Better Considered, and is a movement that puts meaningful change for disabled and disadvantaged people in the hands of everyday shoppers. It’s a bold new idea that will appeal to those who want more transparency, sustainability and great design from the products they buy. Through the launch of The Soap Cọ we learnt a lot about introducing an ethical heart to the world of premium body and bath products – and have left no stone unturned in setting a whole new standard in eco and sustainability credentials for supermarket shoppers.

“Every single sale provides real work and training for visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged staff at our semi-automated factory in East London. We launched BECỌ to empower people across the UK to not just challenge the status quo but to change it for the better.”

BECỌ has secured listings in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s and will be in store from the start of July – with selected Co-op stores following in late summer.  More exciting news to come!

To find out more about BECỌ please:

Visit www.betterconsidered.orgFacebook and Instagram

Please also visit www.thesoapco.org for super awesome eco products coming soon from The Soap Cọ.

Dose of Digital workshops

Dose of Digital workshops for social enterprises

Cosmic is running a number of free half-day workshops across the South West to  help social and community enterprises make the most of their digital marketing

A Dose of Digital is a bitesize workshop series, each one 3 hours long, exploring a particular issue around digital skills and digital strategy.  And they are free to organisations engaged in the Enhance SE programme.

The morning workshop “Digital Marketing made Easy!”  is designed help participants develop a marketing strategy to make sure their online efforts are getting the right messages out to the right audiences. It covers the ground that Cosmic would cover if they worked with each organisation on a 1:1 basis, but it also gives participants the chance to discuss their own organisation and get the input of other organisations who may be grappling with the same issues, and have fresh insights to share with one another.

The afternoon workshop “Does your website need an MOT?” will help participants review their website with a fresh pair of eyes, and explore the do’s and don’ts of successful web design and content, and unpack the whole area of SEO, i.e. how to set up your site to attract the right customers to engage with. Cosmic will also run a diagnostic report on participants’ current website prior to the workshop, which they can then use through the workshop to plan any updates. This workshop is also suitable for those setting up their first website.

Both workshops are designed to be informal, with plenty of opportunities for questions.

The workshops are available in three locations:

Cullompton Hayridge Centre: Wednesday 4th July

Bridgwater – Victoria Park Community Centre: Friday 27th July.

Plymouth– Genesis, Millfields: Thursday 30th August

Details and booking for each workshop can be found on Cosmic’s Enhance SE Eventbrite page.

Professor Joy Carter University of Winchester

University of Winchester contributes £266m economic value

The University of Winchester contributes over £266 million a year to the regional business community, according to a new report launched this week.

The Economic Value of the University of Winchester shows that more than £203 million a year added income is created by its alumni – the impact of the skills acquired by students remaining in the region – £20 million a year by student expenditure and £42 million a year by university expenditure. The University also contributes nearly 10,000 jobs a year into the regional economy.

The report was unveiled at an event held at the University on Wednesday 13th June featuring speeches from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL; George McFarlane, CBI (Confederation of Business and Industry) Sector Development Director, on regional development and the role of universities; and Tali Atvars, Winchester Student Union President, on the positive impact made by students.

Professor Carter said: “As a key pillar in the city and county, the University of Winchester creates value in many ways, economically, culturally and socially. We put our students on the path to success, helping them increase their employability and go on to make a difference in the world. We support a range of employment sectors in our region, and supply employers with the skilled workers they need to make their businesses more productive.

The expenditure of the University, along with the spending of its staff and students, further supports the regional economy through the output and employment generated by regional suppliers. The fact that learning makes a difference on the regional economy is well known, but this report quantifies the monetary values of our impacts.”

Clean Air Day 21st June 2018

Join Global Action Plan for Clean Air Day webinar

How to influence your senior management in addressing air quality

Join Global Action Plan on Clean Air Day 2018 (21st June) for a lunchtime webinar (12.30-1.30pm) that will focus on practical ways to successfully encourage your leadership teams to address air quality as an issue and to lend their support to staff engagement activities.

You will be armed with all the information you need to convince your organisation about the importance of action on air quality. And you will hear tips from those who have run successful staff engagement programs on air quality.

The air quality guru, Professor Stephen Holgate, will tell attendees about the latest research showing the impacts of indoor and outdoor air pollution on our health, and he will be available to take live questions.

Click here to register.

Global Action Plan Clean Air Day webinar

Phil Hope presenting Louise van Rhyn of Partners for Possibility with Making a Mark competition award

Partners for Possibility named
Making a Mark competition winners

Making a Mark competitionPartners for Possibility (PfP), the flagship programme of Symphonia for South Africa, was named as the winner of the 2018 Social Enterprise Mark CIC ‘Making a Mark’ competition at a celebration at our conference in York on 6th June.

We invited former MP Phil Hope to present the award as part of our annual awards ceremony, which was accepted by Louise van Rhyn , founder of Partners for Possibility/Symphonia for South Africa, who also delivered the opening keynote speech at the conference.

On accepting the award, Louise said:

“It is fantastic for the work of PfP to be recognised in this way. Our innovative programme provides much-needed support and capacity building for school principals who have received little or no preparation for the challenging task of managing a complex organisation with very limited funds amidst crippling social challenges, such as poverty, child-headed households, drug abuse and gangsterism.

It was a pleasure to deliver the opening keynote today, and to share our experiences of how reciprocal learning partnerships between business and community can be a powerful force for positive change.”

Making a Mark competition awardLouise was presented with a special award, created for us by Social Enterprise Mark holder Start Creative *, a social enterprise which provides a range of high quality hand crafted products and services to public, private and social sectors, whilst providing positive commercial experiences to volunteers who are referred via mental health services.

This is the third year of the Making a Mark competition; a celebration of the vast and diverse social benefits created by Social Enterprise Mark holders, which highlights interesting examples of how accredited social enterprises are creating considerable social impact within their local communities and in wider society.

Lucy Findlay, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, said, “We are delighted to announce our first African Social Enterprise Mark holder Partners for Possibility as the 2018 ‘Making a Mark’ competition winners. They won because of their clear commitment to tackling a major social need in new innovative ways, by mobilising business, government and civil society to work collaboratively towards addressing the educational challenges facing South Africa. 

As delegates had heard Louise’s inspiring and rousing story at the start of the conference, everyone in attendance was in no doubt of the well deserved winner! Well done to Louise and the whole PfP team.”

PfP was shortlisted alongside five other organisations, including Cosmic and Ealing Community Transport, which were both named as runners up. The competition shortlist was subject to a public vote and a separate vote by the Social Enterprise Mark CIC team, both of which accounted for 50% of the final result.

We would like to extend our congratulations to all of the competition finalists:

  • Making a Mark competition shortlistCosmic
  • Ealing Community Transport
  • East Lancashire Medical Services
  • Live Active
  • Midlands Psychology CIC
  • Partners for Possibility

Start Creative logo*Start Creative is  the commercial arm of Start in Salford, which provides positive commercial experiences to volunteers,  who are referred via primary and secondary mental health services in Salford.

Their volunteers are highly trained individuals at risk of or suffering from mental ill health, all of whom benefit in some way from the creative process that goes into making high quality hand crafted products. Start Creative continually develops in response to the needs of the volunteers that engage in the work to provide a vibrant and supportive working environment and retail opportunities for their work.

Charity Bank: a bank for good

Charity Bank Impact Awards

Social Enterprise Mark holders are invited to attend Charity Bank’s Impact Awards in London (N7 6PA) on Tuesday 26th June 2018.

This is an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary work of social enterprises and the social sector. The reception will run from 6.00pm to 8.00pm, with awards at 7.00pm. There will be drinks and canapés.

For full details and to register your attendance (for free as a guest of Charity Bank) visit charitybank.org/RSVP

Ed Siegel Charity Bank

Charity Bank appoints new chief executive

Charity Bank logoCharity Bank has appointed Edward Siegel as its new Chief Executive. He replaces Patrick Crawford, who will retire and step down as Chief Executive after almost six years.

Ed, who will take up his post with the bank at the end of July, joins from Big Issue Invest (BII), the social investment arm of The Big Issue Group, where he has been Managing Director since 2008. During that time, BII has grown from a book of social enterprise loans of around £2 million to a diverse array of social funds under management of over £65 million.

Last month, Charity Bank announced it had lent over £15.2 million to the social sector in the first three months of 2018; more than any previous quarter in its history. This follows three consecutive years of record lending to charities and social enterprises, with drawn loans growing from £52 million at the start of 2015 to over £120 million today.

Ed will lead the delivery of Charity Bank’s strategy to continue to grow its loan book and to present an ethical savings choice to a wider audience, building on the strong foundations that have been laid.

George Blunden, Charity Bank’s Chairman, said: “Under Patrick’s leadership we have provided loans and support to hundreds of charities and social enterprises, touching the lives of more than one million people from across the UK. As we move towards sustained profit, we are taking steps to extend our support and impact further.

“We believe Ed is the right person to lead Charity Bank as we enter this new phase and take action to address how we can best meet the future expectations and needs of the social sector.

“Ed is an exceptional choice for Charity Bank because of his experience and deep understanding of the social sector. Charities and social enterprises are dealing with many pressing problems and our goal remains to increase the financial options available to them, so they can make a bigger difference to the people and communities they serve.”

Ed Siegel said: “I am delighted to be taking on this role during such an exciting phase of growth for the bank. Charity Bank has a well-earned reputation and one of the strongest brands in our sector. Its mission to use money for good was a key factor in my decision to pursue this opportunity. The bank’s community of borrowers, savers, investors and its team are all working towards one goal – to help strengthen charities and social enterprises so that they can create lasting social change.”

Ed has over 30 years of corporate banking, social investment and business consulting experience. He spent the early part of his career in commercial banking, mainly with Credit Suisse. Before joining BII in 2008, Ed was head of the Small Business Banking practice of ShoreBank International (now known as Enclude) where he oversaw the implementation of SME finance programmes and advised financial institutions throughout the developing world.

George Blunden, added: “Patrick has led Charity Bank with great aptitude and passion. He has taken Charity Bank to the point where it is close to achieving a sustained profit and leaves behind a bank that is achieving record loan and deposit growth and social impacts, for which he should take great credit. Patrick has cemented Charity Bank’s position as the bank of, and for, the social sector.

“I join with my fellow directors and Charity Bank staff to express sincere gratitude and to wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Ed Siegel Charity Bank

Rachel Wang receives honorary doctorate

Chocolate Films Director receives Honorary Doctorate

Chocolate Films Director Rachel Wang recently received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Law as part of a Graduation Ceremony held for more than 900 students at the Barbican Centre in London.

Rachel accepted her Honorary Doctorate from Dame Fiona Woolf, Chancellor of The University of Law, alongside world-leading solicitor James Libson. Also present were Chairman and Speaker, The Right Honourable Professor, the Lord David Blunkett and Pro-Vice Chancellor Bill Bruce.

Rachel is an alumna of The University of Law who, after completing her LPC and working in corporate finance for four years, decided to set up her own video production company, which she has grown into a highly-successful business.

Rachel Wang accepting Honorary DoctorateOn receiving the Doctorate she said: “I’m extremely proud to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate by The University of Law. It’s such an honour.”

Rachel said she was working on many ongoing projects including creating AV for new exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum and the British Library, working on a longterm documentary project with New Covent Garden Market.

“We are about to shoot a documentary in Germany, Thailand, India and Poland. On the education side of the business, we’re creating series of online training films for a client in Germany. We’re also producing animations about security robots in Scotland, and the effects of skunk cannabis in London.” said Rachel.

Rachel told the new graduates to be brave and confident; “Your degree will open many doors, or if, like me, you want to start your own business, it will be a vital tool for the rest of your career.”

Charity Bank logo

Charity Bank launches ‘Bank On Us’ campaign

Charity Bank, the loan and savings bank owned by charities and social purpose organisations, today announced it has lent over £15.2 million to the social sector in the first three months of 2018; more than any previous quarter in its history. Its loan book has now grown by over 120% since the start of 2015.

Charity Bank 'Bank On Us'As part of its pledge to do more to support the social sector, Charity Bank has launched its ‘Bank On Us’ campaign to reduce the costs associated with taking on a new loan and refinancing an existing loan. This follows an announcement in February that it has increased the interest rate paid on its Ethical Easy Access Account.

Patrick Crawford, Chief Executive of Charity Bank, said: “Despite the challenging and uncertain outlook, charities and social enterprises have continued to take on new projects to address social needs. The resulting loan demand from the social sector has continued and shows no sign of slowing.

“Our Bank On Us campaign is part of our pledge to continue to work side-by-side with social sector organisations seeking to use loan finance to make a bigger difference.

“By reducing the costs associated with taking on a new loan and refinancing an existing loan, we aim to give a little extra back to the charities and social enterprises we have the privilege to work with every day as they help the disadvantaged, enrich lives and improve communities.”

Charity Bank’s record growth in the first quarter of 2018 follows three consecutive years of record lending to the social sector. In 2017 Charity Bank lent £34.1 million to organisations within the sector (2016: £27.9m; 2015: £24.7m).

Charity Bank offers loans to small and large charities and social enterprises. Since 2002, it has lent over £215 million to over 650 social sector organisations. It has a social mission which is protected by its charitable objects and its social sector ownership.

One organisation that is benefiting from a Charity Bank loan is the YMCA Downslink Group, a registered charity working across Sussex and Surrey to provide a variety of services and projects to the local communities, with a focus on helping young people who exist on the margins of society to access opportunities.

Chas Walker, CEO of YMCA Downslink Group, explains how its decision to borrow from Charity Bank was influenced by a desire to work with a likeminded organisation with aligned values:

“Over the last year, we’ve reached over 16,000 young people through supported housing, learning and employability projects, counselling services, and more. We refreshed our business plan at the start of 2016 and knew we needed to increase borrowing to implement our overall investment plan for growth. 

“Mainstream banks aren’t always familiar with charity business models whereas the team at Charity Bank were knowledgeable, understanding and supportive of our plans. They not only offered competitive rates but also the knowledge that any interest we paid to them would go towards a wider social mission. It was an easy decision for our board to make.”

Loans offers

If you make a loan enquiry with Charity Bank by 31st August 2018 and sign a loan agreement with Charity Bank on or before 31st December 2018 for a loan of at least £250k, Charity Bank will:

  • charge no arrangement fee (if you are refinancing from another provider); or
  • make a contribution towards legal and professional fees (for new loans)

For full details of Charity Bank’s loan offer, visit www.charitybank.org/BankOnUs.

Chocolate Films All-Female Film for International Women's Day

All-Female Film for International Women’s Day

To mark International Women’s Day earlier this month, 1000 Londoners (a project of Chocolate Films) released a women-only produced film. Twelve girls and women with no previous experience in filmmaking, guided by two professional female filmmakers, created a three-minute documentary about BAFTA Award-winning producer-director and activist, Yvette Vanson on a Chocolate Films Workshop, produced by Rachel Wang and Sinéad Loftus.

“When I started I expected it to be working with cameras, but I didn’t expect making such an interesting documentary,” says new filmmaker Marla Kellard-Jones. “I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed working with other women, it being kind of a female environment, which you don’t often get in filmmaking.”

The film was made on a filmmaking workshop at the St John’s Hill Community Centre in Wandsworth. Supported by Chocolate Films filmmakers, Ruth Gardiner and Emily Rimmer, the girls and women aged 12 to 50 set out to make a short film about a local woman. Contributor Yvette Vanson was totally up for it and she became much more than the subject of the film, getting involved in the project from sharing her experience during the filming to speaking at the closing event.

Over 5 days, the girls and women researched, shot and edited their very own short documentary. ‘Yvette Vanson, Londoner #280’ is part of 1000 Londoners, the most in-depth and expansive documentary series ever produced about the city.

The Big Issue Shop

Social Enterprises needed for The Big Issue Shop

The Big Issue ShopThe Big Issue has launched a new online shop, to provide a retail platform for organisations that create social impact through the products they sell.

The organisation, famed for its magazine with the hand up not a hand out ideal, is selling products with a ‘social echo’. It focuses on brands that are produced by social enterprises and those that use trade to help people improve their lives.

Products sold in the shop include eye-catching kitchenware from Studio 306 designed and developed by people recovering from mental health issues; there are striking up-cycled accessories by Fikay Fashion that use cement bags and help fuel sustainable work in developing countries like Cambodia; and luxury bodycare products from The Soap Co. – an ethical luxury soap brand that supports blind and disabled people in the UK.

If you are interested in selling your products via The Big Issue Shop, get in touch with Charmaine Crisp to discuss the opportunity.

Roots HR logo

Free salary review from Roots HR CIC

Roots HR salary review offer

Make sure that you are paying your staff an appropriate salary by taking advantage of Roots HR’s offer of free salary benchmarking.

Receive free salary benchmarking for 1 role when you have 4 roles benchmarked, saving £175; Roots HR CIC’s best ever salary benchmarking offer!

Salary benchmarking is a way to determine the market value of a given role.  Having this information informs annual pay reviews, aids recruitment, assists with employee retention and minimises the risk of equal pay claims.

The salary benchmarking package includes:

  • Salary benchmarking research and report for 5 roles *
  • Benchmarking is based on Croners Salary Search and other relevant sector data and includes parameters for organisation’s income, staff numbers and location etc
  • Pay range and recommended pay band for the role provided with explanatory commentary.

*Roles must be benchmarked by 31 May 2018. Standard T’s & C’s apply

Click here for further information.

Interested? Speak to Roots HR on 01562 840060 or email [email protected].

Offer available until 5pm on 28th February 2018.

Hope Food Club

Help Hope Enterprises to reduce food poverty in Northampton

Hope Enterprises CIC logoHope Enterprises CIC has launched a Crowdfunding appeal to raise money for its innovative new Food Club project.

This project is a food club, not a foodbank; it’s based on membership, a bit like a food co-operative. People on low incomes will be able to join the food club and through membership can  get access to subsidised food, delivered through pop-up shops in community projects, on deprived estates where they live.  The project will make a real and lasting difference to food poverty in Northampton, which is increasing, and marks an exciting new departure for Hope alongside their continuing homelessness work.

Food is central to Hope’s mission: it’s the one thing people can’t do without. They believe everyone should have access to affordable, healthy food.  Hope currently supplies food through a day centre to people on low incomes, often destitute or homeless, and they also train people in catering and tool repair as a step out of unemployment.

The Food Club project will grow healthy veg and salad, and supply this alongside tinned and packaged food, plus toiletries, at 1/3 shop prices to a new and wider group of people on low incomes.

All the money raised through the appeal will be directed to the project. All ‘profit’ from sales from the club will be recycled into training clients and running the project or our wider charity. No individual will receive any financial benefit from the crowdfunding appeal.

To find out more, watch the short video below:

Social Lab workshop

Introducing Social Lab

Business Launchpad logoIn 2018 Business Launchpad will be running a new series of events, which will showcase social enterprises across a number of industries.

Social Lab is a great way to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, meet peers, potential partners, mentors, supporters, and have fun! The first event will be held on 24th January at the Museum of Happiness, with a focus on social enterprises in the Mind, Body and Fitness space.

For more information, and to book your place, visit the Business Launchpad website.

The Soap Co. win PwC Award

CLARITY-The Soap Co. wins PwC Building Public Trust Award

 

The Soap Co. logoCLARITY-The Soap Co. was named winner of the Environmental Impact Category in the PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club Awards, which were announced at the annual PwC Building Public Trust Awards lunch on 30th November.

These awards recognise PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club members who are implementing innovative and impactful solutions to society’s challenges. The winner is selected by a panel of judges and awarded a trophy and a £5,000 prize.

As part of its submission, CLARITY-The Soap Co. detailed how it recently become proud holders of The Planet Mark™, an internationally-recognised and trusted sustainability certification programme in partnership with the Eden Project. It has also committed to reducing its carbon footprint annually by 5% and to improving accountability in how and from where materials are sourced. Ingredients, bottles and labels wherever possible come from UK suppliers and they are either recycled, compostable or recyclable. CLARITY-The Soap Co. manufactures its products by using 100% green energy – a clear statement of its commitment to the environment.

In addition, the organisation has just formulated a new eco range for both of its brands. The CLARITYECO+ range – with an eco-foaming, biodegradable hand wash made with 100% eco certified ingredients – and The Soap Co.’s new Eco & Bee Friendly collection.

Anja Batista Sonksen, one of CLARITY-The Soap Co.’s Trustees, and Camilla Marcus Dew, Head of Commercial at CLARITY–The Soap Co., received the award from ITN’s Mary Nightingale.

Camilla commented: “It is so gratifying be recognised by the PwC judges as a leading eco-friendly social enterprise that is establishing best practice in how to manufacture great products without ever compromising on our environmental ethos.

“This demonstrates we are on the right track in both delivering and communicating our vision for the future. We pride ourselves on having a no compromise approach; our vision is to make environmentally friendly and socially responsible products mainstream. We have worked hard to better articulate how our social enterprise ethos is integrated into our business practices and to sharpen our proposal both from a marketing and sales perspective.

“We are currently making real headway with our new CLARITYECO+ range and we have already gained the attention of a number of supermarkets. In addition, we have launched our brand new The Soap Co. luxury Eco & Bee Friendly collection that is doing well in what is a hugely competitive market.”

CLARITY–The Soap Co. was also ‘highly commended’ for the second year running in the prestigious, One to Watch award category at the 2017 Social Enterprise UK Awards in November. The award is given ‘for a social enterprise that can clearly articulate their future vision and how they are going to achieve it.’ CLARITY – The Soap Co. was also shortlisted in the Consumer Facing Social Enterprise category, ‘for a social enterprise that produced or delivers a retail product or service to the general public.’

BS3 Community Development Chessel Centre

New public art unveiled to mark completion of Bristol community centre

BS3 Community Development logoA new piece of public art has been unveiled in Bristol to mark completion of a new community centre and nursery, the Chessel Centre, run by social enterprise BS3 Community Development.

Work started on the Chessel Centre, the latest venture by the local charity, formerly known as the Southville Community Development Association (SCDA), late last year and comprises a 54-place nursery, a meeting room for use by local community groups/activities such as after-school clubs for children and social clubs for older people, as well as large outdoor play spaces for the nursery.

Earlier this year a call went out to local artists to produce a piece of work inspired by the local community, working with local primary school children to come up with the creative design. Local artist, character designer and graduate of Bristol School of Animation, Nila Murali was selected to fulfil the brief. Nila has worked with three local primary schools with pupils creating artworks to inspire the final design.

Dr Simon Hankins, Chief Executive Officer at BS3 Community Development commented: “The Chessel Centre has been an ambitious but much needed project for the area, especially to help meet the demand for quality childcare provision in the area. It’s important to us that this is a place where members of the local community can learn, grow, have fun and get together with friends and family.

“Most importantly, we want this to be a place where people can feel proud about being part of the BS3 community and having this art project, created by the community, above the entranceway is a big part of that.”

Nila Murali, commissioned artist, commented: “Bristol has such a terrific reputation for creativity and it was a pleasure to be a part of this project.

“The Chessel Centre is a place for families and particularly young children, so I thought that having young children come up with the concepts and creative ideas really tied in nicely. That element of community spirit was the main reason why I wanted to be part of this project.”

Following the grand unveiling, an exhibition containing all of the artwork created by the local schoolchildren will open in the new community hall at the Chessel Centre in due course. The facilities at the Chessel Centre will open over the coming months, with the new 54 place nursery now open, and the community room opening in the New Year.

For more information please visit bs3community.org.uk.

For more information on artist Nila Murali visit www.nimuarts.com.

Chocolate Films logo

Chocolate Films release Kew animation Love Bug

Chocolate Films Love Bug animationThis summer Chocolate Films Workshops were in residence at the Royal Botanics Gardens Kew, to produce an animation about pollination and pollinators called Love Bug. The film broke the record for the most individual contributions to an animation film, with 2,753 participants all taking part in most aspects of making the Love Bug film, whether that was to cut, model, stick animation props to be filmed.

The film hit the big screen from 1st December at the Richmond ODEON Studios on Red Lion Street (TW9 6RE), and will be shown before the following feature films: Frozen, The Nut Job 2, Despicable 3 and The Man who Invented Christmas.

Take your friends and family, it is a beautiful film made by the general public (all 2,753 of them) and produced by Chocolate Films.

You can view the trailer below:

 

#ElflessActs

Create #ElflessActs this Christmas

Every year 1 in 4 parents go into debt at Christmas trying to buy the perfect presents. Crazily, only 1% of the materials that go into making the stuff we buy are actually still in use 6 months on – that’s a lot of waste stress, resources and money.

This year, Global Action Plan is running an innovative Christmas campaign called Elfless Acts. It’s all about giving your time to friends and loved ones instead of stuff they don’t want or need.

Join the fun at www.elflessacts.org.uk to design amazing gifts in minutes that create memories not receipts. Use it for your team’s Secret Santa, family gifts and more, there are loads of great ideas.

Let’s create more fun and less stuff this Christmas – and focus on what really matters. Check out the hashtag #elflessacts and get giving!

Elfless Acts

Rachel Wang celebrating with Actor, Michael Sheen at the Social Enterprise Awards 2017

Chocolate Films’ Rachel Wang wins UK Social Enterprise Award

Rachel Wang, the Founder and Director of South London social enterprise Chocolate Films, has won the Women in Social Enterprise Award at the UK Social Enterprise Awards 2017, which were held on 23rd November at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London.

The national awards, organised by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) recognise excellence and outstanding achievements by social enterprises, businesses set up to for a social purpose that reinvest or donate the majority of their profits to meet their mission. There are now nearly 80,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing £24 billion to the economy each year.

Rachel’s company Chocolate Films was founded with a unique business model for the video production industry. It employs a large full-time team of talented filmmakers who split their time between making films for high profile clients and running creative workshops for children and young people.

Chocolate Films logoChocolate Films has grown organically since it was founded in 2001 and now has offices in London and Glasgow. In 2017, Chocolate Films worked with over 5000 people on workshop projects and shot films in London, LA and Singapore for clients as diverse as Big Issue, Jeep, National Autistic Society, National Gallery, The Royal Society, St Mungo’s and Divine Chocolate.

Chocolate Films is committed to community cohesion and is the production company behind documentary project 1000 Londoners.

“I am thrilled to have won the ‘Women in Social Enterprise’ Award and so proud of my team at Chocolate Films,” says Rachel . “I am passionate about reaching out to diverse community groups and deprived backgrounds. Over the past year we have focused on running empowering projects for young women. We devised an all-female filmmaking project with Peabody Estates and celebrated strong and unique women in London in a special season of 1000 Londoners. The UK Social Enterprise Award is such an amazing recognition of our work.”

The annual celebration of British social enterprises was hosted by comedian Aisling Bea who was joined onstage by SEUK patrons, actor Michael Sheen and director/comedian Chris Addison.

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK said: “The UK Social Enterprise Awards are a real testament to the dynamism and diversity of the UK social enterprise sector. This year’s winners have included a social enterprise employing IT consultants who bring together the unique talents of people living with autism, coffee carts transforming the lives of those without a home, a film company opening up the creative industries to young people and even a social enterprise dental service working in some of the UK’s most challenging neighbourhoods. 

“Social enterprises are continuing to prove that they’re a force to be reckoned with, they’re creating solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face and showing how business can and should be done.”

Social enterprise supply chain

Rachel Wang and the other winners were presented with bespoke trophies made by the social enterprise, Designs in Mind, which employs people with mental health issues. Social enterprises also supplied all the goods and services on the night, including the catering, rigging, drinks, flower displays and goody bags.

Sponsors of the Awards are the British Council, Big Society Capital, Cordant Group GLL, Good Finance, Here, Landmarc, Natwest, Nominet Trust, PwC, Power to Change, the Co-op, Santander, Wates, Social Investment Scotland and Unity Trust Bank.

1000 Londoners

1000 Londoners Youth Takeover

London’s largest documentary web series 1000 Londoners is handing the reins to young people in the capital for the next 5 months, during which it will release short films made by young filmmakers, aged 11 to 19 as part of this year’s 1000 Londoners ‘Youth Takeover’. All the films have been created by first time young filmmakers that have been trained on Chocolate Films workshops.

Watch the first film, Victoria – Londoner #243:

In the summer, Chocolate Films Workshops returned to Wimbledon Bookfest to train and mentor young people in how to make strong documentaries and discover interesting stories. Participants used cameras and editing software to make these films themselves, supported by filmmaking professionals. The enthusiasm of creative young people as well as passionate facilitators resulted in 10 gripping films, showing Londoners’ lives across 10 different decades.

Heathrow Community Fund also enabled Chocolate Films to run a rich filmmaking programme at West Thames College in Hounslow. Over the course of an academic year, 40 students supported by 6 filmmakers made films about themselves. Working together as peers and being the makers as well as the subjects of the films was a challenge, but the outcome are great stories reflecting young urban life to the limit.

In Islington, 4 films were made at Summerversity , the borough’s free activities and opportunities for young people during the summer holidays. Chocolate Films inspired young people to create fascinating documentaries about healthy living and the people they know in the borough. At Uxbridge College students supported by their Media Teacher created 4 1000 Londoners films as part of their GCSE Media course.

 


About 1000 Londoners

Chocolate Films’ current flagship project 1000 Londoners is the most in-depth and expansive documentary series ever produced about the city. Each week at 1000londoners.com, viewers are able to watch a three-minute film about a new Londoner. The range of stories is as diverse as the city itself. The series includes stories such as Leni whose flat burned down in London’s 2011 riots, David who captains the Woolwich Ferry, political mural artist Brian Barnes OBE, transgender magician Victoria and Samson an ex-gang member now born again Christian. 1000 Londoners is produced by South London based film production company and social enterprise, Chocolate Films. The filmmakers from Chocolate Films both produce the films and provide opportunities to young people and community groups to make their own short documentaries, which will contribute to the 1000 films.

Art4Space mosaic class

Mosaic and tile-making classes

Art4Space is continuing their popular mosaic and tile making classes in Stockwell, London on Tuesday evenings in January. You decide what you want to create… for example – mosaic mirrors, panels, frames or table tops, it is up to you!

The classes are run by artists with over 18-years experience who have a real passion for their art forms. The artists will inspire you to explore your creativity in a relaxed learning environment. These classes cover the basics as well as more advanced techniques – dive in at whatever level suits you!

You will be introduced to the fundamentals of mosaic and tile-making which will allow you to progress onto further projects, e.g a mosaic art piece, plant pot, mirror frame, table top etc. Create handmade ceramic tiles using your own design.

“I enjoyed my course so much! Eli and Julie are great tutors with lots of experience!” – Previous participant

This class runs every Tuesday as a drop-in class, and Art4Space also run a 5 week course for £120 or a 10 week course for £230. All materials included in the cost. Refreshments provided (Including a glass of vino if desired!). We also do vouchers, which makes the perfect gift for Christmas.

All classes will run from 6.30pm – 9pm on Tuesdays.

Venue:

Art4Space Community Art Centre, Unit 1, 31 Jeffreys Road, London, SW4 6QU

5 mins from Stockwell tube, free parking.

Cost:

  • 10 week course – £230
  • 5 week course – £120
  • Drop in (per class) – £25

To book a place email Julie Norburn, or call 07816 386270.

Big Issue Invest supports local co-working space with a social purpose

Big Issue Invest logoThe Big Issue’s social investment arm, Big Issue Invest, has teamed up with Connection Crew to launch Canvas in Brixton – a co-working space with a social purpose.

The space offers creative and social ventures a spacious and aspiring base to grow from for a fair price. Any profit generated goes toward helping people out of homelessness and into training and employment.

Connection Crew, the organisation behind Canvas, is a social enterprise providing manpower to the events industry; 25% of its workforce is from a homeless background. Canvas, which benefited from a £45K investment, is based on the whole first floor of its HQ and training centre on Lyham Road, by HMP Brixton.

Director of Connection Crew, Charlie Dorman, commented: “When we moved here in February we thought we’d let our additional space to one commercial tenant. No fuss. Any profit would be used to maintain our training facilities.”

“But then we realised we could make a more inspiring contribution to the local economy by accommodating a range of ambitious, creative and socially responsible businesses instead.”

“It’s more fitting with the culture of diversity and collaboration that thrives here in Brixton. With the support of Big Issue Invest we’re in a position to help build on that.”

Alan Tudhope, Regional Investment Manager at Big Issue Invest said: “A lot of great organisations struggle to access small and medium-sized loans, so we want to provide support for those exciting social enterprises and charities.”

“We are so pleased that we have been able to provide support to Connection Crew in order for them to continue to keep doing the incredible work they do.”

Big Issue Invest launched Impact Loans England, a £5 million lending scheme aimed at enabling social enterprises to access loan funding of between £20,000 and £150,000 in 2016. The programme is funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, with finance being provided by its partners Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.

Canvas will open early next year and is currently open for viewings, visit www.canvasbrixton.space for further information.

IC24’s Clinical Lead Debbie Pullinger (left) and Nurse Prescriber Sarah Birch (right)

Care provider helps with flu vaccinations for Eastbourne’s homeless population

Clinical staff from care provider Integrated Care 24 (IC24) administered vaccinations to homeless people in Eastbourne this week as part of a flu prevention initiative.

IC24 Clinical Lead Debbie Pullinger administering flu vaccination

IC24 Clinical Lead Debbie Pullinger administering the flu vaccination

On the evening of 17th October, clinical staff visited the Salvation Army centre in Langney Road to provide flu jabs to some of the homeless population within Eastbourne. The session was held after Public Health England (PHE) invited IC24 to support a flu vaccination initiative amongst the homeless population in the area. The vaccinations were given at the Salvation Army centre, whilst a hot meal evening was being held.

Clinical staff from IC24’s walk in centre, based at Eastbourne Station, offered to support the initiative and a total of 19 people had the vaccination. IC24 will be working closely with the local Salvation Army to identify other ways in which further support can be provided.

Integrated Care 24 is a not for profit social enterprise, accredited with the Social Enterprise Gold Mark, delivering unscheduled primary care services. In Sussex, IC24 run services including the GP led health centres in Eastbourne and Hastings, and the out of hours GP service across East Sussex.

Debbie Pullinger, Clinical Lead at Eastbourne walk in centre for Integrated Care 24 said: “We are aware that homeless people will not always have the best access to healthcare. They are at high risk of developing flu due to the amount of time spent exposed to the elements, and providing this service will hopefully help reduce the risk of them falling ill during the winter months. There’s a concerted effort nationally to prevent a flu epidemic this winter and reduce the number of admissions to hospital; when we were approached by Public Health England and asked if we would help deliver this programme in Eastbourne we were only too happy to support.”

Dr Max Kammerling, Screening and Immunisations Lead for the PHE in Sussex and Surrey, said: “It is vital at this time of year that we all do as much as we can to help the people most at risk take better care of their health in winter, and avoid becoming so ill that they have to go to a GP or be admitted to hospital. This includes people with chronic diseases, or other health conditions which cause a weakened immune system, and we urge them to get their flu vaccination as they are at much greater risk of the serious complications of flu. People living on the streets or in temporary accommodation are particularly vulnerable when the weather turns cold, and the consequences can be potentially life threatening. Offering flu vaccinations before the flu virus circulates and providing health assessments can make a real difference to protecting them in this difficult time – and we fully support initiatives such as these and encourage all those who are able to do the same.”

intergenerational friendship between older care home residents and nursery children

Intergenerational friendship between the elderly and nursery children

Every Friday a group of excited pre-school children from Bristol don their hi-vis waistcoats ready to take their walking bus down to see their friends at the Amerind Grove residential home for older people.

Last month, children from the Southville Centre nursery featured on the Channel 4 programme The Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. Emma Morris, Lead Practitioner at the nursery, who also appeared on the programme, said that whilst the emphasis of the production team was on the beneficial outcomes for the older adults, she saw clear benefits for the children too. “After the filming finished I was keen to continue this ground-breaking community development and introduce more of our children to local older adults”.

The Southville Centre, managed by the Southville Community Development Association (SCDA), contacted Bupa Amerind Grove Care Home on Raleigh Road to discuss the idea. As a result of the really positive reaction from the staff at Amerind Grove, 12 children from the nursery now visit the care home every week. Aimee Francis, Early Years Practitioner who leads on the project along with Emma, says that the children’s social skills have definitely improved and they are becoming more confident in their interactions and more comfortable with a wider variety of sensory experiences.

The visiting project is a great example of SCDA’s ethos, as they are passionate about increasing the opportunities for interaction between all members of their community. Based on the latest research about building social confidence and self esteem in both young and older people, games and activities are co-ordinated by the Southville Centre and Amerind Grove staff.

Tim Clark, Head of Family Services at SCDA said: “At the Southville Centre we have always worked hard to ensure we provide support to local groups and the community in wide and diverse ways through running our older people’s clubs as well as our nursery provision.  This project demonstrates the incredible benefits of integrating different generations and the children and older adults alike really look forward to the weekly visits.”

SCDA currently operates the award-winning Southville Centre on Beauley Road in Southville and is developing a second site on Chessel Street in Bedminster, which is due to open this November.

Steve Hawkins, CEO of Pluss

Pluss Work and Health Programme Announcement

The Pluss Organisation CIC is delighted to have been awarded the Work and Health Programme contract for Southern England by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This result will allow Pluss to support an even greater number of people with health conditions and disabilities into sustainable work.

Pluss has a proud heritage of supporting people with health and disability needs and has developed a new model called ‘Opportunities Unlimited’ that will deliver a truly personalised service for job seekers. The key principle to their solution is that with the right support, most people can find work and build a career. They want to ensure that no-one is left behind.

Pluss expects that at least 85% of participants on the programme will have a health condition or disability. They have therefore developed a locally integrated supply chain of specialist providers who will deliver innovative services to jobseekers across the entire Southern region.

The Southern Contract Package Area (CPA) covers the following Jobcentre Plus districts:

  • Devon, Cornwall and Somerset
  • Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Wiltshire and Dorset
  • Avon, Severn and Thames (excluding Milton Keynes and Aylesbury)
  • Berkshire, Surrey, Brighton and West Sussex

The needs of customers will be diverse and our delivery is designed to reach isolated coastal towns, dispersed rural communities and urban hubs.

Pluss will also continue to raise the profile of the DWP’s Disability Confident campaign to help employers fill vacancies through a diverse workforce.

Steve Hawkins, Chief Executive at Pluss, said “Pluss is proud that our health and disability expertise and performance has been recognised by the Department for Work and Pensions. We are delighted to have secured this contract which enables us to work with individuals, stakeholders and employers across the Southern region. We believe people of all abilities should be inspired to achieve a career and this has underpinned our vision for over 45 years.”

Pluss will begin delivery of the Work and Health Programme in January 2018. The contract will help over 35,000 people across the Southern CPA into sustainable employment over the next seven years.

Charity Bank logo

New ethical easy access account for charities and businesses

Good Money WeekTo mark Good Money Week (8th to 14th October) Charity Bank, the savings and loans bank with a mission to use money for good, is challenging charities and businesses to consider what their current bank is doing with their money and whether this is aligned with their organisation’s values.

Research commissioned by Charity Bank earlier this year into the attitudes of the public towards various aspects of banking found that 74% of the British public don’t know how their bank is using or investing their savings, whilst 71% would like their bank to make it clearer where their money is invested. In Charity Bank’s experience, there is a growing number of charities and socially-responsible businesses that are concerned about the social and environmental impact of where their savings are invested.

Launched this week, Charity Bank’s Ethical Easy Access Account offers a competitive rate of interest (of 0.50% gross/AER) to organisations looking for same-day access to their deposits. Money saved with Charity Bank is used to provide loans to support the work of charities and social enterprises across the UK. Eligible deposits up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK’s deposit guarantee scheme.

Justin Hort, Head of Deposit Strategy at Charity Bank, comments: “Moving savings can feel like a big task. However, it’s good practice to regularly review your savings accounts. Whilst the rate of interest often drives savings decisions we also encourage those managing charity or business finances to consider what their current bank is doing with their money.

“Our new Ethical Easy Access Account enables organisations to apply swiftly online, as well as receive personal support from members of our savings team if they wish. Because we are using our savers’ money to fund loans to charities and social enterprises, organisations can ensure their reserves are working for good whilst obtaining a competitive rate of interest.”

Annette Uttley from Voluntary Action Rotherham, a long-standing savings customer, said: “Our aim is to support groups and charities within the Rotherham borough and it’s important to us that every aspect of our work remains in line with our charitable mission. Charity Bank’s reputation and ethos encouraged us to open a deposit account with them in 2010, and its continued positive impact and fantastic customer support have kept us with them ever since.”

Workers at Sandford HydroAt Charity Bank, savers are provided with details of where their money is lent. Sandford Hydro is just one of the places that Charity Bank is helping have an impact. Upon completion, Sandford Hydro will be the largest hydro-electric plant on the Thames, generating approximately 1.6 GWh of clean electricity each year — enough to power around 500 households. Sandford Hydro is the brainchild of local community members, who saw an opportunity to do something good for the environment and to show what can be achieved when a community comes together in this way.

Adriano Figueiredo, Operations Director at Low Carbon Hub, comments: “We approached several banks for funding to help secure the future of Sandford Hydro, but what became clear very quickly was that Charity Bank really cared about our project and wanted to be a part of making it happen. Most commercial banks were singularly focused on the financial side of it, whereas Charity Bank was also interested in the social and environmental impact that our project would create. There was a clear alignment of objectives and we’ve had nothing but support and invaluable help.”

Since 2002, Charity Bank has provided over £195 million of loan finance to support organisations working to enrich and improve society. These loans have facilitated social impact across the UK covering a wide range of sectors. Charity Bank is one of the world’s most ethical companies, according to research carried out by The Good Shopping Guide. It is owned by charitable foundations, trusts and social purpose organisations; its staff do not receive discretionary bonuses. Charity Bank is also the only bank in the UK with the Social Enterprise Mark, recognising its social purpose and social sector ownership.

For more information on Charity Bank’s new Ethical Easy Access Account visit www.charitybank.org or call 01732 441944.

Charity Bank staff celebrate being named among Best for the World in global business honours

Charity Bank named among Best for the World in global business honours

Charity Bank logoCharity Bank, an ethical bank with a mission to use money for good, has been named among companies that are Best for the World in 2017, selected from more than 2,200 Certified B Corporations.

B Corporations are companies that meet the highest standards of verified overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability, and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

Charity Bank is recognised as being in the top 10 per cent for two categories: Best for Customers for creating the most positive impact on its customers, and Best for the Long Term for creating an innovative governance structure to protect its mission for the long term. B Corporations scoring in the top 10 per cent set a gold standard for businesses wanting to make a positive difference to the world around them.

Charity Bank made the list thanks to its exceptional practices, social sector ownership and social purpose. When you save with Charity Bank, your money is lent to charities and social enterprises working to create lasting social change in communities across the UK. Charity Bank is entirely owned by charitable foundations, trusts and social purpose organisations and its staff do not receive discretionary bonuses.

Charity Bank is a Social Enterprise Mark holder and became the first bank in Europe and sixth organisation in the UK to become a Certified B Corporation in January 2015. Today, there is a growing community of 150 Certified UK B Corporations committed to redefining success in business.

Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, said: “Companies like Charity Bank are proving that business can be a force for good for all stakeholders. We’re proud to share their achievement in a meaningful way. Best for the World is the only list of businesses making the greatest positive impact that uses comprehensive, comparable, third-party-validated data about a company’s social and environmental performance.”    

Patrick Crawford, Chief Executive of Charity Bank, said: “We are proud to be recognised as an organisation that seeks to maximise its social impact. These honours evidence how we put our social purpose and customer interests at the heart of our governance and decision- making. We stand with other organisations using business as a tool to build a better world.”

These honours are based on an independent, comprehensive assessment carried out by B Lab, the non-profit governing body of the standards. The full assessment measures a company’s impact on its workers, community, customers and environment. B Lab simultaneously released separate lists recognising Certified B Corporations as Best for the World (overall impact), Best for Customers, Best for the Environment, Best for Community, Best for the Long Term, Best for Workers and Best for the World: Changemakers.

Mosaic and tile-making classes

Art4SpaceArt4Space has launched a new programme of mosaic and tile-making classes, to run in Stockwell, London on Tuesday evenings from 12th September.

The classes are run by artists with over 15 years mosaic and ceramic experience who have a real passion for their art forms. The artists will inspire you to explore your creativity in a relaxed learning environment. These classes covers the basics as well as more advanced techniques – dive in at whatever level suits you! You will be introduced to the fundamentals of mosaics and ceramic which will allow you to progress onto further projects, e.g a mosaic art piece, plant pot, mirror frame, table top etc

  • We have a studio packed full of amazing materials for you to use and create your own art piece
  • All materials included in the cost.
  • Refreshments provided (that includes a glass of vino if desired!)
  • 10 week and 5 week courses available.
  • 20% discount at the Art4Space mosaic shop when you book a 10 week course.

All classes will run from 6.30pm – 9pm, starting on Tuesday 12th September.

Venue:

Art4Space Community Art Centre, Unit 1, 31 Jeffreys Road, London, SW4 6QU

5 mins from Stockwell tube, free parking.

Cost:

  • 10 week course – £230
  • 5 week course – £120
  • Drop in (per class) – £25

To book a place email Julie Norburn, or call 07816 386270.

#EnhanceSE programme

Enhance Social Enterprise programme of free workshops

As part of the Enhance Social Enterprise (#EnhanceSE) programme, Cosmic is delighted to be delivering two series of free workshops, focussing on Leadership in Social Enterprises, and Getting to Grips with Digital.

#EnhanceSE  is an European Regional Development Fund project, delivering support to social enterprises and social entrepreneurs across Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay, through to December 2019.  Cosmic is an Enhance SE partner, providing up to 12 hours of free support across three areas of business development; digital, leadership and growth, through a mix of workshops and mentoring.

See below for the Autumn Schedule of workshops:

You can view a fuller explanation of each of the workshop series, content, likely audiences and booking process in the below documents:

Bookings can be made online via Eventbrite.

Charity Bank’s loan book exceeds £100 million

Social Enterprise Mark holder Charity Bank, the ethical bank that uses savings to make loans to charities and social enterprises, today announced that its book of drawn loans has exceeded £100 million for the first time. The bank also shared details of its five most recent loans that helped it to reach this milestone.

Since 2002, Charity Bank has provided over £185 million of loan finance to support more than 850 organisations working to enrich and improve society. These loans have facilitated social impact across the UK covering a wide range of sectors, including arts, community, education, environment, faith, health, housing, regeneration, social care and sports.

Patrick Crawford, Chief Executive of Charity Bank, said: “At the start of 2015 we had a loan book of £52.2 million; two and half years later our loan book has almost doubled. Our growth provides further evidence of how more charities and social enterprises are using loan finance to help them deliver their missions.”

“We continue to be inspired by the charities and social enterprises we have the privilege to work with every day as they help the disadvantaged, enrich lives and improve communities. These organisations are the real heroes and it is our role and privilege to be here to support what they do.” 

The five loans that most recently helped Charity Bank grow its loan book to £100 million:

Elderpark Housing Association

Operating in the Govan area of Glasgow that has experienced significant challenges since the decline of its shipbuilding industry, Elderpark Housing Association is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve the quality of social housing available for local people. Currently providing 1,265 rental units, a loan from Charity Bank will enable Elderpark to refurbish 29 more units.

Glossopdale Furniture Project

Since 1997, Glossopdale Furniture Project has been providing good-quality household items at affordable prices to local people on low incomes. All furniture is donated with some being restored or built out of reclaimed material on site, so the project also contributes to recycling and reducing waste locally. A Charity Bank loan will assist with the purchase of a new shop in Glossop.

Hudswell Community Charity

With property and rental prices increasing in the Yorkshire Dales village of Hudswell, many local people with low income can no longer afford to live there. Hudswell Community Charity currently manages three houses in the village. With the help of a Charity Bank loan, the charity is building three more affordable homes, which will be rented to those most in need in the community.

YMCA Black Country Group

From accommodation and childcare provision to employment and health services, the YMCA Black Country Group provides a whole range of opportunities and support networks to help young people from across the Black Country build strong foundations for a better life. A loan from Charity Bank allowed the charity to consolidate its loans on terms that were better suited to its plans for the future.

Stretham & Wilburton Community Land Trust

The two East Cambridge parishes of Stretham and Wilburton came together in 2012 both to address the affordable housing crisis in the area that was resulting in local people and workers having to move away, and to give local people a voice in the development of their community. A Charity Bank loan has enabled the purchase of eight housing units, which will offer housing for 16 persons at below market rent.

Charity Bank’s Loan Portfolio Report for 2017/18 provides many more examples of social sector organisations using loan finance to help them deliver their missions.

University of Northampton given Gold rating for teaching excellence

New Social Enterprise Gold Mark holder The University of Northampton has recently achieved a second Gold – it was given the Gold Award in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest rating possible, which places it among the elite of the UK’s higher education institutions.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) has been introduced as the only official table which recognises high-quality teaching that better meets the needs of employers, business, industry and the professions, in addition to guiding students on the best places to study.

The official judgement by the Government’s review states: “Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Northampton delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.”

The Government looked at official data and details of what the University provides to its students, and found the following to be “outstanding”:

  • Levels of employment or further study for our graduates;
  • Assessment and feedback;
  • A personalised student experience;
  • Academic support;
  • Our approach to involving students in research, scholarship and professional practice – particularly research in the community and sector-leading work focused on social enterprise.

University of Northampton Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Petford, pictured, said:

“This rating by the Government is confirmation that the University of Northampton is one of the finest teaching institutions in the UK, offering our students an experience that many promise but few can deliver. Our staff and the students who have studied with us – both in the UK and overseas – can take pride today in this outstanding achievement. We may be one of the youngest universities in the UK – but are officially one of the best.”

“It is particularly pleasing to be recognised as a sector leader in social enterprise, something we have been building on strategically since 2010.  Our promise now is to build on this recognition of teaching excellence and continue to deliver our mission to transform lives and inspire change.”

The Government asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to implement the 2017 TEF exercise. Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: “Students invest significant amounts of time and money in their higher education. They rightly expect a high-quality learning experience and outcomes that reflect their potential. The UK already has a high bar for quality and standards, which all universities and colleges must meet. But the TEF judges excellence above and beyond this, clearly showing the highest levels across the sector.”

“The TEF measures the things that students themselves say they care about: high-quality, engaged teaching and a supportive, stimulating learning environment which equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential, and then to progress to a good job or further study.”

The TEF results and the evidence used in the assessment can be found at www.hefce.ac.uk.  The TEF awards will also be published on Unistats and the UCAS website, alongside other information, to help inform prospective students’ choices.

You can find out more about The University of Northampton’s Gold Award on its dedicated webpage.

Social enterprise launches new eco-foaming hand wash

New Honey Blossom Eco Foaming Hand Wash from Social Enterprise Mark holder CLARITY, is launched into large organisations and the government to support the employment of blind, disabled and otherwise disadvantaged people.

Developed in co-operation with the Cabinet Office and Interserve, the product, and the fact that CLARITY now holds The Planet MarkTM, emphasises their endeavour to improve environmental credentials.

The hand wash, made with 100% eco certified ingredients, is vegan, biodegradable and allergen, gluten and GMO free.  In addition, it is free from SLS, sulphates and parabens making it efficient and environmentally friendly for CLARITY’s customers. Care has gone into the selection of each and every ingredient.

The foaming hand wash uses just 20% of the dosage compared to the liquid alternative so will last five times as long.  Studies1 have found that foaming technology reduces the amount of water used by almost 10% whilst increasing the likelihood that individuals will wash their hands; promoting good hand hygiene.

The hand wash has been developed as a Buy Social Corporate Challenge product, an initiative from Social Enterprise UK, which Interserve is a partner of and the Cabinet Office supports. It aims to get businesses to spend £1 billion with social enterprises, such as CLARITY, by 2020. This hand wash makes it easy to switch your soap for social good.

Large corporations and Buy Social Corporate Challenge partners are planning to support the initiative by purchasing the hand wash, whilst several government departments are also set to switch to the new CLARITY range.

The hand wash is the first in CLARITY’s new environmentally friendly range – CLARITYeco. All the products in this range are being created with the environment at the forefront of the design process and will use natural, cruelty and paraben/SLS free ingredients.

Camilla Marcus-Dew, Head of Commercial at CLARITY said: “We are delighted to launch our new eco foaming hand wash with the support of our Buy Social Corporate Challenge partners. The result is an environmentally friendly product which will be loved by all employees, customers and visitors. It has secured employment for our staff, creating social value in many communities across the UK. We look forward to rolling it out to other Government departments and corporations.”

Richard Beattie, Director of Procurement at Interserve said: “At Interserve, we take our sustainability responsibilities very seriously – both from an environmental and social capital perspective. So, we are really pleased to be working with the CLARITY team to bring the first Buy Social Corporate Challenge product to market. This new product strengthens CLARITY’s offering by combining social impact and eco-friendly credentials – it’s a great product which I’m sure our clients will love.”

Peter Holbrook CBE, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK said: “This is a fantastic example of what’s possible when the public, private and social enterprise sectors collaborate to bring a commercial solution to market that will change the lives of disabled people. The Cabinet Office were a founding strategic partner of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, so it’s great to see them “walking the walk” through buying from social enterprises themselves. We’d like to now see other government departments, as well as more businesses, follow in their footsteps.”

Graduates

Recognising social enterprise excellence in Higher Education

Three UK Higher Education Institutions have become the latest organisations to be awarded the prestigious Social Enterprise Gold Mark, in recognition of their social enterprise excellence.

Plymouth College of Art, The University of Northampton and the University of Winchester join a growing network of gold standard social enterprises, which have proven their commitment to creating lasting positive impact on people and planet, through their trading operations.

Following a rigorous assessment process, the Social Enterprise Gold Mark awards were presented at our annual conference in Winchester on Monday 5th June. The awards were presented by James Evans, who is a member of the independent Certification Panel, which upholds the rigour of the assessment process and oversees the process of applications and assessments. The panel has the final decision on all applications for the Social Enterprise Gold Mark.

The Social Enterprise Gold Mark offers enhanced accreditation to social enterprises wishing to demonstrate their excellence, assessing three essential areas of business operations:

  • Governance – stakeholder representation in strategy and operation
  • Business ethics – complaints handling, diversity, equality, pay, workplace issues and social auditing
  • Social impact and financial transparency – how income and profits are used to create added social and environmental impact

The accreditation focuses on measuring what makes a social enterprise excellent, and how they can continue to improve their impact. Successful applicants receive an individually tailored action plan for continuous improvement, in line with guidelines of best practice.

Hannah Harris, Director of Development, and Professor Andrew Brewerton, Principal and Chief Executive of Plymouth College of Art, with the Social Enterprise Gold Mark award

Hannah Harris, Director of Development, and Professor Andrew Brewerton, Principal and Chief Executive of Plymouth College of Art, with the Social Enterprise Gold Mark award (Photo credit: Dom Moore)

Professor Andrew Brewerton, Plymouth College of Art’s Principal and Chief Executive said: “Creative learning is transformational: in terms of individual lives, the life of our community and its prosperity within the UK’s world-leading creative economy. The work of our staff and students at Plymouth College of Art and at The Red House, home to Plymouth School of Creative Arts, is deeply embedded in our community, and we feel honoured and delighted that this commitment over many years has been recognised with the Social Enterprise Gold Mark. This is in truth an acknowledgement of our community as a whole, and everybody across our networks of social engagement in Plymouth as a Social Enterprise City.”

Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of The University of Northampton receiving the Social Enterprise Gold Mark from James Evans

Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of The University of Northampton receiving the Social Enterprise Gold Mark from James Evans

Wray Irwin, Head of University Centre for Employability and Engagement at The University of Northampton, said: “Northampton leads the charge when it comes to learning that makes an impact on society. Our whole way of working reflects this; making a difference is in our DNA. Receiving professional recognition for this is great news, but the Social Enterprise Gold Mark in particular is testament to the dedication at Northampton, from students and staff alike to ‘do good things’ in the world beyond university. It goes without saying that the award really belongs to all of them. We all look forward to continuing on this path in the months and years ahead.”

Professor Joy Carter of University of Winchester receiving Social Enterprise Gold Mark from Lucy Findlay

Professor Joy Carter of University of Winchester receiving Social Enterprise Gold Mark from Lucy Findlay

Professor Joy Carter, Vice Chancellor at The University of Winchester, said: “As a values-driven university, all we do is closely aligned to the Social Enterprise Gold Mark priorities. From divesting our fossil fuel linked investments, our pioneering work with care leavers and others who are underrepresented in higher education, through to our world-leading research in peace and reconciliation, we are a university driven by a passion to make a difference. Big ideas, growing flourishing people and communities, being the difference for a better world. So we are delighted to have the Social Enterprise Gold Mark to help us both communicate our unique focus and priorities, as well as to be continuously challenged.”

Lucy Findlay, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, added: “We are delighted to welcome these organisations to our expanding network of ‘gold standard’ social enterprises. We have seen an increasing interest from the Higher Education sector over the last 12 months, which is an encouraging development, as it symbolises a commitment to creating social change, for which such institutions have a huge potential scope to achieve.”

Please click here for more information about the Social Enterprise Gold Mark.

Ealing Community Transport named Making a Mark competition winners

Ealing Community Transport, part of national charity ECT, was named as the winner of the 2017 Social Enterprise Mark CIC ‘Making a Mark’ competition at a celebration at our recent conference in Winchester. They were presented with a special award, created for us by Designs in Mind*, a social enterprise studio of designer makers who have been referred through mental health services.

Becky Casement of ECT accepting the Making a Mark competition award from James Evans

Becky Casement of ECT accepting the Making a Mark competition award from James Evans

This is the second year of the Making a Mark competition; a celebration of the vast and diverse social benefits created by Social Enterprise Mark holders, which highlights interesting examples of how accredited social enterprises are creating considerable social impact within their local communities and in wider society.

We invited James Evans of the Certification Panel to present the award, which was accepted by Becky Casement from Ealing Community Transport. James commended all the finalists on their achievements and congratulated them on making the shortlist, before presenting certificates to all the finalists who were in attendance at the conference.

Anna Whitty MBE, Chief Executive of ECT Charity, said: “We are thrilled to have been named as the winners of this year’s Making a Mark competition for our continued work to measure our social impact. We are committed to providing high quality, safe, friendly, accessible and affordable transport in local communities, so it’s really important that we can measure how well we are achieving these aims and what difference it makes.”

“In the last year alone ECT Charity has enabled more than 98,000 passenger trips for individuals and more than 60,000 group trips for over 400 community groups. We have also been able to calculate our social impact using our recently developed methodology. It allows us to demonstrate that in the past year ECT’s charitable activities have had a social value of £1.3 million; in the London Borough of Ealing alone, community transport could save up to £4.1 million annually by reducing isolation and loneliness. We are incredibly proud of these achievements and would like to thank Social Enterprise Mark CIC for their recognition of our work in this award.”

Lucy Findlay, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, said, “We are delighted to announce the long standing Social Enterprise Mark holder Ealing Community Transport as the 2017 ‘Making a Mark’ competition winners. They won because of their ability to demonstrate their social impact across a wide range of groups, including helping overcome social isolation. They clearly demonstrate social impact created for individuals using the transport, as well as contributing to the sustainability of local community groups. Well done to Anna and the whole ECT team.”

Selected from the diverse international network of accredited social enterprises, Ealing Community Transport was shortlisted alongside 6 other organisations, including The Big Issue Group and Epic CIC, which was named as the runner up. The competition shortlist was subject to a public vote and a separate vote by the independent Certification Panel, both of which accounted for 50% of the final result.

Maxine Willetts of Epic CIC accepting runner up certificate Making a Mark competition

Maxine Willetts of Epic CIC accepting runner up certificate for the Making a Mark competition

Nigel Kershaw of Big Issue Group with James Evans and Big Issue vendor Kevin Collick

Nigel Kershaw of Big Issue Group with James Evans and Big Issue vendor Kevin Collick


We would like to extend our congratulations to all of the competition finalists:

  • Connection Crew
  • Ealing Community Transport
  • Emmaus Cambridge
  • Epic CIC
  • South Shropshire Furniture Scheme
  • The Big Issue Group
  • Warrington Health Plus CIC

 


*Designs in Mind design and make products, working in textiles, wood, wire and glass. Through their work they aim to challenge mental health stigma and the predominant culture of low expectation which surrounds their designer makers, all of whom are adults referred through mental health services.

The Making a Mark award was created by a team of designer makers, including Amy, who explains her journey at Designs in Mind in this blog post. As a result of working on this award, Amy is now volunteering for Designs in Mind in public screen printing workshops.

Please click here to find out more about Designs in Mind.

Charity Bank: a bank for good

Big Society Capital invests a further £2.5 million in Charity Bank

Charity Bank announces strong start to the year as Big Society Capital invests a further £2.5 million

Big Society Capital has invested £2.5 million in the share capital of Social Enterprise Mark holder Charity Bank and has committed in principle to invest a further £2.5 millionon or before 1st December 2017. This will complete Big Society Capital’s pledge in March 2014 to invest up to £14.5 million in ordinary shares of Charity Bank.

Charity Bank, the ethical bank that uses savings to make loans to charities and social enterprises, has lent over £180 million since 2002. Charity Bank is run for the sector and owned by the sector, as all of its shareholders are charitable trusts, foundations and social purpose organisations. This further investment from Big Society Capital will allow it to make more loans to social sector organisations in the coming years.

This investment is made as Charity Bank experiences continued growth. Charity Bank has had a strong start to the year with £28 million of new loan approvals in the first five months of 2017. This continues the momentum since Big Society Capital’s initial investment in 2014, with the loan book growing by over 25% per year in the two years to 31st December 2016.

George Blunden, Chairman of Charity Bank, says: “These further injections of capital from Big Society Capital will enable us to meet the growing demand for loans from charities and social enterprises.”

“Share capital is vital to our mission. It underpins the bank and enables us to leverage our savers’ money. An investment in Charity Bank creates a multiple effect – for every £1 of share capital invested we can lend £8 to help create lasting social change in our communities.”

“When Big Society Capital pledged its original investment, we said that we hoped it would be the first of a small number of significant new investors over the next five to ten years. The Mercers Charitable Foundation invested a further £1 million in 2015 and the Barrow Cadbury Trust invested £250,000 in 2016.”

“We are inviting other charitable trusts, foundations and social purpose organisations to invest in our share capital and join with us in using the tools of finance to create a better society for all.”

Anna Shiel, Head of Origination of Big Society Capital says: Big Society Capital’s investment in Charity Bank plays an important role in making capital available to small and medium sized charities. Over 850 loans have now been made to organisations totalling more than £180m. These loans have helped support people all around the UK, with 97% of organisations saying it has contributed to achieving their mission and 68% saying the loan helped them to expand their services. Upon the completion of our investment, we look forward to seeing more people and communities supported by their work.”

Patrick Crawford, Chief Executive of Charity Bank, says: “The stable quality and growing size of our loan book demonstrate that loans can be an important and effective tool for social sector organisations seeking to make a bigger difference to the world around them.”

“In the face of a shifting political, social and economic outlook, one thing is certain: the social sector will continue to play a vital role in addressing the needs of communities across the UK. At Charity Bank, we have the resource and capacity to play our part. We are here to help charities and social enterprises adapt, take advantage of new opportunities and create a better world.”

A team from Linklaters led by Aisling Zarraga and Rebecca Rigby acted on a pro-bono basis for Charity Bank, supporting its General Counsel in advising the Board on Big Society Capital’s investment. Linklaters has contributed over 1,000 hours of specialist legal advice to Charity Bank over the past four years.

Have we forgotten to ask how we can BE and DO better?

By Caroline Bartle, Managing Director of 3 Spirit UK

I started to write this blog at the start of the year. Normally this is a time most people take stock and ask how can we BE and DO better?  However, within our social care sector, this reappraisal is not new, but rather ongoing, and insidious.  We are constantly being asked, how we can DO better. For many services this has resulted in cutting back, and prioritising profitability.

However, what is the impact of this?  Is there a hidden cost of dwindling social care funding, creating highly competitive, low cost, low value services? Has this disproportionate focus on the turning a profit  taken us away from more ethical aspects of our work, as we forget to ask how can we BE better? Surely the test of how we can ‘BE’ better as a social care service lies within the ‘social impact’ that we have, not in the profit that we accrue.

About twenty years ago after a relatively short career in social work I became a proprietor of a social care business at the age of 27, and when I look back over the last two decades I see the factor which drove me to business was the freedom to BE the person that I wanted to be. Because of this, I get immense pleasure from my work, and my collaborations. I spend time working with the individuals that I chose, and I have the opportunities to learn about, and develop what I determine as critical, interesting and applicable. I am motivated, engaged and free to be innovative. My values are at the heart of my business, sometimes at the expense of profit.  Over the years my values have evolved. As a young entrepreneur, I was always interested in creating and sharing, however now I am more concerned about how these collaborations impact on our communities, collectively and positively.

Despite being a ‘for profit’ organisation, we shared our resources, widely and openly (with no material gain), and attempted to reach out to individuals and organisations through our work. Whilst we have had many supporters, we have also been met with some alarming responses: individuals proactively unfollowed us, and actively excluded us. It was disappointing and deeply demotivating. There appears to be a lack of trust in our sector: driven possibly by competitive, anti-collective forces.   Consider though what the possibilities might be for our sector if we are able to foster trust, and build alliances beyond the competitive limitations of market forces. What if we all shared common goals, the communities that we serve? What if there was a less of a ‘me’ mentality and more of an ‘us’?

The growth of a market was stimulated, in part with the introduction of the Community Care Act, and has relied on competitive forces, creating best value. However, how effectively does this model work now, in this current climate?

In 2012 the government introduced the Public Services (Social Value) Act in an attempt to get commissioners to consider the social impact of their buying power. However, this only applies to high value contracts. So what of all the other services, or individuals, purchasing services in their community? Whilst these services are regulated by the CQC, many are driven by profit, and may not always be making their decisions in the interests of ALL of their stakeholders.  If we are to really make a ‘shared society’ work, should we not ‘expect’ that social enterprises are afforded preferential treatment at a local buyer level? In 2015 there was a review of the implementation of the Social Value Act, suggesting that the Act be extended to contracts below the public spend threshold. It is my view this could be extended further than suggested.

In the healthcare market we have already seen many services become social enterprises. Health has long had an expectation that it should service all stakeholders, as since the introduction of the NHS, it has been free at the point of delivery.

However, that is not the case for social care: the expectation remains that many providers maintain a ‘for profit’ status. Many business minded individuals identify opportunities in a growth market, particularly in the community, where there is a growing need to support individuals with more complex levels of care. The question is – how sustainable is this in the current market? Does the social enterprise model work better in this climate, and if so – should commissioners consider this as part of their market shaping strategy as part of a long term goal for smaller, as well as large organisations? Could this be applied across all types of services, particularly training services like us, whom should be embodying an example, as advocates of ‘best practice’.

So, what are your driving values as a proprietor? To make a profit or make a difference? Whilst on the face of it, it may be a little more complex than that, determining the overriding priorities will help to properly focus priorities on outcomes. As an education provider in social care, we aim to buck the trend, and embody this change.

Social enterprise  is a more comfortable fit for us: synergy with stakeholder expectations and our activities. Through raising awareness, we aim to provide better insights into the experience and needs of the individuals we support in the social care sector.  From a business perspective, it seems to make sense, as it is through trading that we may have a bigger impact in society.

Visionary device scoops £20k award

An innovative device, which will improve the quality of life of thousands of people with double vision, has received £20,000 after winning a top award.

Social Enterprise Mark holder The Beacon Centre and University of Wolverhampton joined forces to offer the 2017 Beacon Visionary+ Challenge Award. The winner of the award has been announced as the Lens Slip Occluder, which was developed by Burton-on-Trent company DHC Informatics Ltd.

The revolutionary Lens Slip Occluder has been developed primarily to treat and alleviate diplopia (double vision) but it can also be effective in the treatment of visual disturbance caused by such conditions as multiple sclerosis, stroke, head injury, cataracts and glaucoma. It is an optical device worn over a pair of glasses to improve vision when reading books, magazines or newspapers, watching television or using a computer.

The award consists of £10,000 social investment from Beacon and £10,000 worth of consultancy support from the University of Wolverhampton. The winner was chosen from a shortlist by a panel of leading tech entrepreneurs and sight loss experts, chaired by Dr Stephen Fear, the ‘phonebox millionaire’.

DHC Informatics’ Director Rebecca Harrison said: “Diplopia is one of the most common vision disorder in the UK today.  There are over 100,000 MS sufferers and over 150,000 people suffer a stroke each year, more than half of whom will experience problems with diplopia or blurred vision.

“Occlusion is one of the first line treatments recommended by the RNIB, NHS and MS Society.”

DHC Informatics was supported through development of the new product concept by the Innovative Product Support Service (iPSS), which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is available to small companies across the West Midlands Region.

Professor Andrew Pollard, iPSS Project Director at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “We were delighted to see the design work carried out by the iPSS team lead on to such great recognition for DHC, and it demonstrates once again that there is always room for innovation.”

In making the award, Arwyn Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Beacon, said:  “We were particularly impressed with the presentation from DHC and the fact that their new product can quickly get to market and benefit people with double vision disorders. Beacon is delighted that the competition prize will be used to help the business move forward and develop new products. Our investment has inspired an innovative sensory solution that delivers on the aims of the charity.”

Rebecca Harrison of DHC Informatics added: “The design help we received from iPSS was fantastic and we are delighted that we will now be able to carry out further research and development at the University of Wolverhampton having won the Beacon prize.”

New Digital Marketing apprenticeship scheme with top Devon employers

Social Enterprise Mark holder Cosmic is an advocate when it comes to apprenticeships. They took on their very first apprentice, Ben, in 1998 and he is still a valued member of the team. Since that time, apprenticeships have changed and Cosmic has evolved their offering to suit the needs of those looking for this type of work.

In 2013, Cosmic secured funding to run their very own digital apprenticeship programme, which saw them employ six young people and gave the opportunity to provide them with a wealth of digital knowledge. The apprenticeship enabled these young people to work on a variety of areas within the business. This includes website design and development, technical support, digital marketing and training; as well as the opportunity to gain placements with a number of partners, including Mole Valley Farmers, Yarlington Housing and Eloquent Technologies.

Since then, Cosmic has been working with the Exeter and Heart of Devon employment and skills board to look at different ways in which we can offer apprenticeships. We are all aware that there is currently a skills shortage within the digital sector. Many organisations recognise the need for digital within their businesses, but do not have the expertise to support these roles or do not need these roles on a full-time basis. With this in mind, Cosmic has designed an apprenticeship model which allows other organisations to benefit from Cosmic’s digital skills and offers a more flexible approach. They have called it the ‘Carousel Apprenticeship’.

In 2016, Cosmic held talks with several members of the Exeter and Heart of Devon employment and skills board around this approach and it was agreed to move forwards with two other employers: The Deer Park Hotel and River Cottage.

So how does it work? Cosmic have employed a digital marketing apprentice; Gemma Spencer, who began the new programme in February 2017. Gemma attends college for 1 day a week and works at Cosmic for 1 day a week. During that time, she focuses on learning a range of digital marketing skills. She then works 1 day at the Deer Park Hotel and 2 days at River Cottage, allowing her to apply her learning to different organisations. The businesses benefit from a skilled digital apprentice and Gemma benefits from a wide range of learning through a number of organisations.

Already, Gemma is embracing the new way of working and has grasped the opportunity with both hands. She says, “I am looking forward to this new type of apprenticeship.  Being able to work with different companies such as Cosmic, The Deer Park and River Cottage is a fantastic opportunity, giving me the chance to build strong relationships and gain as much experience as possible. One of the things I am looking forward to the most is being able to experience different working platforms, and interacting with so many different people. This will teach me to keep an open mind and have multiple perspectives for each company and their brand. Every day in the week will be something new with different surroundings and I’m more than excited for the opportunity”.

Cosmic joint CEO Julie Hawker said, “Cosmic has for many years made a major commitment to its own apprenticeship programme, and has offered new opportunities and employment to local young people. This new initiative to share our passion and commitment, as well as employment of apprentices with other local employers, is a fantastic development and one which we look forward to replicating many times in the years ahead.”

Managing Director of the Deer Park, Mark Godfrey advised “Deer Park are committed to the apprenticeship scheme and are proud of what we have achieved with our partners; River Cottage, Bicton College and Exeter College. We have had 6 apprentices working with us in the last 4 years and it’s great to see them all develop and move up the employment ladder with good qualifications.

We have been lucky enough to have apprentices from Bicton in our garden department growing produce for our River Cottage apprentices to cook for our 2 Rosette restaurant served by our Front of House apprentice from Exeter College. Now that’s a great example of plot to plate and growing your own!

And now working with Cosmic and River Cottage we have the great opportunity to have a Digital Marketing Apprentice working with us one day a week under a newly developed Carousel scheme, a fantastic opportunity for Gemma.”

All partners are delighted to be running this new programme and cannot wait to report on the programme at the end of 18th month scheme. Cosmic is extremely proud of the apprenticeships they have offered over the last 19 years. They will continue to look for new innovative ways in which to reduce the skills gap and enable other organisations to embrace technology through apprenticeships.

The most rewarding ISA in the world?

The British public wants banks to lend to organisations and projects that benefit society, but most people do not know what happens to their savings while they are deposited with their bank.

This is one of the findings of a new piece of research conducted by Social Enterprise Mark holder Charity Bank, the ethical bank with a mission to use money for good, as it launches its campaign and film to persuade the public to transfer their Cash ISA to an ethical provider.

Charity Bank commissioned Opinium to research the attitudes of the general public towards various aspects of banking. This research found that:

  • 74% of the British public don’t know how the money they save in their bank is being used or invested;
  • 71% would like their bank to make it clearer where their money is invested;
  • 56% would like to be an offered an ethical option when choosing a savings account; and
  • 61% would consider opening a savings account that paid a fair rate of interest and lent money to charities and other good causes.

Patrick Crawford, Charity Bank’s Chief Executive, said, “People don’t know what banks do with their money but the findings tell us that there is an appetite to find out and that people would like their savings to be used for good causes.

“Wherever it’s invested, money takes a journey. This might be around the globe, around the big banks or on the stock markets. Sometimes it does good along the way; sometimes it doesn’t.

“When you open a Cash ISA with Charity Bank, we give you a fair rate of interest, whilst making sure your money takes a shorter journey. It spends less time travelling and is invested directly in charities and projects that benefit people across the UK.

“At Charity Bank we are transparent about the organisations to which we lend, sharing stories of change and social impact data from the charities and social enterprises that we support. This is why we think our ISA might just be the most rewarding Cash ISA in the world.”

Details of Charity Bank’s Ethical 33-Day Notice Cash ISA:

  • 0.90% Gross/AER;
  • Up to £15,240 a year (2016/17 tax year allowance) can be saved;
  • Open to transfers-in from current ISA managers;
  • Minimum opening balance of £250;
  • 33-day notice period; and
  • Available to UK residents aged 16 and over.

For full details visit the campaign page.

Rachel Wang Nominated for the UK’s Largest Diversity Awards

Rachel Wang FRSA, a black business leader and social entrepreneur from Wandsworth, has been nominated for the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award at The National Diversity Awards 2017.

The Breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral will play host to this year’s awards, to be held on 8th September. Britain’s most inspirational and selfless people will come together to honour the rich tapestry of our nation, recognising individuals and groups from grass-roots communities. The prestigious black tie event recognises nominees in their respective fields of diversity including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.

Rachel Wang is an award-winning Black British filmmaker with fifteen years experience producing digital content for museums and galleries. Rachel is the founder of Social Enterprise Mark holder Chocolate Films, a video production company based in Battersea, where she oversees the production of factual content for a wide range of clients including The National Gallery, TATE, Museum of London, IoD, National Autism Society, Facebook and Arup.

Rachel set up Chocolate Films as a not-for-profit social enterprise that runs an extensive outreach programme alongside its film production services. Chocolate Films Workshops offers opportunities and training in media to over 2000 disadvantaged young people every year. Rachel is also the Creative Director of the largest documentary series ever made about a city – www.1000londoners.com, a community cohesion project that celebrates the diversity of the capital.

The National Diversity Awards receives over 20,000 nominations and votes annually. Founder & CEO Paul Sesay said, “Unlocking Britain’s diverse talent and rewarding unsung champions remains at the heart of these awards. As we enter our 6th year, I know there are still so many game changers who remain unnoticed and unheard. We aim to provide a platform for those who have the passion and determination to spread the positive message of inclusivity. I look forward to learning about this year’s nominees and witnessing their spectacular journeys.”

Nominations are now open and close 9th June 2017 – so don’t miss out on your chance to get involved! Shortlisted nominees will be announced shortly after this date. To nominate Rachel Wang please visit nominate.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk, or for a nomination form please email [email protected].

Cockpit Arts logo

Cockpit Arts – ‘Cockpit Effect’ Report

Makers’ engagement with Cockpit Arts’ Business Incubation equals greater success

Social Enterprise Mark holder Cockpit Arts has recently published its Cockpit Effect Report on the growth and development of craft businesses based at their two business incubation centres in London.

Having celebrated their 30th Anniversary year in 2016 and reflected on the evolution of the business, they are now fully focused on the future. The celebration of Craft and Makers, alongside addressing of the question, ‘Why does an organisation like Cockpit Arts exist and what is its purpose?’ will still continue, since this is the question they continually ask themselves in order to respond effectively to makers changing needs. However, at the same time they will also examine the effect of what they do.

Key findings

The annual Cockpit Effect Report is based on Partnership Reviews conducted with makers at Cockpit Arts during the 12 months to October 2016. These reviews captured data for the two preceding years, allowing a comparison to previous Cockpit Effect reports and to any external reports.

  • The Cockpit Effect Report 2017 highlights that the greatest possible impact – financial, social and cultural – is generated by makers who engage the most in Cockpit Arts’ Business Incubation services.
  • Financial performance: Looking at the group as a whole, the results are very positive. Average turnover rose by 14% from 2013/14 to 2014/15 and at £58,099 for 2014/15 is nearly double that reported in 2010. This is also significantly higher than the average craft business related income of £19,827 reported by the Craft Council in 2012. Average profit for 2014/15 was £14,004, 47% higher than 2010.
  • Cultural Achievements: The non-financial cultural based data collected for the whole group was also encouraging, with many makers reporting gaining major stockists (24%); being featured in a major publication (26%); securing grant or funding support (18%) and being selected for a major selling event (35%).
  • Social Impact: The Partnership Reviews ask makers about major changes within their businesses: The two most cited changes are improved profile (45%) and improved web/social presence (51%).
  • Employment: As a group, makers’ contribution to employment continues to be significant. Just under 10% of makers directly employ on a PAYE basis (the same level reported in our previous Cockpit Effect) whilst 61 (54%) either employ freelancers or outsource part or all of their production. Commitment to entry level employment is high, with 27% taking on interns and 8% offering places to apprentices. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the support provided by Cockpit Arts’ Creative Employment Programme.
  • Engagement: Where engagement with the Business Incubation team is greater, the results are better, as evidenced by the makers featured as Maker Stories. Read more below.
  • Awards & Bursaries: Makers joining as part of an Award or Bursary programme need a rigorous framework to ensure the best possible outcomes within the duration of their short term award. Those who do engage fully with the business incubation offer show the best results.

The Cockpit Effect 2017 findings will be taken into account as Cockpit Arts evolve their incubation offer for the future and consider options for further expansion. In the meantime, they are committed to communicating makers’ successes more widely: they believe that individual successes they may be, but collectively they have the power to affect the Craft sector as a whole by influencing and inspiring others.

The full report can be viewed on the Cockpit Arts website.

SCDA launch local social bond offer for new community centre and nursery

Social Enterprise Mark holder Southville Community Development Association (SCDA) and Triodos Bank have launched a bond offer to help raise £280,000 towards the cost of the Chessel Centre, a new £1.19m community hub and nursery in Bedminster, Bristol.

The centre, which will open in the autumn, will comprise a 54-place nursery, a meeting room for use by local community groups/activities such as after-school clubs for children and social clubs for older people, as well as large outdoor play spaces for the nursery.

Working in partnership with the corporate finance team at Triodos Bank, the SCDA bond is expected to pay 4% gross fixed annual interest for six years. The minimum investment is £500 and investors in the project may be eligible for Social Investment Tax Relief.* Payment of interest and repayment of capital are not guaranteed and are dependent on the continued success of the SCDA’s business model and the new nursery.

The SCDA’s core activity is the provision of high quality childcare and education for children under five, with around 180 local children using its nursery services at the Southville Centre. The OFSTED outstanding rated nursery has been such a success that it is currently at full capacity, with a waiting list of 250 children and families often waiting up to two years for a place. As an ethical organisation the charity also holds the Social Enterprise Mark and Gold Standard from the Green Business Tourism Scheme.

The opening of this second nursery will not only enable more families to have access to high quality local childcare and provide additional community facilities for the area but, by generating greater surplus, will enable the SCDA to increase its charitable activities and investment into the Bedminster community. Situated on the site of the former Boys Brigade building at the corner of Chessel and Garnet Streets, the new 476 sq m Chessel Centre will also support the local economy by providing new jobs and using local contractors for the building works.

The £1.19m total cost of transforming the site is being met through a combination of £196,000 from the charity’s reserves, capital grants and repayable finance. In addition to the funds raised through the £280,000 public bond offer, the SCDA has been awarded grants from Bristol City Council (£74,000) and the Power to Change Community Business Fund (£300,000). Furthermore, the bond is expected to qualify for a further £280,000 of matched funding from Big Society Capital managed by Ethex.

Simon Hankins, CEO of SCDA, said: “Our values as an organisation have always focused on what’s best for our local community. The exciting thing about this bond is that Triodos found a way to allow our community members to invest in something that will directly benefit them in return, in respect to both our shared community and our financial wellbeing. I like to think of it as a form of crowdfunding for BS3.”

Dan Hird, head of Triodos Bank Corporate Finance, comments: “It’s not often that investors get the chance to support a well-known charity on their own doorstep and actually see the positive change their investment can have. We’re confident that local investors will want to support the SCDA as they address the growing local childcare need and improve the lives of area residents.”

For more information please visit the SCDA website.

 


* The SCDA has received advance assurance from HMRC that the bond offer should be eligible for Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). SITR encourages individuals to support charities and social enterprises and in turn helps those charities and social enterprises to access new sources of finance. Individuals making an investment in the bonds can, depending on their circumstances, benefit from income tax relief at 30% of the amount invested. The availability of SITR can increase the total return over the full term of the bond to an estimated 10.3% gross per year for a higher rate (40%) taxpayer. The ability to benefit from SITR depends on an investor’s personal circumstances, current tax legislation and the company’s compliance with the rules.

Investment decisions must only be made on the basis of the offer document and not on any information provided in this news release. Investing in the SCDA bonds is not the same as depositing your money in a bank account as your capital is at risk and you may not get back the full amount that you invested. An investment in the SCDA bonds is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Big Issue Invest Launches ‘Impact Loans England’ Programme

Social Enterprise Mark holder Big Issue Invest has today launched Impact Loans England, a new £5 million lending scheme aimed at enabling social enterprises to access loan funding of between £20,000 and £150,000.

The programme is funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, with finance being provided by its partners Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.

Impact Loans England GRAPHIC

The Impact Loans England programme is now available to organisations across England with the £5 million to lend over the next three years. The funding is available to organisations keen to do more of the good work they do – whether it’s buying equipment, hiring new talent, or progressing with business development plans.

Daniel Wilson-Dodd, Head of Lending at Big Issue Invest says, “A lot of great organisations struggle to access small and medium-sized loans, so we wanted to provide support for those exciting social enterprises and charities.”

One of the first organisations to take advantage of the new finance scheme is Impact Hub Birmingham. It offers office and events space for like-minded social enterprise and arts organisations, hosting one-off workshops and ongoing collaborative projects. The hub’s city centre building opened in May last year, after a crowdfunding campaign raised an initial £65,000 for an impressive refurbishment of a Victorian warehouse.

“We were interested in building a better Birmingham, and thought that having a place to bring together lots of organisations with good ideas was a good way of achieving that,” says Andy Reeve, co-founder of Impact Hub Birmingham.

The team behind the Hub has encouraged a range of groups to work together on specific policy challenges and themes, like better childcare. “We’re providing the opportunity for people to work together on a consistent basis,” Reeve explains. “The financial support from Big Issue Invest will allow us to expand what we do.”

The Impact Loans England programme is a continuation of what Big Issue Invest has been doing over the past few years in other schemes aimed at helping social enterprises grow, often by accessing finance for the very first time. Big Issue Invest anticipates the popularity of this programme and is planning to deliver a deal a week for the first six months after launch.

Applications for Impact Loans England are now open. For more information please visit bigissueinvest.com or email [email protected]. You can also download the brochure.

A Twitter Q&A with @BigIssueInvest will be held in February, using the tag #ADealAWeek.

Global champion of standards for social enterprise

Further expansion of our international network

As a global champion of social enterprise standards and the body responsible for the only internationally available social enterprise accreditation, we are delighted to have recently expanded our international network of accredited social enterprises, representing a five-fold increase within 2 years.

nappNetwork of Asia and Pacific Producers Limited (NAPP), part of the the global Fairtrade organisation, working to secure a better deal for farmers and workers in Asia and Pacific, has recently been awarded the fifth international Social Enterprise Mark. NAPP joins the global Fairtrade certification body FLOCERT, along with AUARA (Spain), C3 (UAE), and Northdoc (Ireland) in the growing network of organisations outside the UK accredited with the Social Enterprise Mark, proving a commitment to trading for the benefit of people and planet.

We have a proven international assessment process that can be applied anywhere in the world. We also offer an international consultancy service to advise global counterparts looking to set up similar accreditation schemes for social enterprise within their own countries.

By offering an alternative approach to trade, Fairtrade supports producers in securing better markets, contributing to greater sustainable development in the Asia Pacific region. NAPP certifies farmers and workers across this region, all of whom share ownership of the Fairtrade system and have an equal voice in decision making. As a Producer Network, NAPP ensures their voice is heard in the system.

“Fairtrade Network of Asia and Pacific Producers is delighted to be accredited with the Social Enterprise Mark” says Ayan A. Banerjee, CEO of NAPP.

“We look forward to the collaboration and are confident that it will further our mission of providing fairer terms of trade to our producers in the Asia and Pacific region. Fairtrade strengthens the position of farmers and workers in the value chain, and by being part of the international social enterprise network, we can help better serve our producer network.”

Lucy Findlay, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, said “We are delighted to welcome NAPP as our newest international Social Enterprise Mark holder. It is exciting to now be working with two organisations within the internationally recognised Fairtrade movement. NAPP are fulfilling an important role, working to secure a better deal for farmers and workers in Asia and the Pacific.”

“With the UK recognised as a pioneer in the social enterprise business model, we are proud to act as a global champion of credible standards for social enterprise, and are encouraged to see our network continuing to expand across international borders. We are the world pioneers of social enterprise accreditation; ours was the first Mark of this kind for social enterprises, and in welcoming NAPP as a Social Enterprise Mark Holder, we look forward to exploring how we may be able to further recognise and promote social enterprise best practice in this region and beyond.”

Please click here to find out more about our work as a global champion of social enterprise.

Evenbreak

Channel 4 to advertise all jobs on specialist site promoting disabled talent

channel-4Channel 4 has announced that it will advertise all of its future vacancies on Evenbreak; a specialist job site run by and for disabled people.

Channel 4 hopes the initiative will attract even more applications from disabled people in a bid to further diversify its workforce and help disabled people break into the media industry.

The broadcaster’s commitment in promoting diversity is firmly established and well documented thanks to its unrivalled commitment during 2016, its Year of Disability. This included acclaimed coverage of the Rio Paralympics, and ground-breaking initiatives such as its £1m Superhumans Wanted campaign, which offered £1 million worth of commercial airtime to an advertiser prominently featuring disability in its adverts, and channel 4’s Rio Production Trainee scheme which saw more than  20 disabled trainees and mid-level staff work on its Rio Paralympic content.

Social Enterprise Mark holder Evenbreak is the only specialist job board in the UK run by disabled people for disabled people. Channel 4 will be the first major broadcasting organisation to routinely post all of its vacancies on Evenbreak, demonstrating once again its commitment to diversity and offering opportunities to disabled people.

Graeme Whippy, Disability Workplace Specialist at Channel 4, said: “Channel 4 took significant steps during the Year of Disability to increase the representation of disabled people on-screen, off-screen in production and in our own back yard. As we move into 2017 it’s critical that we maintain the momentum we built during the Year of Disability and build on its successes – hence the importance of our partnership with Evenbreak to facilitate a pipeline of disabled talent.”

Nichola Ivory-Chapman, Head of Talent Acquisition at Channel 4, said: “Diversity is in Channel 4’s DNA  and we know that recruiting talent from diverse backgrounds encourages our workforce to be vibrant, creative and think differently. It can be a challenge though to reach out to job seekers from under-represented groups which is why we wanted to partner with Evenbreak to help us attract applications from disabled people.”

Jane Hatton, Founder and Director of Evenbreak, said: “Channel 4 has demonstrated a genuine commitment to inclusion and accessibility, and Evenbreak is delighted to be involved in their programme to positively attract disabled candidates.”

Real Ideas Organisation wins national social enterprise award

cial Enterprise Mark holder RIO – the Real Ideas Organisation – a social enterprise based in the south west has won the Inspiring Youth Enterprise award at the UK Social Enterprise Awards.

These annual awards recognise excellence and outstanding achievements by social enterprises – businesses that reinvest their profits for good, benefitting people and planet. There are now more than 70,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing £24 billion to the economy each year.

Real-Ideas-Organisation-Trading-LtdReal Ideas Organisation (RIO) is a pioneering social enterprise supporting people to build better futures. RIO believes social enterprise has the power to create a fairer world. By influencing policy, delivering programmes and supporting and developing people and places, the business is committed to growing social enterprises to unlock potential and create opportunities. RIO also developed the SEQ, the world’s first social enterprise qualification.

Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive of RIO – the Real Ideas Organisation said: “We are thrilled to have won the Inspiring Youth Enterprise Award at the UK Social Enterprise Awards – giving us national recognition for the work we do with young people and communities.”

“We have been championing social enterprise and the power it has to empower people and transform places for almost a decade. Next year we will celebrate 10 years as RIO and to win such a prestigious national award shows how far we have come as an organisation; it is a wonderful early birthday present.”

The awards ceremony was attended by leading UK social enterprises, representatives from large corporates and the Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP.

Social enterprise supply chain

RIO and the other winners were presented with bespoke trophies made by the social enterprise, Designs in Mind, which employs people with mental health problems. Social enterprises also supplied all the goods and services on the night, including the catering, rigging, drinks, flower displays and goody bags.

The awards are organised by Social Enterprise UK, the national trade body for social enterprise.

Peter Holbrook CBE, Social Enterprise UK’s Chief Executive, said:

“Year on year the UK Social Enterprise Awards get bigger and better. This year the competition was particularly fierce, so a big congratulations to RIO for taking home a trophy.”

In a year that’s been dominated by political uncertainty, divisions and inequalities, hearing the stories behind the winners and all the finalists has been a breath of fresh air. Social enterprises show that another way of doing business is possible, one that puts people and the planet first. Because they’re free of shareholders they’re able to reinvest their profits for good.”

SCDA get go ahead for new community centre and nursery

Work will start next week on a new community centre in Bedminster, Bristol, which will house a 54 place nursery, offices for the management charity and a new community centre.

southville-centreThe site on Chessel Street was purchased by Social Enterprise Mark holder Southville Community Development Association (SCDA), the team behind the successful Southville Centre, 18 months ago after several years of searching for a suitable location to open additional nursery provision in the area. The SCDA currently has a waiting list of around 250 children with many families having to wait up to two years for a place.

Following a long period of consultation, planning permission was granted by Bristol City Council earlier this month to demolish the present building and construct a new structure to provide the much-needed facilities. Bristol-based Helm Construction has been appointed by SCDA to carry out the works. Demolition works will commence on Monday 21st November and the new building, which will be named the Chessel Centre is due to be open in autumn 2017.

The building on the corner of Chessel Street and Garnet Street was the site of the former Boy’s Brigade and known locally as the John Millard Memorial Hall. The SCDA carried out viability studies on converting the existing building but it was not viable to do so given the inefficiency of the current building.

Tim Clark, head of family services at the SCDA commented: “There is huge demand in the Bedminster and Southville area for quality childcare provision so we’ve now been looking for a suitable site for several years. Chessel Street is a great location and the plans are to build a space that will provide an additional 54 nursery places for local children.”

“It’s incredibly important to us that we work closely with the community to deliver a centre that suits their needs and also grows the local economy by providing new jobs and using local contractors to carry out the works.”

The £1.12 million project is being funded through a combination of the charity’s reserves, capital grants and repayable finance. Early next year the community will have the opportunity to invest in the centre as the final part of funding required will be financed by a bond issued by the SCDA and promoted by Triodos Bank. Details of the bond offer will be announced in January 2017.

For more information please visit www.southvillecentre.org.uk

NatWest SE100 announce shortlist for Social Business Awards

SE100 AwardsNow in its 7th year, the leading market intelligence resource for social ventures, the NatWest SE100 Index, has announced the shortlist for its 2016/17 Social Business Awards.

Revealed at the annual Good Deals social investment conference on 13th November, a total of 26 organisations have been shortlisted, celebrating the most inspiring and effective social enterprise leaders, and the strength, impact and resilience of the sector in the UK. The shortlist includes Social Enterprise Mark holders Furniture Resource Centre (FRC), Manor House Development Trust, and Pembrokeshire FRAME Ltd.

Each of these organisations have been shortlisted for the Impact Champion award, and Simon Donovan of Manor House Development Trust has also been shortlisted for the Leadership Champion award.

Shaun Doran, FRC Group

Shaun Doran, FRC Group

Shaun Doran, CEO of FRC, said: “We are delighted to be once again shortlisted for an SE100 Social Business Award. It means a great deal to us to be recognised nationally as an organisation that helps makes a real difference and changes people’s lives.”

“Our vision is of a society where people can obtain good quality, affordable furniture without experiencing the devastating impacts of furniture poverty – no bed to sleep on or unmanageable debts. Our mission is to reduce and ultimately eradicate furniture poverty, campaigning to raise awareness and create practical solutions to get furniture to people who need it. This award nomination really helps to draw attention to the problem.”

Jennifer Sims, CEO of Pembrokeshire FRAME said: “It is not easy to explain all the good that we do, so the SE100 index is important to us as it allows us to showcase our activities and benchmark ourselves against other social enterprises across the UK.” 

Mark Parsons, Head of Community Finance and Social Enterprise, NatWest, said: “The SE100 Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the very best in UK social enterprise. This year’s strong shortlist showcases the vibrancy and diversity of these businesses, which are making our economy more successful and our communities stronger. NatWest has been a proud supporter of the sector for many years and we look forward to welcoming all of those shortlisted to the Awards ceremony in January.”

Tim West, CEO of Matter&Co and founder of the SE100, said: “Running any business is challenging – running a business that changes people’s lives and stays profitable at the same time is nothing short of miraculous. This year’s SE100 shortlist is making miracles happen for people and communities all around the country. We look forward to learning how they do it and sharing their stories, as we select our winners over the coming months.”

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in London on Thursday 19th January 2017, to celebrate the achievements of all the fantastic social change makers on the Index.

Awards winners will receive a professionally produced winners film about their organisation to use across future PR and marketing collateral, a beautiful SE100 trophy created by social enterprise artists, and a share of cash prizes totalling £6,000.

Best of luck to all of the shortlisted organisations. For more information please visit the SE100 website.

Column Bakehouse on a roll with landmark University deal

Plymouth-University-1Students, staff and visitors at Social Enterprise Mark holder Plymouth University will now be able to enjoy local artisan bread and baked goods on campus thanks to a landmark deal between Column Bakehouse and University Commercial Services Plymouth Ltd (UCSP).

The deal will see the award winning Column Bakehouse – Plymouth’s first and only social enterprise bakery – supply seven cafés and catering outlets on the Plymouth University campus as well as the professional hospitality kitchen, all run by UCSP Ltd.

Claire Burgess, Commercial Manager for Column Bakehouse said: “We’re thrilled to be entering into this new wholesale arrangement with UCSP Ltd. We have built a loyal following from our Devonport Guildhall base, but to really grow our business in line with our ambitions we need to maximize wholesale as well as retail opportunities.”

“This new partnership with Plymouth University through UCSP Ltd will support our plans for growth, enabling us to get our award winning product out there to be enjoyed by even more people.”

Matthew Hodson, Commercial Services Director at UCSP Ltd said: “We are real admirers of the fantastic food produced by the Column Bakehouse and are delighted that we can introduce them to the Students, Staff and Customers in our award winning campus cafés. We take our responsibility to deliver a high quality, sustainable and good value experience very seriously and this arrangement with Column Bakehouse will certainly support us in this mission. It is a fantastic example of like-minded South West businesses collaborating to succeed.”

Column Bakehouse is part of leading social enterprise Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), also a Mark holder, which uses social enterprise as a vehicle for positive social change.

The Bakehouse is situated in the Grade I listed Devonport Guildhall in Plymouth. Since its launch in 2013 it has picked up awards from Food Plymouth as well as ‘Best Start-Up’ Awards from the Plymouth Herald and Western Morning News.  Specialising in a wide range of artisan breads – particularly sourdough – Column Bakehouse has become the destination for connoisseurs of bread and baking for its top quality product, knowledgeable team, and family friendly on-site café.

Real People HR shortlisted for Personnel Today Awards

Real-People-High-res-1Social Enterprise Mark holder Real People HR has been shortlisted for Consultancy of the Year at the Personnel Today Awards 2016.

These annual awards celebrate talent in Human Resources, and the Consultancy of the Year category celebrates the important contribution made by external experts to the success of HR in organisations.

Helen Giles, Managing Director of Real People, said: “We are really pleased to be a finalist for such a prestigious award. We are proud of the difference our consultancy work has made to the charities and socially minded businesses we support, and are very pleased that the Personnel Today Awards recognise great work done in the not-for-profit as well as the commercial and public sectors.”

The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony in London on 22nd November 2016.

To find out more, please visit the Personnel Today website.

Accredited social enterprises shortlisted for prestigious awards

We were delighted to see so many Social Enterprise Mark holders shortlisted for the upcoming 2016 UK Social Enterprise Awards, including long-standing Mark holder Connection Crew, which is shortlisted for the prestigious Social Enterprise of the Year accolade.

Congratulations and best of luck to all the following organisations:

  • Beacon Centre – One to Watch Award
  • Big Issue – Consumer Facing Social Enterprise Award
  • Big Issue Invest – Social Investment Deal of the Year
  • se_brand_approved_rgbBusiness Launchpad – Inspiring Youth Enterprise Award
  • Connection Crew – Social Enterprise of the Year
  • Co-wheels – Environmental Social Enterprise Award
  • hisBe – Consumer Facing Social Enterprise Award
  • Iridescent Ideas – Social Impact Award
  • Real Ideas Organisation – Education, Training & Jobs Social Enterprise Award and Inspiring Youth Enterprise Award
  • Helen Giles, MD of Real People HR – Social Enterprise Women’s Champion
  • The Soap Co. (subsidiary of Clarity) – One to Watch Award
  • Turning Point – Health and Social Care Social Enterprise Award

Winners will be announced at a ceremony and gala dinner in London on Monday 28th November 2016. Good luck to all the shortlisted organisations.

Pioneering competition launched by Beacon Centre

Social Enterprise Mark holder Beacon Centre for the Blind has launched a pioneering competition to improve the lives of those living with sight loss and or other sensory loss.

Beacon Visionary ChallengeInventors across the West Midlands are being urged to sign up for the Beacon Visionary+ Challenge which has a prize fund worth £20,000. It aims to find innovative products or services; from gadgets that may make everyday tasks a little easier to a ground breaking invention which would transform someone’s life.

Beacon Centre has joined forces with the University of Wolverhampton’s Caparo Innovation Centre to run the competition. The winner will receive a £20,000 prize, comprising a combination of cash investment and in-kind support from the state of the art innovation centre. The aim is to help bring the winning product or service to the open market faster and more effectively.

Arwyn Jones, Beacon Centre Chief Executive  said: “Across the West Midlands there are already around 170,000 people affected by sight loss, by 2050 this will rise to some 350,000.”

“Beacon Centre is a leading sight loss charity and we want to inspire new products or services that could transform everyday life for people with visual or other sensory impairments and has the potential to be launched on the open market.”

Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of Product Innovation at the University of Wolverhampton’s Caparo Innovation Centre added: “We’re excited to be working with the Beacon Centre to deliver the Visionary+ Challenge, and looking forward to working with inventors and entrepreneurs to help them develop their products.”

The competition’s patron is Dr Stephen Fear, a renowned entrepreneur and businessman, notable as having been Entrepreneur in Residence at The British Library where he continues in his role as ambassador. He said: “Innovation is a vital element of entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurs create general wealth which extends beyond just the financial. Inventing and discovering new things has been part of UK culture since the doomsday book and the West Midlands has been a honeypot for inventors since the industrial revolution.”

“This new initiative by The University of Wolverhampton and the Beacon Centre for those with sight impairment aims to help new inventors and entrepreneurs bring innovative products and concepts to market which benefit both themselves and society generally.”

Those interested in applying, can find more information can be found on the Visionary+ Challenge websiteThe competition will be open for submission of entries from the beginning of September 2016.

On 18th October, prospective applicants can attend the Caparo Innovation Centre for a one to one advisory session to polish their submission, or take part in an online YouTube Live webchat with Nick Comley, Beacon’s Head of Social Finance and Business Development. The drop in sessions and webchat will run from 2.30pm – 4.30pm GMT from the University of Wolverhampton.

Roots HR logo

Roots HR launch free HR advice line for NCVO members

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) last week announced West Midlands-based Social Enterprise Mark holder Roots HR CIC as a Trusted Supplier for HR services, including the provision of free HR advice for NCVO members.

roots-hr-teamRoots HR has offered high quality people management and employment law advice, tailored to the not-for-profit sector, as part of its well-established and popular stakeholder-led COMPLY service, since inception in 2009. It will deliver the free HR advice line service in a similar way, with unique terms for NCVO members, funded through income generated from trading surpluses. Members wishing to purchase additional consultancy time will be able to do this at discounted rates.

The service, provided by Roots HR’s team of fully qualified and experienced chartered consultants, is offered from 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank and public holidays). NCVO member organisations can access the service by phoning Roots HR on 01562 840060 or emailing [email protected], quoting their NCVO membership number.

Jan Golding, Chief Executive of Roots HR comments: “We are very pleased to offer this service to NCVO members. We believe every not-for-profit organisation should have access to professional advice in respect of its workforce. We have always offered our own “once in a lifetime” hour of free consultancy services to allow social sector employers to experience the benefits and will continue to do this. Our work with NCVO will enable us to deliver significantly increased impact for our sector.”

Chris Taylor, Enterprise Development Manager, NCVO said: The quality offered by all of our Trusted Suppliers to our members is of the highest importance to NCVO. Roots HR offer a flexible HR Advice line service which we are delighted to have negotiated for our members, strengthening our membership offering. Good HR practice is an essential part of supporting the voluntary sector workforce and ensuring organisations are run effectively.”

Ingeus and Pluss combine expertise in work, health and disability

IngeusPluss - Experts in...Ingeus and Social Enterprise Mark holder Pluss have announced a joint initiative to help people with disabilities and long-term health conditions into sustainable work.

The collaboration brings together Ingeus’ proven expertise in supporting jobseekers, including those with complex health conditions, with Pluss’ award-winning approach to helping people with disabilities back into work.

As experts in work, health, and disability support services, Ingeus and Pluss are bringing together their collective expertise and extensive experience working with employers to develop a new service offer for the Work and Health Programme and to help half the disability employment gap. Both organisations will also share their extensive experience of working with employers to open up job and career opportunities for all.

This new initiative will combine the specialisms and proven methodologies of both organisations to deliver a next-generation employment support programme. As performance-focused values-driven organisations, they have set up a joint project group and are developing a new locally integrated service blending support for employment, health conditions and disabilities.

Steve Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer at Pluss says: “I am delighted that Pluss and Ingeus have come together to launch this ground-breaking initiative. We share a deep-rooted commitment to helping transform the lives of those facing difficulties in securing work through health or disability.  Pluss’ collaboration with Ingeus will increase our impact, enabling us to further support the Government’s commitment to halve the disability employment gap.”

Jack Sawyer, Chief Executive Officer at Ingeus says: “It is a fantastic opportunity to be working with Pluss. Teams of both organisations are now working together to develop a next-generation employment programme that will lead the field and offer an effective evidence-based approach to tackling unemployment, health and disadvantage.”

Both Ingeus and Pluss will remain separate organisations, retaining full independent control of their contracts and service delivery.

Unlimited Potential shortlisted for Living Wage Champion Awards 2016

living-wage-awardsSocial Enterprise Mark holder Unlimited Potential has been shortlisted by the Living Wage Foundation for the Living Wage Champion Awards 2016, which recognise Living Wage employers that have made great contributions to communities and industries by implementing and celebrating the Living Wage.

The Living Wage Foundation offers a recognition mark for employers that commit to paying the Living Wage. There are now over 2,700 accredited employers, including Unlimited Potential and Social Enterprise Mark CIC

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.

“Unlimited Potential chose to be a Living Wage employer because we want our people to be paid competitively and to be treated fairly, sharing in our success”, said Chris Dabbs, Executive Director of Unlimited Potential.

Living Wage Foundation Director, Katherine Chapman said: “I would like to offer huge congratulations to Unlimited Potential on being shortlisted for the Living Wage Champion Awards. The commitment of Living Wage employers like Unlimited Potential to responsible pay makes a life-changing difference to families and communities across the UK. We look forward to celebrating this even more when announcing the winners of the regional awards during Living Wage Week which will begin on 31st October.”

The award winners will be announced during Living Wage Week, with one winner announced for each region of the UK: Scotland; Wales; Northern Ireland; the East Midlands; the West Midlands; the East of England; Yorkshire and the Humber; North East England; North West England; South East England; South West England; and London.

The awards are judged by an independent panel of community leaders from Citizens UK; national community organising charity and home of the Living Wage campaign.

Julie Hawker awarded Society of Leadership Fellow

CEO of Cosmic and Social Enterprise Mark Ambassador Julie Hawker has recently been presented with a new role, that of Society of Leadership Fellow of St. George’s House, Windsor Castle. Julie joins a very impressive host of fellows and Cosmic are extremely proud to be represented in this way.

St. Georges House was founded in 1966 by H.R.H The Duke of Edinburgh and the then Dean of Windsor, Robin Woods, as a place where people of influence and responsibility in every area of society can come together to explore and communicate. Their vision is ‘To effect change for the better in our society by nurturing Wisdom through dialogue’.

As 2016 marks the fiftieth anniversary of St. George’s House, they wanted to celebrate by establishing a new leadership community that will become a permanent feature of the way the House works. The leaders are chosen from every sector of society and economy and support each other with their own leadership development.

Julie was initially approached to become a Fellow because of the focus Cosmic have, as an ethical IT company and the work around digital inclusion and social enterprise. Julie’s digital leadership focus has also been a contributing factor to the fellowship. She will now be part of a great team of fellows who meet at least once a year at Windsor castle for Leadership conversations.

To find out more about St. George’s House and the work they do please visit their website www.stgeorgeshouse.org.

University of Salford Enterprise team recognised for entrepreneurial support

SalfordSocial Enterprise Gold Mark holder University of Salford has been recognised for its efforts in engaging students in enterprise activity, at a prestigious awards ceremony.

The Enterprise team in Student Experience and Support won the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) Award for Entrepreneurship, in recognition of the services that the enterprise team offer to students, both within the curriculum and within its extracurricular support opportunities.

Over the last five years, £1 million has been invested into student and graduate entrepreneurship at the University of Salford. This has included investment in start-up grants, incubation services and the team co-founded the largest dedicated Postgraduate Enterprise student conference in the UK – Enterprise Futures. This conference aims to inspire entrepreneurship and encourage postgraduates to turn their research ideas into venture creation, now working in partnership with The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Dominic Martinez, Head of Business and Enterprise, said:  “I am delighted that a combination of workshops, boot camps, individual one-to-one meetings and our incubation services had an impact on over 2300 students and graduates last year and we got great feedback from our students in a recent survey of over 1000 of people who use our services. We have a small team but it is a massive team effort, and to get external recognition alongside the recent Vice-Chancellor’s awards for our team is thrilling.

“As well thanking the internal Enterprise team, I would also like to give credit to our external advisory staff Adrian Ashton, Isla Wilson and Jon Monk for their hard work”.

University of Salford prides itself in offering lifelong enterprise and business start-up support to all students and graduates both within the curriculum and beyond. This can consist of anything from funding advice, to support with writing business plans. The enterprise team also offer hugely popular workshops, such as Enterprise Academy sessions. These run which run in early evenings, to allow students and graduates to attend outside of their class time. Since Jan 2015, more than 30 events have been held, with great success attracting nearly 1000 students.

AGCAS is the professional body for careers and employability professionals working with higher education students and graduates and prospective entrants to higher education.

Student Satisfaction at Social Enterprise Universities

Two universities that have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark have scored highly in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS).

MARJON-LOGO-CMYKUniversity of St Mark and St John in Plymouth (Marjon) has shot up the league tables, showing the highest percentage point increase of any university this year, rising up the rankings to be rated joint 35th out of 160 universities in the country, with 89% overall student satisfaction.

Several Marjon courses were ranked joint top in the country with 100% satisfaction, including the innovative new Acting degree, which sees its first students graduating this year, to the long established and well respected Secondary Education with PE. Other courses with 100% satisfaction were Sport Development with Physical Education and Sports Media and Journalism, showing a breadth of talent across all three Marjon faculties.

The University as a whole scored well across a breadth of measures such as Teaching (90% satisfaction), Personal Development (89% satisfaction) and Learning Resources (88% satisfaction). This positioned it above eight of the 10 other universities in the South West including Plymouth, Bristol, UWE, Bath Spa and Falmouth. Out of the 24 Russell Group universities in the UK, only six came in higher than Marjon for student satisfaction. When compared to other “modern” universities, excluding specialist and private providers, Marjon now ranks joint 6th in the country.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Cara Aitchison said “Our personalised approach to education ensures that all of our students thrive within a welcoming and supportive university environment that stimulates them to achieve academic success while also developing the skills, confidence and experience to succeed in graduate-level employment and life more generally.”

“We often hear positive feedback from students about the high level of support they receive and the excellent facilities we have here on campus, but we are all delighted to see this reflected in this important independent survey.”


 

Coventry UniCoventry University was  ranked 11th in the UK with 91% overall student satisfaction, and is the UK’s best at boosting students’ confidence. Coventry also secured joint top spot nationally in the personal development category, in which students were asked to assess how their confidence, communication skills and ability to tackle problems had improved during their studies.

Coventry was also ranked first amongst modern universities for both personal development and for the organisation and management of its courses. Out of all the non-specialist universities in the Midlands, Coventry secured top spot for personal development and finished joint first for teaching, and organisation and management.

The positive feedback that students have reported around their own personal development is especially satisfying for the University as it strives to increase accessibility to higher education and enhance the learning experience for those who come to study at Coventry.

Vice-Chancellor John Latham said At Coventry University we’re really focused on enhanced learning. What that means in practice is that alongside gaining knowledge in a specific field and acquiring a worthwhile qualification we want our students to grow in confidence during their time here so they feel well equipped for the workplace and beyond when they leave us.”

“We’re very pleased to have once again scored highly in the personal development category in this year’s student survey. It’s particularly satisfying given our student demographic and especially rewarding to watch them become more self-assured while they study here.”


The results of the 2016 NSS were published this week, showing a high level of satisfaction among students studying at UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Further Education colleges and alternative providers, with 86% saying they are satisfied overall with their course. The NSS covers nearly all final-year undergraduates studying for Higher Education qualifications. The survey is funded by the four UK higher education funding bodies.

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Pluss wins ERSA ‘Disability and Health’ Award

PlussSocial Enterprise Mark holder Pluss was recently named the winner of the Disability and Health Employment Award at the annual ERSA Employability Awards.

The Employability Awards, now in their fourth year, showcase and champion best practice from across the employment support sector, celebrating the hard work and achievements of those involved in supporting people into work. The Disability and Health Employment Award recognises a provider who has demonstrated exceptional commitment in supporting job-seekers with limiting disabilities and health conditions to achieve sustained employment.

Pluss was also highly commended in the IEP Professionalisation Award, which recognises the commitment of an individual, team or organisations to championing the professionalisation of the employment support sector.

To find out more about the awards, please visit the ERSA website.

Charity Bank: a bank for good

Free loan webinar for charities and social enterprises

Social Enterprise Mark holder Charity Bank is holding a free 45-minute webinar on 14th May 2016, designed for trustees and senior managers of charities and social enterprises considering loan finance,or for those who simply want to learn more.

The webinar will cover:

  • evaluating if loans are right for your organisation
  • the pros and cons of loan finance
  • how trustees can evaluate the risks of loan finance
  • how loans can help you grow your income and improve your sustainability
  • what lenders look for and how to deal with lenders
  • insights from Coast & Vale Community Action and other social sector borrowers
  • an opportunity for you to ask questions

The webinar will be hosted by Charity Bank and loan recipient Coast & Vale Community Action (CAVCA). Together they are well positioned to answer your questions on charity loans.

Charity Bank webinarSign up now

The webinar is on Thursday 14th July 2016 from 11am to 11.45am. Please click here to register.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Speakers

Jeremy Ince is a Charity Bank Regional Manager. In addition to his work with Charity Bank, he is a trustee of a major youth charity in Yorkshire. As such he is acutely aware of the funding challenges and opportunities that charities face.

Mel Bonney-Kane is CEO of Coast & Vale Community Action, an infrastructure organisation involved in the facilitation of a thriving and sustainable voluntary, community and social enterprise sector across the Ryedale District and Scarborough Borough of North Yorkshire.

 


 

About Charity Bank

Charity Bank is a bank for good, owned by charities and social purpose organisations. It lends to charities, social enterprises and other organisations with a social purpose.

 

 

Social Enterprise Mark holders working together to add social value

Social Enterprise Mark holders Cosmic and Pluss have worked closely together for several years, through project work, development of a new Pluss website and, most recently, the creation of a new video to showcase the outcomes for clients that Pluss have supported into finding employment.

The objective was to produce a video that created real emotions, which was achieved using a number of techniques, including using upbeat, optimistic music to create a positive atmosphere to the video, and showing the case study clients smiling and proactively interacting with others. Incorporating positive words from those that work with each of Pluss’ clients also added to the optimism of the video.

Cosmic filmed over several days at a variety of locations, to capture the stories of a number of Pluss’ clients and their employers, to produce a final video (shown below) that showcased their individual stories, difficulties and the positive outcomes of finding employment.

Feedback from Pluss was exceptionally positive – Geraldine Scott-Smith, Communications and Public Affairs Manager, said; “Quite simply, I love it. I think you have done an amazing job – you just seemed to get what I wanted and have been a pleasure to work with too.”

For more information on this project, please visit the Cosmic website.

Help & Care named Making a Mark competition winners

Dorset based charity Help & Care was named as the winner of the Social Enterprise Mark CIC ‘Making a Mark’ competition at a celebration at our recent conference in Salford. They were presented with a special award, created for us by Rowan, an arts centre and charity for learning disabled people.

The Making a Mark competition was a celebration of the vast and diverse social benefits created by Social Enterprise Mark holders, and highlighted interesting examples of how accredited social enterprises are creating considerable social impact within their local communities and in wider society.

Mark Sharman accepting awardOn accepting the award, Mark Sharman, CEO of Help & Care, said  “We were both surprised and delighted to receive this award because it is not a recognition of what we do or how we do it.  It is about the most important thing which is what impact are we having on the lives of people and communities.  It is a recognition of our great staff and volunteer team who live our values to make a difference.”

Lucy Findlay, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, said, “We are delighted to announce the long standing Social Enterprise Mark holder Help & Care as the ‘Making a Mark’ competition winners.  They won because they not only help people who want something different and better out of life, they can also demonstrate clearly how they are making a difference to people’s lives.  Well done to Mark and his team.”

Selected from over a network of over 200 accredited social enterprises, Help & Care was shortlisted alongside 6 other organisations, including Golf Environment Organization and Iridescent Ideas. Following a public vote and a separate vote by the independent Certification Panel (both accounting for 50% of the final result), the result was a close call, with not much to seperate all the well deserving finalists. We therefore decided to announce a runner up – this was awarded to Welsh community transport provider Llanwrtyd Wells Community Transport.

We invited Mark Cotton FRSA to present the award, and he commended all the finalists on their achievements and congratulated them on making the shortlist, before presenting certificates to all the finalists who were in attendance at the conference.

L-R: Laura Burns (LWTC), Mark Sharman (Help&Care), Mark Cotton FRSA, Mona Karraoui (GEO), Gareth Hart (Iridescent Ideas)

L-R: Laura Burns (LWTC), Mark Sharman (Help&Care), Mark Cotton FRSA, Mona Karraoui (GEO), Gareth Hart (Iridescent Ideas)

We would like to extend our congratulations to all of the competition finalists:

  • ShortlistCockpit Arts
  • Eden Project
  • Golf Environment Organization
  • Help & Care
  • Iridescent Ideas
  • Llanwrtyd Wells Community Transport
  • Work West

 

New Media Programme for Vulnerable Adults Living in Woolwich

In July, Social Enterprise Mark holder Chocolate Films launches a large scale media and film-making programme in the heart of Woolwich for disadvantaged residents of the borough.

They are are offering people who have complex issues such as substance misuse and mental health issues, as well as those experiencing difficulties finding housing, childcare and employment, a range of training and skills opportunities in media. Chocolate Films will support and train up to 20 people from across Greenwich Borough.

Participants will gain practical film-making skills with professional filmmakers on the latest digital equipment, including sessions on tablet and smartphone film-making, social media and digital marketing, interview and presentation techniques. They will be trained in PAT testing and will receive AQA accreditation as part of the programme.

Chocolate Films hope that participants on the workshops will see a meaningful and positive long term effect on their lives, transforming their confidence and opportunities for the future. They are working in conjunction with Lifeline and CGL, who are experts in supporting vulnerable participants and who will be offering recruitment, advice and guidance throughout the programme.

The programme has been borne out of the success of the 2 and a half year programme where Chocolate Films trained a number of Greenwich based participants in setting up their own film-making social enterprise. The success of this project can be witnessed in Mark and Christine, who after starting our training with no experience in film-making, have now set up their own social enterprise partnership SElect18.

Mark explains, “Being involved in Chocolate Films workshops has helped my recovery beyond any words I can summon; indeed, I struggled so much with social phobia that I doubt I’d have been able to express myself before my involvement with Chocolate Films. The film-making process has helped me overcome these issues with social phobia and awkwardness and to realise that one of my strengths is actually in social settings with an ability to communicate. A lot of this happened in film planning sessions and later during filming and editing. The sort of change I experienced cannot happen in the normal therapeutic setting I’m used to, I needed the challenging but safe, real life scenarios of being involved in film-making. Social phobias and anxiety is a very common issue for those recovering from substance use and dependence, and is often the cause of relapse.”

Chocolate Films is a film production company based in South London that works with disadvantaged people to help them improve their lives through developing media and communication skills. Commenting on the new project, Rachel Wang, CoDirector of Chocolate Films said: “ I am really passionate about offering media skills and training to support and encourage participants as part of their recovery. This was new ground for us 3 years ago, and so I am thrilled that we now have the expertise to continue to offer these workshops to participants in the borough of Greenwich.”

Westway Trust #CultureMakers

Social Enterprise Mark holder Westway Trust are giving young people aged 16 – 24 the power and the money (up to £400) to bring a creative project to life.

The Trust is now recruiting for a second group of #CultureMakers, providing:

  • Mentoring and training from creative professionals
  • Inspiration through a range of creative activities chosen by you
  • Showcases and promotion
  • Opportunities to make industry connections
  • Rewards for participation
  • Support and guidance all the way from the #CultureMakers project team
  • Bespoke support from a number of arts organisations
  • Up to £400 funding for your project

To apply, fill out a simple on line application at http://www.westway.org/become-culturemaker by 10am on 13 June.

Pluss named as ‘Building Better Opportunities’ lead partner

Social Enterprise Mark holder Pluss has been successful with five stage one applications for the ‘Building Better Opportunities’ programme across South West England and West Yorkshire.

‘Building Better Opportunities’ is a project jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. It focuses on promoting social inclusion, and driving local jobs and growth.

Pluss will now be working with local partners and stakeholders on stage two bids which, if successful, will allow them to maximise the impact of £21million in funding over three years to support people with disabilities, mental health issues, ex offenders, troubled families, and black, Asian and ethnic minority groups.
The five stage one areas are:

  • PlussCornwall and Isles of Scilly
  • South and East Cornwall
  • Devon, Plymouth and Torbay
  • Somerset
  • Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield

Pluss is currently a prime provider of services for the Department for Work and Pensions and aims to build its impact across South West England and West Yorkshire aligned to devolution.

Pluss Chief Executive, Steve Hawkins, said “Pluss is aiming to be the provider of choice to support thousands of disadvantaged people across the South West, West Yorkshire and neighbouring regions into sustainable employment.”

“Working with the Big Lottery Fund is a proud moment for Pluss and our partners. This result confirms that our partnership approach has the potential to deliver significant positive social change at a time when devolution means local areas are taking on more responsibilities for their own future.”

Successful outcomes at stage two will see delivery of these programmes begin in early 2017.

For more information please contact Geraldine Scott-Smith, Communications Manager, on 07766 367267 or via email.

Liverpool Social Economy Panel welcomes Minister for Civil Society

Social Enterprise Network (SEN) recently welcomed Rob Wilson MP, the Minister for Civil Society, to address its new Social Economy Panel in Liverpool, on Thursday 12th May.

Leading figures in the local social economy, including representatives from the Heseltine Institute, Social Enterprise Mark holder Fusion21 and others, met with Rob Wilson MP, to discuss the growing social and community enterprise sector in the City Region – and how this can be developed and sustained for the future.

SEN LiverpoolSEN has led the way on social economy issues in the region in recent years, and in the last 12 months has launched its Masterclass programme of business advice for social entrepreneurs, in addition to the Liverpool Soup project to fund new social projects. Its new Social Economy Panel will be meeting regularly to work on new initiatives for the region, whilst also promoting the brilliant work being done by social enterprises locally.

Rosie Jolly, Chief Executive of SEN, said: “It was great to welcome the Minister for Civil Society to the city to see first-hand some of the work that our members are doing, and to discuss with the panel of practitioners some ways of improving and expanding their service provision. Our members and associates are working hard to improve lives and it is fantastic to see government taking more of an interest in the work they do.”

While in Liverpool, Rob Wilson MP took the opportunity to promote the Cabinet Office’s current call for evidence on mission-led businesses. The Social Economy Panel is making a joint submission to the call for evidence, and is keen to ensure that the mission-led business review is an opportunity to help the social enterprise sector in Liverpool and beyond.

Dave Neilson, Chief Executive at Fusion21, said: “As a national social enterprise, Fusion21 is committed to supporting the creation of social value within Liverpool and across the UK – this can range from tackling worklessness, to supporting apprenticeships, or reducing reoffending.”

“We work closely with the Social Economy Panel to develop and share innovation in social value policy and practice – and meeting Rob Wilson MP was a fantastic opportunity to showcase what is being achieved by ourselves, and other organisations within the city.”

Responses to the Cabinet Office’s Call for Evidence can be made at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mission-led-business-review-call-for-evidence-opens-and-expert-panel-members-named

 


Social Enterprise Network supports the development and growth of social entrepreneurship across the north west of England and north Wales, raising both levels of engagement and trading ability of social enterprise businesses to enhance their economic viability, sustainability, social and environmental impact and contribution to the local economy. For more information, please visit http://www.sentogether.net/

 

Digital leadership programme to create a new generation of business leaders

Social Enterprise Mark holder Cosmic recently announced the launch of their new Digital Leadership training programme.

Cosmic has launched this new programme in response to research carried out both locally and nationally looking at Digital Leadership in business. The evidence suggests that in many cases there is little or no real understanding of what Digital Leadership actually is and how it will impact on their business. The research identified that many businesses are investing in digital skills, but businesses are yet to address this issue at senior executive and Board levels.

The programme will be led by Cosmic’s own Digital Leaders Julie Hawker and Kate Doodson, who bring over 20 years’ experience of working within the Digital sector.

Julie said: “Many of the businesses we’ve been working with in recent months have identified a need to address skills development at senior levels, which is why we’ve taken time to research and respond to this issue. Whilst lots of businesses have been addressing the need to ‘digitise’ their operations, not many have yet truly embraced the digital transformation of their business by putting digital in the mix for new services, products and customer experience. This requires a new mindset and approach by our business leaders and decision-makers”.

Those engaged in the programme will get access to the latest national and international strategic thinking on digital leadership and be exposed to new business models help to develop ways to increase productivity in their business. Learning will cover subjects ranging from the digital workforce, business innovation, digital disruption, strategy and change management.

As an introduction to the programme, Cosmic are running free taster sessions – the first two being held in May, you can find out more and how to book via their website.

As part of the programme, Cosmic have produced a White Paper on Digital Leadership. The report provides reflections on the challenges which leaders and managers face in dealing with the changes which digital technologies are bringing. To access a copy please contact Vicky at Cosmic.

Kate Doodson said: “The phrase Digital leadership will become common parlance soon, as it will be a way to demonstrate progressive and engaged leadership in a digital world. Gartner suggests that a quarter of all businesses will lose their market share by 2017, if they don’t embrace digital, so suddenly it has become a business imperative. It’s time for business leaders in the South West to grasp this nettle and understand how to bring digital into strategic thinking to create a stronger future economy for our region”.


Conference_speakersJulie Hawker will be speaking on the subject of Digital Leadership at our Standing up to Scrutiny conference in Salford on 9th June 2016.

Please click here to book your tickets.

The Big Issue Celebrate 200 Million Sales

On 7th April 2016 The Big Issue celebrated 200 million sales in Britain.

In almost 25 years since its founding, the iconic magazine has changed the publishing landscape and the lives of thousands and thousands of people, working on the simple ‘A hand up, not a hand out’ mantra.

The Big Issue is not a charity, it is not a governmental agency, yet in that time it has allowed the poorest in Britain to earn more than £100 million. Without The Big Issue that huge figure would have had to come from begging, crime or the Exchequer. It is calculated that this money has resulted in an additional return for society of almost £500 million. This is through a simple business solution to a societal problem.

“We’re so proud to be able to mark this occasion,” said editor Paul McNamee. “When John Bird established The Big Issue in 1991 he wanted to offer the poorest in society a means to earn their own living, to work their way back up from the bottom, to see a future. John always thinks big but I don’t think even he would have seen 200 million sales. We’re delighted to be here, to be a print title that is putting on sales as others decline and to remain a vital force for the men and women who want to earn but have seen normal life close down.”

Big Issue MD, Russell Blackman added ”200 million copies sold is an incredible land mark and testament to all the vendors that have stood out there, in any weather, running their own micro-enterprises with a sense of dignity. The social impact that has been created by these sales is profound.’’

Big Issue 200million eventTo mark this fantastic date, The Big Issue has teamed up with prolific street artist Ben Eine who is most notable for his alphabet lettering on shop shutters and walls, to design a very special edition front cover of the magazine. Eine, one of Britain’s best urban artists, has created an exclusive cover using his unique lettering style. In collaboration with Eine and Jealous Gallery in Shoreditch, The Big Issue celebrated the landmark 200 millionth copy of the magazine sold with a special one-off exhibition of three new Ben Eine editions produced and hosted by Jealous Gallery.

At the public opening on Friday 8th April, Eine’s new prints were officially launched to fans and collectors alongside a selection of his previous print editions, produced in the Jealous Print Studio. A percentage of sales are going to The Big Issue to help with their on-going mission to help vendors help themselves.

“I am honoured to be able to be in a position where I can give something back and The Big Issue is an organisation that I feel passionate about. Any of us can become homeless pretty easily” said Ben Eine

For more information about the event, please visit The Big Issue website.

Change Makers to drive down pollution during Cleaner Air Action Fortnight

100 Change Makers will be out at air pollution hotspots across six central London boroughs on the 9th and 16th March to ask drivers to turn off their engines when parked in a bid to drive down air pollution.

The initiative, which harnesses the power of local residents and workers to drive change, is being led by Cross River Partnerships’ Clean Air Better Business programme which is supported through the Mayor’s Air Quality fund. The initiative is in collaboration with Social Enterprise Mark holder Global Action Plan, the UK’s leading environmental behaviour change charity and Kings College London University.

Global Action PlanThe campaign aims to reduce Londoners’ exposure to air pollution by educating drivers about air quality. Wearing hi-vis Air Quality Champion vests, the Change Makers will explain the role of drivers in reducing vehicle emissions and ask parked drivers to turn their engines off. They will be also given informational leaflets to help them understand their role in making the air we breathe healthier for all Londoners. Vehicle emissions emit pollutants which are linked to asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis and cancer. The long term impact of pollution particularly affects pregnant women and children.

 “Cross River Partnership’s Clean Air Better Business programme aims to draw awareness both to the issue of air quality in general and specifically the impact that idling can have on local air quality. This concerted effort across our participating Business Improvement District and boroughs is designed to build capacity in training up to 100 change makers and have a beneficial effect on air quality in these areas” explained Uto Patrick, CRP Air Quality Champion.

Caroline Watson, Senior Partner at Global Action Plan, said“Cleaner Air Action Fortnight aims to educate drivers on the role they can play in improving London’s air quality.  Given the impact on our health, this is an urgent issue that demands collective action.  By arranging Cleaner Air Action Fortnight across six boroughs we aim to draw attention to a problem that is costing Londoners their health and the economy £3.7bn p.a.*”

Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster City Council cabinet member for parking and sustainability, said: “Engine idling is a major problem in London and is a priority for the council to help address air pollution. It is common sense that turning off your engine is good for air quality and the environment, but it also makes financial sense for drivers. That is why I am pleased that so many Change Makers are joining me in Westminster to get out onto the streets and ask drivers to switch their engines off.”

The scheme is part funded by the Mayor of London’s £20 million Air Quality Fund (MAQF), which has granted £330,000 to the Clean Air Better Business project. The Mayor’s funding has enabled them to deliver a whole host of air quality projects such as this across central London over the last three years.

Matthew Pencharz, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, said: “Protecting the well-being of Londoners is vital and projects such as this, coupled with the Mayor’s plans for the world’s first Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2020, are part of the bold measures we need to win London’s pollution battle.”

For more information please visit the Global Action Plan website.

 


* House of Commons Briefing Paper May 2015: Public expenditure by country and region 2013-14, London £9,866 per head.  Figure based on population of 8,633,000 Londoners.

Cascade spring training programme

Social Enterprise Mark holder Cascade has recently published their Spring training programme.

Workshops include:

  • Personal Effectiveness: Emotional Intelligence & Communicating
    with Impact
  • Attracting, Recruiting & Managing Volunteers
  • Writing a Winning Bid
  • Tendering for Services: preparing & presenting your call for bids

Please click here to download the full programme.

Full day workshops cost £149 and run from 9.30am to 4.30pm unless specified otherwise, refreshments (& sandwich lunch at all full day events) are provided.

Discounts

3 bookings for full day courses made at the same time by the same organisation will be discounted by 10% (can’t be used in conjunction with other offers)

* Special discount on Strategic Planning for Trustees & Senior Managers course in Wimborne: £75 for clients of Ward Goodman, members of Poole CVS, members of Bournemouth CVS (1 bursary place at £25 will be available for each event for organisations with an income of less than £25k per annum)

Cascade offers a bursary scheme for charities and other small groups with an income of less than £25k p.a.

For full information, please visit the Cascade website.

 

Co-wheels environmental impact

Green travellers rejoice!

Co-wheels-Car-ClubSocial Enterprise Mark holder Co-wheels car club has launched a new scheme to enable low emission travel in and around the Lake District.

Hybrid cars with roof racks can now be booked online and picked up directly from train stations in Cumbria, so it’s easy to take a bike up on the train and explore the area.

Visit the Co-wheels website to find out more about the scheme and claim your £10 free driving credit:

http://www.co-wheels.org.uk/lake_district

Co-wheels 2

Global Action Plan recognised for Water Explorers project

Social Enterprise Mark holder Global Action Plan won the Community and Education Award at the recent Waterwise Water Efficiency Awards for its Water Explorer Project.

Water ExplorerWater Explorer is a free programme for schools to learn about water and the environment, supported by the HSBC Water Programme. The programme empowers future generations through fun, interactive water saving Missions and provides the platform for students to grow into global citizens and ambassadors for positive change. Over the last year, Water Explorers aged 8-14 from 11 countries have taken bold and powerful action to save precious water.

The Waterwise biannual UK Water Efficiency Awards are the most high profile awards scheme in the UK to recognise the water efficiency achievements of the public, private and third sector organisations who promote water efficiency. For more information please visit the Waterwise website.

To find out more about the project, please visit the Water Explorer website.

Selby Trust honoured at City of London Sustainable City Awards

SustainableCityAwardsSocial Enterprise Mark holder The Selby Trust in Tottenham was announced as runner-up in the Building Sustainable Communities category at the City of London Sustainable City Awards. These awards are given to organisations which have demonstrated excellence in sustainable development.

Moussa Amine Sylla, Green Hub Coordinator at the Selby Centre, said: “I always believed that the planet and the humans should be the first beneficiaries of any enterprising venture. Each business should start with those elements before even thinking about money. This is exactly the sentiments that the Green hub at the Selby Centre have given me. Being short-listed at the Sustainable City Awards is an immense recognition for this Project.”

Rt Hon David Lammy, Member of Parliament for Tottenham, who recently gave an interview about his thoughts on The Selby Trust and The Selby Centre, said: “It is absolutely fantastic to hear The Selby Trust has been shortlisted for the Sustainable City Awards. The Selby Trust do fantastic work at The Selby Centre, and I am pleased the work they have done around the green and sustainability agenda has been recognised.”

Free carer workshops in Dorset

Social Enterprise Mark holder Help & Care has recently launched a new timetable for its free carer workshops for carers.

There are over 50,000 people caring for loved ones in Dorset alone. That’s one in 15 people looking after someone close to them with very little extra support. Many of these people can feel very isolated in their caring role and can find looking for information and support incredibly difficult.

These people are in need of help and that’s why Help & Care are organising these free workshops, aimed at advising people on certain issues such as first aid & safety, memory loss/dementia and legal and financial matters. Help & Care is working in partnership with Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust and Dorset County Council to provide this important, free service.

See below for a timetable of classes for 2016. For more information, please visit the Help & Care website.Help & Care

Salford leading the way nationally for health and wellbeing services

Two Salford services dedicated to giving people the tools to make improvements to their health and wellbeing have been selected to take part in a national programme funded by NHS England. Being Well Salford and Social Enterprise Mark holder Unlimited Potential (in partnership with Inspiring Communities Together) have been chosen as two of the five local sites selected to participate in the Realising the Value programme, led by Nesta  and the Health Foundation and in partnership with the consortium Voluntary Voices.

Through the programme, the organisations will enhance their services across Salford while championing their innovative models for health and wellbeing.

The Realising the Value programme will focus on making person and community-centered approaches a reality. The programme is about strengthening the case for change, identifying evidence-based approaches that engage people in their own health and care, and developing tools to support implementation across the NHS and local communities. It will develop the participating services and, on completion, the work of the participating sites will be shared nationally as examples of how best to achieve the vision of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.

Unlimited Potential improves well- being by focusing on the strengths of local people, rather than their needs. For instance, one project is focused on improving the well-being of disadvantaged children by finding new ways of working with their fathers. This work led to Salford Dadz – a network of local fathers who have created male-friendly spaces where positive role models talk openly ‘shoulder to shoulder’, as well as fun dad-child bonding activities.

Unlimited Potential is working in partnership with Inspiring Communities Together, a local community organisation that works to engage older people and their carers – again, focusing on an individual’s strengths.

Chris Dabbs, Director of Innovation at Unlimited Potential said: “The opportunity to work with leading national organisations participating in the Realising the Value programme is one that we could not turn down. Having two of the five sites selected locally in Salford reflects the quality of innovation and practice that exists here in engaging with local people in the city.”

Vote for Ideal for All in “People’s Choice Award”

Social Enterprise Mark holder Ideal for All has been shortlisted for the prestigious “People’s Choice Award” in the Sandwell & West Birmingham CCG 2016 Equality Awards.

Ideal for All (IFA) empowers and enables disabled and disadvantaged people and their families, carers, support workers and communities to be active citizens and to fully participate in society. IFA includes users in decision making around the development of services and brings people facing similar health issues together to help them cope with their disabilities and reduce dependency on the NHS. It creates a safe and relaxed environment where individuals can connect with people who understand what daily life with an illness is like.

Please click here to vote for Ideal for All for the People’s Choice Award.

Ideal for All

The Phone Co-op wins national social enterprise award

…and is part of a record breaking social enterprise investment


Social Enterprise Mark holder The Phone Co-op has won the Best Consumer Facing Social Enterprise Award at the UK Social Enterprise Awards 2015.

The Phone Co-op is a consumer co-operative that exists to serve its members, and inspire others with an alternative, better model for business and the economy. It is the UK’s only telecommunications co-operative, procuring fixed and mobile telecommunications services on behalf of its customers, many of whom are also social enterprises.

The Phone Co-op set up its Co-operative and Social Economy Development Fund to support the growth and development of other co-ops and social enterprises around the country. The fund is the main focus for its contribution to the community.

For example, The Phone Co-op has loaned HCT, the social enterprise bus operator, £500K as part of their recently raised £10m funding. This funding, from a variety of social lenders, means a new record for a social enterprise investment in the UK. HCT uses the profits from its commercial work to provide community transport services, training, and community projects. Since its incorporation in 1982, HCT Group has grown to be a large scale social enterprise providing over 20 million passenger trips a year, with around 1000 employees, ten depots spread across London, Yorkshire, the Southwest and the Channel Islands, a fleet of over 500 vehicles and a 2014/15 turnover of £45.4M.

The Phone Co-op is a strong supporter of public transport with over 91% of its business miles undertaken by public transport.

Vivian_by_Phone_Co-op_door“We are happy to be using surplus capital to support another social enterprise that is providing public transport, something we actively try to use, and with an organisation that shares our values. We see social enterprises co-supporting each other in this way as an example of the type of alternative economy we’d like to encourage and grow.” said Vivian Woodell, Chief Executive of The Phone Co-op.

Double award honour for Cosmic CEO

Julie Hawker, CEO of Social Enterprise Mark holder Cosmic and a Social Enterprise Mark Ambassador, was awarded the honour of Women’s Social Enterprise Champion of the Year at the UK Social Enterprise Awards 2015, held on London’s South Bank on 26th November.

Julie Cosmic award pic

 

These national awards recognise excellence and outstanding achievements by social enterprises – businesses that reinvest their profits, benefitting people and planet. The UK now has more than 70,000 social enterprises, contributing more than £24 billion to the economy each year.

The very next day, Julie also won the Director of the Year Award in the Great Hall at Exeter University at the Venus Devon Awards. This award was judged based on the criteria of an outstanding director or board member of a company with more than 10 employees.

Venus awards 2015

On winning the awards Julie said “I am absolutely thrilled to win these awards, and to be honoured at local and national level in this way is just brilliant. For me it’s very clear recognition of the success of Cosmic over the years, and of the support I’ve had from my fantastic team. Cosmic is the best social enterprise to lead!  And I’ve been supported and inspired by some great women working in social enterprise, and so if winning this award means that I can do the same for other women in the years ahead – well that’s just great!”

The below video features Julie talking about what these awards mean to her and to Cosmic.

Cosmic is an IT and consultancy business, based in Honiton, East Devon, providing services across the South West. Cosmic uses its own resources to develop and deliver brilliant project work benefitting thousands of digitally excluded people. Cosmic pride themselves on being a great value supplier of services, and also on being an ethical business and accredited social enterprise.

Cosmic offers much more than just top quality, affordable and effective services such as websites, social media and SEO. Being a social enterprise means that the profits of their core activity goes towards doing good.

Chairman of Cosmic’s board Dave Ratcliffe commented; “At Cosmic we are all delighted that Julie’s contribution and skills have been recognised; Julie is an inspiring leader who works across many disciplines to great effect. Her well-grounded leadership skills and vision have enabled Cosmic to flourish and I am sure this award will be an inspiration to other women to reach their potential and their goals.”

‘We all deserve clean air’: UK communities take action against air pollution

From January 2016, UK communities will be able to work together to measure air pollution on their streets. This crowdfunded initiative is being set up by Social Enterprise Mark holder Mapping for Change, based at University College London.

Mapping for ChangeCommunity groups of all ages and abilities will collect air quality information using simple but reliable equipment. The amount and variety of equipment supplied will be determined by the funds raised, and will range from small plastic diffusion tubes to high-grade black carbon monitors. Results will be mapped online to create a UK-wide evidence base, comparable with statutory EU guidelines.

Air pollution is a significant killer. Annual figures reveal 7 million deaths worldwide, 60,000 deaths in the UK, and over 9,400 deaths in London alone. Ill-health as a result of air pollution poses serious ramifications for already over-stretched NHS budgets and national productivity. As Alan Andrews, a lawyer from ClientEarth commented, “for every person who dies early from air pollution, many more are made seriously ill, have to visit hospital or take time off work”.

To get involved, community groups can donate to the crowdfunding page. Options begin at £250 for 10 diffusion tubes, a months’ worth of monitoring and analysis, and results mapped online. People of all ages are encouraged to get involved, including school groups.

Louise Francis, Co-director of Mapping for Change, explained that “having access to meaningful evidence on air pollution is vitally important. As well as enabling people to reduce their personal exposure, it boosts communities’ confidence to call for change and get involved in decision making processes.”

Marylebone resident and previous scheme participant Sheila D’Souza commented that her community “feel very empowered and highly motivated to pursue this in the form of an active campaign to make sure that our needs for decent clean air are met”.

Mapping for Change is a wholly owned subsidiary of UCL, working with groups and organisations who want to understand, improve and produce information about the places that matter to them.

For more information, please visit the Mapping for Change website. To make a donation, please visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/community-air-pollution-monitoring/.

Big Issue Invest Supports Next Wave of Top Social Entrepreneurs

Social Enterprise Mark holder Big Issue Invest has revealed the social businesses who have successfully secured investment through its Corporate Social Venturing (CSV) Programme.  CSV is an innovative business support and investment initiative that facilitates growth and development among organisations that are using business solutions to remedy some of society’s biggest challenges throughout the country.

This year, a total of 12 initial investments have been agreed and will be allocated to the following organisations:

  • Activ Zone
  • Bite the Ballot
  • Change Please
  • EPIC Risk Management
  • The Employability Trust
  • Genie in the Gutter
  • Goldfinger Factory
  • Hire Hand
  • Home Services Support
  • Hospice Quality Partnership
  • Off the Scale
  • Specialisterne

A further 5 organisations; Breathe Arts Health Research, Mental Fight Club, Papi’s Pickles, Ruby Moon and Tiny Diner will continue to receive business support.

The CSV Programme is an innovative partnership between Big Issue Invest and Barclays as part of their commitment to impact 5 million young futures by 2015 with investment and support from; Experian, First Ark, Fusion 21, Places for People and the University of Northampton.  The programme is supported by the Social Incubator Fund (Cabinet Office). These social businesses create real and lasting opportunities for people in areas such as: employment, health and well-being, youth engagement and gambling addiction. The programme which is now in its second year opened in May, receiving almost 200 applications.

Nigel KershawNigel Kershaw OBE, Chair of The Big Issue Group remarked, “The CSV programme reflects the ‘hand up not a hand out’ ethos synonymous with The Big Issue organisation through the way it operates.  Each year we find ourselves almost awe-struck at the amount of businesses around the country who are driven by a determination to create a social impact that will positively affect groups who are most vulnerable and marginalised in society. 

The diversity and quality of this year’s cohort is extraordinary, from Off the Scale in Birmingham who work with people dealing with depression and sell vintage clothing to London based Bite the Ballot who have achieved incredible results connecting young people with politics both online and offline.  It has been a real privilege to work with all of them and we look forward to supporting them to grow their business to deliver real and needed social value.”

Big Issue Invest is the social investment arm of The Big Issue, helping prevent poverty and inequality by backing sustainable social enterprises, charities and ventures. It is a specialist provider of finance to social enterprises led by social entrepreneurs having invested £30m since 2005.  36 social businesses (including this year’s investees) will have received finance through the CSV Programme and its predecessor Tech for Good.

For more information about this year’s winners and the CSV programme, please visit www.bigissueinvest-csv.com.

Chocolate Films’ Rachel Wang named Entrepreneur of the Year

BBBARachel Wang, co-founder and Director of Social Enterprise Mark holder Chocolate Films was recently awarded the honour of the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Black British Business Awards 2015. The awards celebrate exceptional performance and outstanding achievements of black people in businesses operating in the UK.

Rachel was inspired to create her production company Chocolate Films due to the lack of representation of black people on the British screen. She founded the company with three key bold goals from the outset:

  1. to create high quality content for commercial clients
  2. to develop and produce dramas and documentaries that tell the stories that are not currently heard in the media
  3. to enable people who are less represented in the media to learn the skills to tell their stories.

The company is based in Brixton with a team of 12 and run skills-based creative media projects for over 2,000 children, young people and vulnerable adults each year. Rachel is currently producing a project in Greenwich where she is developing a new social enterprise which will employ adults in recovery from addiction issues.

In her acceptance speech Rachel said, “I feel very privileged to be here today. Now I feel incredibly excited to make Chocolate Films even more of a success than it already is, and to strive to inspire people even more with our organisation.”

The Black British Business Awards was held at the London Hilton Park Lane on 20th October 2015 with 500 guests in attendance from business, media and politics. Melanie Eusebe, Chair and Co-founder of the Black British Business Awards said: “I congratulate both Rachel Wang and Clare Eluka on their awards in the Entrepreneur category of the Black British Business Awards. They are role models within the community and demonstrate excellence in the work they do.”

Prestious double award success for Gateway Family Services CIC

Social Enterprise Mark holder Gateway Family Services CIC is celebrating after winning two prestigious awards this week.

On Tuesday they won a Three Year Health and Wellbeing award from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). This meant they were put forward for the prestigious Health Ministers Award… and yesterday, they won that too!

The RSPH Three Year Health and Wellbeing Award

Jane Piggott Smith (L) and Michelle Smitten (R) receive the RSPH Three Year Health and Wellbeing award from Lord Patel. (Photo: RSPH)

Jane Piggott Smith (L) and Michelle Smitten (R) receive the RSPH Three Year Health and Wellbeing award from Lord Patel. (Photo: RSPH)

The RSPH Health and Wellbeing awards are open to all organisations that promote health and wellbeing as part of their role. The awards “recognise achievement in the development and implementation of health promotion and community wellbeing strategies and initiatives”.

Awards are given for one, two and three years, with the Three Year Award being the highest level. In announcing the Three Year Health and Wellbeing Award, RSPH commended Gateway for:

  • “…how the organisation encourages whole family responses to their messages; this approach has proven to be effective in reaching communities.
  • “…the excellent internal referral pathways allow an effective and efficient nurturing process for service users. People only leave the service when they are ready.”
  • “…the organisation’s capacity to develop services based on the experiences and needs of service users. For instance, the strategy for the compilation of clients’ feedback is accessible and innovative, facilitating the capture of users’ comments and feelings about the service they are receiving.
  • “…the organisation’s employment policies and process for favouring service users whom often are part of the most disadvantaged communities. The opportunities that those individuals receive equips them with transferable training skills which will support them for life.

 


The Public Health Minister’s Award

Katherine Hewitt (L) and Ann Forletta (R) receive the Health Minister’s Award

Katherine Hewitt (L) and Ann Forletta (R) receive the Health Minister’s Award

All organisations that achieved the highest level of the RSPH Award were considered for the Public Health Minister’s Award, which recognises organisations for “outstanding contributions to the public’s health”.

The Health Minister’s Award was presented yesterday, and Gateway won jointly with The Big Life Group, a group of social businesses and charities based in Manchester. Both organisations won because they demonstrate “exceptional asset-based approaches to engage with communities and deliver real public health gains”.

As part of their application, Gateway was asked to give an example of the way that they engage with communities. They used the example of Making Health Work, a project they ran in partnership with the Foyer Federation to get young people thinking about the ways in which work impacts on health and health impacts on work. Making Health Work used Gateway’s extensive paraprofessional experience and innovative support tools – like their Impact Assessment App – to break down barriers and improve opportunities for the people they worked with.

Jane Ellison MP, Minister for Public Health, said: “I am delighted to be able to award the second Public Health Minister’s Award jointly to The Big Life Group for Be Well Salford and Gateway Family Services for their Making Health Work Project in Birmingham. They are outstanding examples of how organisations, large and small, can improve the life chances of the people in their communities, through developing local skills, knowledge and networks to target interventions to where they are needed the most.”

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said: “We are delighted to once again partner with the Department of Health on the Public Health Minister’s Award to celebrate the inspirational work of these two organisations. They are exemplars of innovative, progressive programmes to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. I would like to wish both winners all the best as they continue delivering impressive public health outcomes, and hope they will inspire others to do likewise in future.” 

 


The below video features Gateway’s EAST Departmental Manager Michelle Smitten talking about what these awards mean to them.
 

Visit the Gateway Family Services CIC website for more information.

£1Million unlocked for good causes by TheGivingMachine

Social Enterprise Mark holder TheGivingMachine was once just an idea between 4 friends; it started as a social enterprise and then became a registered charity last year. Now it has reached a momentous milestone – £1,000,000 has been unlocked for good causes by people shopping on-line via TheGivingMachine, without it costing them a single penny more.

Richard Morris, CEO and Founder of TheGivingMachine said “Every donation counts, no matter how big or small, and we just wanted to say a great, big thank you to everyone that has helped reach this impressive total”.

Since its launch, 86,000 registered Givers have raised a total £1,000,000 for over 8,200 causes, and the figure won’t stop here. Shopping via TheGivingMachine creates an ongoing income stream for charities, with internet shopping forever on the increase, so is the amount of funds available.

This month TheGivingMachine has also introduced the ability for customers to apply GiftAid to the donations they generate via TheGivingMachine, meaning their registered Givers can enjoy giving even more to the causes they love at no extra cost.

For more information, please visit TheGivingMachine website.

Social Enterprise Mark Holders shortlisted for SE100 Awards

Social Enterprise Mark holders BITA Pathways and FRC Group, and Gold Mark holder John Taylor Hospice have been shortlisted for the NatWest SE100 Awards 2015.

The winners will win a share of over £32, 000 in prize money that will be awarded at the NatWest SE100 Annual Awards on 19th October 2015, at the Good Deals social investment conference in London.

BITAShortlisted for the Resilience award, BITA Pathways provides a range of education, volunteering and employment services for adults with mental health problems.

 

FRCShortlisted for the Impact Champion award, FRC Group aims to reduce and ultimately eradicate furniture poverty, by campaigning to raise awareness and create practical solutions to get furniture to people who need it, as well as creating sustainable employment.

 

JTHShortlisted for the Storyteller award, John Taylor Hospice is a Social Enterprise Gold Mark holder, providing expert end of life care to families in Birmingham.

 

Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest, said: “Social Enterprises make a massive difference to local economies and communities across the UK and beyond. They are run by inspirational people who want to make a difference. That is why at NatWest we want to support them to get access to the finance, support and networks they need to flourish. That way not only do they benefit, but the economy benefits and our society benefits.  We congratulate all shortlisted enterprises and look forward to celebrating their success at the awards ceremony on 19th October.”

TheGivingMachine Named ‘Most Trusted Social Enterprise’

Social Enterprise Mark holder TheGivingMachine received the award for Most Trusted Social Enterprise at the very first UK Trust Awards.

The Giving Machine Trust AwardThe award was presented to Richard Morris, CEO and Founder of TheGivingMachine, by Roger James Hamilton and Michelle Clarke, Global Partnership Manager at The Entrepreneurs Institute.

Expressing his gratitude to those who voted, Richard said:

“I’m delighted to say that, thanks to people like you, TheGivingMachine won the 2015 Most Trusted Social Enterprise Award from the Entrepreneurs Institute.Our team is so grateful to serve the wonderful people and causes that are part of our growing community.

Thank you so much for voting for us – together we can unlock many more £millions to achieve even more for the causes that matter to you.”

TheGivingMachine is a unique social enterprise whose sole purpose is to generate free cash donations for UK registered schools, charities, CASC’s and CIC’s via a shopping portal. There are over 1,500 top online shops participating and each gives a percentage of every purchase as a donation to the shoppers chosen schools and charities.

There were 439 entries across the 13 categories of the Trust Awards and thousands of people cast their vote, with the Entrepreneurs Institute donating life saving water for every vote received. Full details can be found on the Trust Awards website.

The Soap Co. logo

Social enterprise soap brand offers bathroom luxury with a conscience

The Soap Co. – a new luxury soap brand, directly creating employment for blind or otherwise disabled or disadvantaged people, has been launched today by Social Enterprise Mark Holder Clarity EFBP.

Promising to be good and do good, with a strong focus on design and ethics, the new brand will also be available directly to consumers online. It aims to reach out to socially-minded consumers and companies, matching straight-forward social messages with quality products.

clarity-logo-scIt represents a bold move into a new market segment for charity and parent company Clarity EFBP, founded in 1854 to provide employment opportunities for blind and disabled people, with more than 70 years’ experience making soap products.

Jeremy Robinson, CEO, said: “For us this is an opportunity to prove that there does not have to be a trade off between quality and social benefit. We’re helping to expand the socially conscious buying market and, ultimately, to create more employment for blind or otherwise disabled or disadvantaged people who want to work, but are often not given the chance”.

Sophie Butland of the Social Enterprise Mark CIC said “As the only independent certification authority for social enterprises, we are excited about the launch of The Soap Co., which promises to ‘do good and be good’ by directly creating employment for blind and disabled people.

The Social Enterprise Mark CIC has assessed and certified parent company Clarity EFBP against its robust criteria for several years, and welcomes this new avenue for creating even greater social benefit.”

To find out more, please visit The Soap Co. website.

Pick and Pack - Allan Brooks Low Res (00000002)Soap Co


Charity Bank Offers Exclusive Discount for Mark Holders

Charity Bank has become the only UK bank to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark

To celebrate this achievement, Charity Bank has announced a 25% discount on loans to Social Enterprise Mark holders

Charity Bank, an ethical bank that uses savings to make loans to charities and social enterprises, recently became the only UK bank to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark (SEM), which demonstrates it puts people and the planet before shareholder profit.

To mark the new accreditation, Charity Bank announced a partnership with Social Enterprise Mark CIC to offer Mark Holders a 25% reduction on their standard loan arrangement fee. Please click here for full information and t&c.

Subjected to an assessment process, which is overseen by an independent Certification Panel, Charity Bank’s company documents and accounts were scrutinised.  As a result, Charity Bank has earned the Social Enterprise Mark, which checks whether profits are re-invested into activities that benefit society.

Patrick Crawford, chief executive of Charity Bank, said: “Being the only UK bank to receive the Social Enterprise Mark is a great honour for Charity Bank.

“Charity Bank was always going to be different. We’re not driven by trying to maximise our profits – rather we seek to find ways of saying ‘yes’ to those making a positive impact on society when others say ‘no’.

“To date, we have approved £200 million-worth of loans to more than 1,000 charities and social enterprises that are improving lives and communities across the UK.

“The Social Enterprise Mark is an independent certificate of why we’re in business and how we use our profits, and a testament to our future direction.”

In 2014, Charity Bank generated 155 loan applications worth £70 million, more than double the value of applications in 2013 (£32 million) and made commitments to lend £33 million, almost three times the value of commitments made the previous year (£12 million).

Lucy Findlay, Managing Director, Social Enterprise Mark CIC, said: “To achieve status as the only UK bank to be awarded The Social Enterprise Mark is a major feat.  The Mark is the guardian of genuine social enterprise principles and is a guarantee for businesses which use their profits for purpose, not for shareholders’ pockets, as Charity Bank has clearly demonstrated. We have no doubt it will inspire others to follow this great example of social enterprise.”

University Commended by Council for Commitment to Social Enterprise

The Plymouth-based University of St Mark & St John has been commended by Plymouth City Council Leader Tudor Evans, in recognition of its commitment to social enterprise.

It has become one of only four universities in the UK to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark. This makes Plymouth, which was the UK’s first social enterprise city, the only city in the UK with two Universities accredited for social enterprise work.

The Social Enterprise Mark CIC is the UK and international certification authority that safeguards social enterprise credentials. Only organisations that can prove they put people and planet before shareholder profit are awarded a license to display the Social Enterprise Mark.

The University of St Mark & St John is on a new trajectory having secured HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) funding of nearly £3million to enable the development of new courses, infrastructure, and the estate. It ranks as first in the UK for social mobility and has the highest-ranking graduate employment of the four Universities in Devon and Cornwall, with 95% of graduates achieving employment within six months.

Plymouth City Council Leader Tudor Evans said: “Higher education is at the heart of social enterprise and it’s fantastic to see the University recognised for the public benefit it continues to bring to our communities; through several projects including the increasing work with NHS rehabilitation programmes, the innovative work with Macmillan Cancer Support, and the University’s values which provide a set of guiding principles to enable students of today to become leaders of tomorrow who will address the global challenges of the 21st Century.”

Social Enterprise

Award Winning Social Enterprise Announces New CEO

Social Enterprise Pluss’ Chairman Chris Harvey has announced the appointment of Steve Hawkins, previously Director of Business Development, as the new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Harvey said “I am very pleased to announce that, following a recruitment process Steve Hawkins is appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Company. The Board joins me in congratulating Steve in his new role.”
Steve Hawkins added “I am delighted to have been appointed as Pluss’ CEO. I am extremely proud to work for the organisation, and look forward to working with our staff to take the Company forward. We are facing exciting times, and we are in an excellent position to look to the future of Welfare to Work services for disadvantaged people.

“I will be taking time to personally visit staff and other stakeholders across the company over the coming weeks”.

Pluss is a Social Enterprise that supports disadvantaged people into work. They work with thousands of employers across the South West, West of England, and West Yorkshire, helping them to recruit and retain staff with disabilities and other disadvantages.
Businesses looking for free disability recruitment support can find out more at www.pluss.org.uk, www.facebook.com/plussinspires or on twitter @PlussInspires.

Social Enterpr-eyes? Beacon Centre for the Blind achieves ‘ethical’ business award

Beacon Centre for the Blind based in Sedgley in the Black Country has recently achieved endorsement for its work in improving society and protecting the environment. Beacon Chief Executive, Arwyn Jones and Chair of Trustees, Pauline Heffernan were presented with the prestigious Social Enterprise Mark by Melanie Mills, Big Society Capital Social Sector Engagement Director.

Beacon Chair, Pauline Heffernan commented: “Our passion at Beacon is being in business to use profits to fulfil our charitable aim of making a visible difference for people with visual impairment and sight loss. That’s why receiving the Social Enterprise Mark is a great honour for Beacon. It is an independent guarantee of why we’re in business, how we use our profits and a testament for our future direction for developing sustainable social enterprises”.

Beacon Centre is a social enterprise providing quality accommodation, health and social care services, advice, information and advocacy services for people with visual impairment and sight loss across the Black Country in the West Midlands. In Autumn 2015 Beacon will launch Beacon Opticians Plus, the UK’s first social enterprise ophthalmic optician service with the benefit of onsite low vision advice and support services. Beacon also operates retail charity and coffee shops across the Black Country and employment support and prevention services across the Black Country.

The Government defines social enterprises as “businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.”

Melanie Mills, Social Sector Director of Big Society Capital presented the Beacon team with the Mark at Beacon Centre, Sedgley on Tuesday 7th July 2015.

Lucy Findlay, Managing Director of the Social Enterprise Mark CIC said: “As the only certification for genuine social enterprises, the Mark guarantees businesses which use their profits for purpose not for shareholders’ pockets. The Mark helps those businesses show their business ethics and values. We are delighted to award the Social Enterprise Mark to Beacon Centre for the Blind and have no doubt they will inspire others to follow this great example of social enterprise.”

To find out more about Beacon Vision please click here, Beacon Vision are also a registered Social Enterprise.

Millfields Trust invests over £1million in Stonehouse

The Millfields Trust has donated £1000 to a local primary school, taking it well beyond the £1 million milestone mark it has ploughed into and invested
in the local community of Stonehouse. This is a remarkable achievement which is being celebrated by a Trust with volunteer Directors and a small staff team.

Jan Digweed, Head Teacher of St Peter’s Church of England Primary School says: “With the help of The Millfields Trust, more children will be able to benefit from the cultural learning experience in Spain.   We have built a great working relationship with The Millfields Trust. They’re continually helping us to raise aspirations and install a sense of pride and adventure in our youth. Through the Widening Horizons project they’ve already given our pupils a unique insight into the world of construction, medicine, dentistry and aviation. The children have enjoyed every single minute and we thank them for this latest boost!”

Many people will be familiar with the work of the Millfields Trust. For the past 15 years the Trust has been a provider a high quality business accommodation from its base in Stonehouse. Many successful Plymouth businesses have begun life in HQ or on the Millfields site. What people may not realise is that income from trading is not only sustaining the Trust to continue in business, but that its surplus is used to support the community of Stonehouse.

One of the main beneficiaries is the young people of the neighbourhood.
Seven years ago the Trust established the Widening Horizons project. This ground-breaking project is funded by the Trust and works with year 5 children in 6 local primary schools, giving them the opportunity to visit inspirational workplaces that have the ‘wow’ factor and provide a different insight into the world of work. Since it was established over 700 young people have been through the programme.

In addition the Trust has invested in buildings now owned by the community, contributed to an endowment fund for the Drake Foundation, and given grants and donations to a number of community groups and organisations in Stonehouse.

Chair of the Trust Father Sam Philpott says: “This is a magnificent achievement for a small community focused organisation. We have come a long way in the last 15 years and touched the lives of many people.  The money we have spent has been invested, in our buildings, in our community and in our future.  There is much to be done and our Genesis building is demonstrating our determination to continue to change the built environment of Stonehouse, raising the aspirations and self-esteem of our community”

To find out more about Millfields Trust click here. Millfields Trust  is also a registered Social Enterprise Mark Holder.

Bournemouth Social Enterprise and office products supplier scoops “Dealer of the year” award

Supply Shack, a social enterprise in Bournemouth, has been awarded the “Dealer of the year – under £1 million” award. The prestigious prize was announced at Superstat Conference 2015 in Liverpool on Friday 12th June.

Superstat is the most progressive office product dealer group in the UK. Every year, it hosts a national conference followed by a Superstat Awards Dinner to recognise and reward those in the office supplies industry. The “Dealer of the year” award category is designed to recognise a dynamic dealer that meets the needs of its customers by providing a comprehensive package of products, resources and services, with pioneering initiatives to elevate as a forerunner in the market.

Commenting on winning the award, Supply Shack’s managing director Des Day said, “We’re over the moon with winning this prestigious award which I would like to dedicate to all the team at Supply Shack and all our customers who made this possible. Keep buying social and there will be so much more we can give back to good causes.”

Founded in 2011 in Bournemouth as a social enterprise with an ethos of trading for social and environmental purposes, Supply Shack is growing at a rapid pace. The company has earned a lot of favour from a wide range of businesses for high-quality and competitively priced office products with profits going to good causes and providing employment opportunities for those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

Supply Shack is a holder of the Social Enterprise Mark

University Recognised For Commitment To Social Enterprise

The DEVON-based University of St Mark & St John has become one of only four universities in the UK to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, indicating that it is a social enterprise supporting the community, the environment and with good social purpose.

The Social Enterprise Mark CIC is the UK and international certification authority that safeguards social enterprise credentials. Only organisations that can prove they put people and planet before shareholder profit are awarded a license to display the Social Enterprise Mark.

The University of St Mark & St John is on a new trajectory having secured HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) funding of nearly £3million to enable the development of new courses, infrastructure, and the estate. It ranks as first in the UK for social mobility and has the highest-ranking graduate employment of the four Universities in Devon and Cornwall, with 95% of graduates achieving employment within six months.

Professor Brendon Noble, Executive Dean of Research, Postgraduate and Innovation at the University of St Mark & St John said: “We’re extremely proud to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark and the University of St Mark & St John is absolutely committed to supporting social enterprise and consequently helping local communities and the broader South West region to thrive and prosper.

“Our students will continue to contribute to our social enterprise philosophy through the use of skills they have acquired while studying; a strong volunteering ethos and positive attitude towards growing a better society”.

Lucy Findlay, Managing Director, Social Enterprise Mark CIC, added: “We are delighted to award the prestigious Social Enterprise Mark to the University of St Mark & St John. Social enterprises work to many different priorities, so it’s great to see a vital, local university understanding the importance of demonstrating the social value of their organisation.”

Subjected to an assessment process that is overseen by an independent Certification Panel, the University of St Mark & St John’s detailed activities, company documents and accounts were scrutinised. As a result the University of St Mark & St John has earned the Social Enterprise Mark guarantee that income is used to the benefit of making a positive impact on the local society and economy.

The University of St Mark & St John joins other ethical organisations that have been recognised by the Social Enterprise Mark, such as the Age UK Enterprises, Eden Project, Big Issue, and the Phone Coop.

Government data estimates that there are 70,000 social enterprises across the UK, contributing over £24 billion to the economy and employing around a million people.

Social enterprises plough the majority of their profits back into activities that benefit people and planet, rather than just lining shareholders pockets. However, some businesses are taking advantage as there is no legal definition for them. The Social Enterprise Mark is the guardian of genuine social enterprise principles. It safeguards these principles through the independent Certification process.