Meet our Ambassadors

We are honoured to have a team of Ambassadors, who are committed to raising the profile of the Social Enterprise Mark and Gold Mark, and why these accreditations are important to their sector as well as the wider world.

We have brought together leaders from social enterprises both nationally and internationally, all of which are striving to create positive social and environmental change. They span multiple sectors, from education to IT, and from business support to healthcare.

Meet our Social Enterprise Mark Ambassadors:

Ian Bretman

Independent Consultant

Ian was part of the team at the Fairtrade Foundation that firmly established the FAIRTRADE Mark in the mainstream consumer landscape in Britain, before taking on a series of roles in the international secretariat on strategy, governance and stakeholder relations.

Ian has been a thought leader for Fairtrade and helped develop its Theory of Change and the International Fairtrade Charter, which is widely recognised as the reference document for the diverse global movement.

Having first engaged with trade as a means of tackling poverty and inequality with Oxfam over 30 years ago, he remains a board member at Fairtrade International alongside a portfolio of non-executive and trustee positions including the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group for North Central London, Neighbourhood Watch Network for England & Wales, Timewise Foundation CiC, and Citizens Advice Barnet. He also served on the Board of Social Enterprise Mark CIC for seven years until 2020.

Ian is passionate about the potential for social enterprises to bridge the gaps between business, charities and the public sector and to make a unique contribution to the linked challenges of climate & biodiversity, health & wellbeing, inequality and discrimination.

A robust, rules-based accreditation for social enterprises is a vital tool for individual organisations and the sector as a whole to differentiate itself and build trust among customers and other stakeholders.

The increasing engagement by for-profit companies with responsible and sustainable business practices is a really positive development but carries a risk of marketing hype.

Social Enterprise Mark holders are able to demonstrate that they meet the rigorous standards and assurance behind the Mark and are not just talking about trading for people and planet but are “walking the walk” as well.”

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Health and wellbeing / Fairtrade / International


Jan Golding

Jan Golding

Chair, Roots Human Resources CIC

Jan Golding Chartered FCIPD founded Roots Human Resources CIC in 2009 to deliver HR consultancy services to meet the needs of social sector employers. Now as its Chair, Jan leads the Board and consultancy team in the shared belief that social businesses can manage their people, and make better use of their income, through access to practical, affordable and legally sound professional services, tailored to reflect the culture, risks and scale of the sector. Profits from fee-earning consultancy work are used to provide pro bono advice, factsheets, toolkits and training to improve people management in the sector.

Jan also runs a self-employed consultancy specialising in complex and contentious casework, workplace investigations, dispute resolution and mediation.

Jan serves as a member of the Thriving at Work Leadership Council. In her spare time, she is a keen endurance cyclist and a big supporter of Parkrun, both as a participant and a volunteer.

“I am very proud to be an Ambassador for the Social Enterprise Mark, which Roots HR has held since 2010 and which we regard as a significant accolade.

The Mark provides a visual validation and representation of our deeply held commitment to the use of our team’s professional qualifications and experience, and the profits we generate, for the front-line users of socially-motivated organisations.

Through being an Ambassador for the Mark, I hope to encourage other organisations to understand the value of becoming a Mark holder, the benefits of continuing to professionalise our sector and the importance of external accreditation to this journey.”

AREAS OF INTEREST:

HR and employment law / Complex and contentious employee case work, dispute resolution and mediation / Organisational development / Executive coaching


Julie Hawker

Julie Hawker

Joint Chief Executive, Cosmic

Julie Hawker is Chief Executive of Cosmic, a social enterprise which is very highly regarded for its work in addressing digital skills development and digital inclusion as key priorities across the region.

Cosmic work in partnership with many of the leading organisations locally in the South West and across the UK to enable them to benefit from digital skills, working smarter, engaging with society and delivering value.

Cosmic is regarded as one of the UK’s leading ethical digital businesses, having won multiple awards, and with more than two decades’ experience in bringing the value of digital innovations to partners, helping them to benefit as part of the connected, digital world. Julie has led the company to growth and development of a strong team of highly skilled and dedicated individuals.

Julie has been involved at strategic and policy level in the development of regional and national partnerships and currently holds positions at Board level with the SW Business Council and the Heart of SW Digital Skills Partnership.

In these positions she aims to provide support for wider economic and social impact through effective use of digital skills and social enterprise. She continues to champion these key components of the Cosmic business model with organisations and people she meets every day.

“The Social Enterprise Mark has been a fundamental part of Cosmic’s brand identity for well over a decade now, and it has proved a highly effective way to promote to the world our social impact credentials. Cosmic’s commitment to social enterprise remains as strong as ever, and the Mark acts as a regular reminder for all stakeholders – staff, Directors, partners and clients.” 

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Digital Inclusion, Digital Skills, Digital Business Support / Leadership Development / Devon and Somerset (and SW) locality


Roger Pipe

Roger Pipe

Previously Chief Executive, Millfields Trust

Roger began work at Millfields Trust in March 1999; coincidentally the very day when the building of the new business units began. In the 19 years he has been with the Trust, they have moved from a portakabin to new offices firstly within the refurbished Creykes Court, and then to the HQ building.

In addition, the Trust has also built two further buildings offering office accommodation; Stonley Court and Genesis. These assets provide the Trust with an asset base and income, which is all reinvested in the Stonehouse area of Plymouth. The Trust also owns a pub and a residential property.

Most recently, Millfields has formed a partnership with Plymouth College of Art to create a new textile manufacturing company (Makers HQ), which is based at the Millfields HQ building.

Roger has spent most of his working life in Voluntary sector. A large part of this was spent in a regional capacity for Gateway/Mencap, which involved travel throughout the South West supporting a network of voluntary clubs, and working with people with learning difficulties to establish new services.

Prior to starting with Millfields, he worked on a project to assist homeless people in Glastonbury and before that for a Development Trust in Bristol. Roger is also a Board member of Tamar Housing.

Outside of work, football takes up much of his time; he watches Yeovil Town, and daydreams about West Brom returning to the Premiership.

“The Millfields Trust is striving to improve the lives of people living in Stonehouse.

It makes us really proud that this work has been validated by such an important body as Social Enterprise Mark CIC.

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Community development / Regeneration / Hubs and facilities management


Kate Welch

Kate Welch OBE

Chief Executive, Social Enterprise Acumen

Kate Welch OBE DL FRSA founded her first social enterprise, Acumen Development Trust, in 2003. It has now supported over 16,000 unemployed people to find jobs or start their own business. She was awarded the OBE for services to Social Enterprise in the North East of England in 2008 and was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant in County Durham a year later.

Kate then founded Social Enterprise Acumen CIC in Durham, which supports the start-up, growth and development of social enterprises in the UK and many other countries. She gained the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2016 and continues to support over 300 social entrepreneurs and social enterprises every year. Kate works with partners ranging from community groups to universities, to inspire, enthuse and support people to learn and take action by starting or developing their social enterprise. She is passionate about how social enterprise can be a way of working for anyone who wants to bring about long term, sustainable change in society.

In 2017 she co-founded Acumen Community Buildings and is developing centres for social enterprise in the North East of England. The Old Rectory in Houghton-le-Spring is the first of these and is a Grade 2 listed building in a beautiful park, which is now home to 9 established social enterprises and a co-working space for new social entrepreneurs. The second, Sacriston Co-operative Workshops, opened in 2019.

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Business models / Finance and funding / Governance


Prof Karen Stanton

Professor Karen Stanton

Vice Chancellor, Solent University (previously Vice Chancellor, York St John University)

Professor Karen Stanton joined Solent University at the start of February 2020, from her role as Vice-Chancellor at York St John University, a Social Enterprise Gold Mark holder. Prior to that, Professor Stanton was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Glasgow Caledonian University and has also held positions at King’s College London and at the Universities of Nottingham, Birmingham and Sheffield Hallam.

Her previous areas of responsibility included Director of the Centre for e-Research, a 4* rated research team based at King’s College London, oversight of GCU’s overseas campuses in New York, Oman and Bangladesh and member of the United Nations Alliance-UK. She was Chair of the Cathedral’s Group, a UCAS Trustee and Vice Chair of GuildHE until December 2019.

Professor Stanton is now Chair of the Southampton Connect, Southampton’s city-wide leadership group.

Professor Stanton has over 20 years of academic leadership experience having dedicated her career to enhancing and advancing life and career opportunities through education, with a particular commitment to widening access and support for all. She is Chair of Southampton Connect.

“The Social Enterprise Gold Mark is a force for good in the Higher Education sector. Obtaining the award underlines institutions commitment to social justice, social responsibility and creating positive social change.

Universities are anchor institutions in their cities, towns and regions and they play a major role in supporting and sustaining social enterprises in their locality.

All universities strive to operate in a way which is transparent, socially responsible and maximises positive social impact.

The Social Enterprise Gold Mark award is a kite mark demonstrating a university’s commitment to doing just that.”

AREAS OF INTEREST:

HEI sector / Education


Miriam Rivas-Aguilar

Miriam Rivas-Aguilar

Chief Operating Officer, Care Opinion

Miriam was the very first Patient Opinion (now trading as Care Opinion) employee in 2005, and has been Chief Operating Officer (COO) since 2012. Care Opinion is a non-profit feedback platform for health and care services, which helps to improve care for everyone through public feedback & education.

Over 500 organisations are using Care Opinion to listen to what patients, service users and carers are saying. These include health and care providers, commissioners, health boards, regulators, professional bodies, educators, researchers and patient groups.

As COO, Miriam oversees the various functions across the organisation, manages the team and loves to chat with staff about the benefits of subscribing to Care Opinion.

She has over 20 years’ experience in business development, operations, managing teams, project management, and service delivery working in both the private and public sector.

Miriam was born in Chile and loves to travel, including a recent sabbatical travelling through South and Central America. Miriam’s interests include mentoring, Emotional Intelligence, and ensuring that Care Opinion offers a happy work environment for the team.

“Care Opinion was an early adopter of the Social Enterprise Mark, first achieving the accreditation just months after it was launched in 2010. I am proud to be part of such a valued driven organisation, and to be a Social Enterprise Mark Ambassador.” 


Jane Hatton

Jane Hatton

Chief Executive Officer, Evenbreak

Jane is a disabled social entrepreneur, TEDx Speaker and author. She founded the award-winning social enterprise Evenbreak in 2011.

Widely published in inclusive recruitment, including “A Dozen Brilliant Reasons to Employ Disabled People” (2017) and “A Dozen Great Ways to Recruit Disabled People” (2020), she is on the executive board of the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative, a Patron of Arkbound Foundation and a Trustee of Action on Disability and Development International.

Winning a number of inclusion awards, Jane has appeared on the Shaw Trust Power 100 ‘Britain’s Most Influential Disabled People’ list three times, being placed 7th in 2019.

“With Evenbreak, I wasn’t motivated by making rich shareholders richer, and our candidates certainly aren’t charity cases, so a social enterprise model was perfect.

Accredited social enterprises definitely offer the best future for the economy and society generally.

I’m proud to be flying the flag for Disability Employment Mark as an Ambassador.

AREAS OF INTEREST:

Disability equality in employment / Inclusion, diversity and intersectionality