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Sticking its neck out: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Happy World Giraffe Day. Are you doing anything special for it? If I’m honest, celebrations in the SSE office are somewhat muted, we haven’t even borrowed a giraffe for the day. People just don’t seem to put the effort in, which is a shame. Still I’m not going to let this dampen my mood so this week’s newsletter contains some “amazing” facts about giraffes that you can share with your friends, colleagues and family as you celebrate later. I’ll even throw in a giraffe joke for you to get things going:

What do you call a giraffe that can turn into a boat?

A girraft.

Enjoy the news…


There are no giraffes living in the wild in Cornwall

I really should charge you to subscribe to this newsletter. What you are essentially getting here is a free Open University course. It doesn’t even stop there, as I can also inform you that if you do want to see a giraffe in Cornwall you can see them at Paignton Zoo (you can even adopt one).

While in Cornwall, you might like to pay a visit to our school there. They are in the final few days of gathering votes in the Cornwall Business Awards and need your support.

Vote for them as Business of the Year here.

A newly born giraffe measures around 6 feet in height

Which is near enough the same size as our chief executive Ali. He’s just been named on PwC’s Inspirational 50 list, recognising 50 inspiring people in network who make a difference to the LGBTQ+ community.

Congrats Ali!

Giraffes can host webinars

Look, you can watch one just here. Where giraffes go, SSE follows, so we’re going to host a series of webinars in partnership with Lime Green Consulting. They start next Thursday and will be covering all things fundraising related. Good value too – £15 each or all five for £55. Find out more here.

We’re also running an online start up boost course for fledgling social enterprises that would like direction and clear sight on how to grow and flourish. The next course takes place over 3rd and 4th July and it’s £45 to take part. Bargain! You can make a booking here.

Finally on webinars, the Youth Endowment Fund hosted one last week to explain the support it will offer to community partnerships working with children at risk of being drawn into crime and violence. Grants of up to £200,000 are available. Find out more here. 

No-one has ever seen a giraffe swimming

Not sure about this one. Have they asked everyone? If you did see a giraffe swimming, would you immediately think “Hmm, not sure anyone has ever seen that before, I should probably let the giraffe facts people know”? A classic example of why it’s important to do the research when it comes to things like this, which is why I’m delighted that Social Enterprise UK are doing things properly with their UK’s State of Social Enterprise Survey 2019.

You can take part in hit here

Giraffes are vegetarian

Something that they have in common with our head of learning Ian Baker. When not chewing leaves, Ian has been busy summarising 22 years of SSE’s experience in an article for Pioneers Post: ‘Five insights into how social entrepreneurs learn‘. He’s not the only one whose digits have been pounding the keyboard – Our managing director, Nicola Steuer, explains why social enterprises might hold the answer to the charity sector’s diversity problem in this column for Third Sector (paywall). She’s also shared her views on how social entrepreneurs could be the saviours of British high streets over at New Start Magazine (again, behind a paywall). And we’ve been written about too – here’s MP Margot James covering the government’s Digital Leadership Fund and our Third Sector Digital Leaders course.

England footballer Peter Crouch is a fan of giraffes

As you can see here. Now, it’s unlikely that Crouchie will be playing for England in next year’s European Championship but if he’d like to be involved he could act as a volunteer next summer for the matches being played in London.

Or, if he’d prefer something of a career change but to continue using his sector experience then London Football Journeys are looking for Facilitators to lead London Football Journeys’ workshops at partner schools in Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Kensington & Chelsea in the 2019/20 academic year. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis until mid August.

Also recruiting are Green Schools Project, who are looking for a programme manager in London to help drive their growth. This is an opportunity for someone to be at the heart of a start-up social enterprise that is helping schools to develop a response to the climate crisis and get young people involved in protecting the living planet. Apply by 14th July.

Giraffes are the only animal I can think of that have a chain of restaurants named after them

I know there is also Tiger Tiger but I think we can all agree that’s more of a chain of bars that happen to serve food rather than a dining destination. Which is the best branch of Giraffe? I don’t know, I’ve only eaten at the one at Gatwick and the one of South Bank. I’ve heard good things about the branch in Manchester though (I haven’t, I’m making it up for this newsletter). If you’re from the area, perhaps you could eat there after you’ve applied for free workspace at The Federation, an office space looking to support early-stage social enterprises that are using technology and innovation to benefit communities in the UK.

Up to four desks are available for 12 months

Giraffes are very social animals and roam around in groups, called towers

A tower of giraffes, I did not know that. I’m pretty sure that sociable towers of giraffes are welcome at our Finding New Customers and Making More Sales workshop next Friday; I’ve read through SSE’s policies and can’t find anything that says otherwise.

A few more humans could be good too, otherwise I’m going to have to have some sort of awkward meeting with management about time spent doing giraffe research vs time spent doing other parts of my job description (which is largely focused on finding new customers and making more sales, ironically).

Book your place on the course here. You won’t regret it.

Giraffes have the biggest heart of land mammal

Weighing in at a hefty 11kg, compared with 230g – 340g in humans. But it’s what you do with it that counts, and us humans have the advantage there. Giraffes don’t create community businesses, for example.  Throughout June, SSE will be welcoming new cohorts across England to our giraffe free Community Business Trade Up Programme. We’ve put together a piece where you can meet some of the organisations creating positive change in their local areas, and discover more about the programme.

Read it here

“Giraffe” is pronounced similarly in almost every language except for Cherokee, which calls them “digalisdugisgi”.

This is interesting, I thought. I wonder how you say other things in Cherokee. So I typed the word ‘almanac’ into an English to Cherokee dictionary and discovered that the Cherokee for almanac is ‘nvda adelohohisdodi’.

You might not think that this is particularly useful, but if you do happen to find yourself  in south eastern USA speaking to a Cherokee you can alert them to the fact that NCVO have just published their latest version of their Civil Society Almanac, offering ‘insights on what voluntary organisations do, their income and spending, workforce, volunteers and the sector’s impact’.

Find it here

There are various theories as to why giraffes have long neck

Including: being able to access food other animals can’t reach, as an early warning system to spot predators and for fighting with other giraffes. Whatever the reason, it certainly allows them to stand out from the crowd.

And (wait for it…) a number of SSE Fellows have also been standing out from the crowd recently:

Christie Spurling was awarded an MBE for Services To Young People In Greater Manchester. His organisation N-Gage is a Manchester-based charity that gives young people at risk of educational or social exclusion opportunities and skills to achieve their full potential. Visit their website here.

Ann Johnson has been awarded a Queens Award for Voluntary Service for Forge Urban Revival, a social enterprise in Telford cafe / events space that runs events and workshops to engage the community, reduce isolation and to help people develop new skills and interests. Visit Forge’s website here.

Asha Patel, founder of Innovating Minds CIC, was the winner of the ‘Women Who Achieves for Social Enterprise’ award at the Women Who awards, recognising women in business and rising stars of the future. Innovating Minds delivers therapy, training and consultation to help people access education, training and employment. You can find out more here.

Licensed to thrill: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Watch out world because I now have a driving license. Yep, in a frankly remarkable turn of events I this week managed to drive for 40 minutes without causing a serious incident and convinced the DVLA that I should be allowed on the road unsupervised. It’s all slightly terrifying; I did my first solo drive the other night and ended up botching a parallel park and basically leaving the car in the middle of the road.

Still, it does open up possibilities for a Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You roadshow. Just make sure that there a wide parking bays and I don’t need to get there via a motorway…

Enjoy the news



For Queen and country

Some fantastic news this week for SSE Fellow Annmarie Lewis, who has been awarded an OBE in the Birthday Honours List for services to ‘Young People in Youth Justice, Education and Entrepreneurship’. Annmarie is the founder of Rainmakers Worldwide, providing business support and personal development to young people from diverse and challenging backgrounds, primarily to create their own sustainable businesses.

Huge congratulations from everyone at SSE!


To your health

A reminder for health and wellbeing projects in either Lambeth or Southwark; we’re currently accepting applications to The Health and Wellbeing Trade Up Programme. We’re looking to support projects that either tackle childhood obesity or help to slow the progression from one long-term health condition to many, in working-age adults. (Our website gives you loads of example projects.)

On offer is a free learning programme, a grant of up to £10,000 and a support network of peers…

Apply by Tuesday 18th June



You’ve got until Sunday to apply to the Co-op’s Local Community Fund, which supports community projects near to Co-op shops and funeral homes (Co-op members choose the project that they want to support and then 1% of their spending goes to the project). Projects need to be working in one of three areas: helping a local community come together to save, build, fix or improve indoor or outdoor local spaces / supporting the mental or physical health of a community through wellbeing activities / helping people reach their full potential by developing their skills.

Find out more here



Next week is Digital Leaders Week, which according to the organisers is ‘the most inspirational week in the Digital Transformation calendar’. And who am I to argue with that? The most exciting thing in my calendar next week is a meeting with a bloke who might be ripping some shelves out in our kitchen. Anyhow, there are a whole load of events both online and offline around the country. I haven’t clicked on all of them but it looks like they might all be free.

Check them out


Story time

Also getting in on what I’m confidently predicting will be an ‘internet revolution’ are our friends at Good Finance, who are hosting a ‘storytelling for raising investment’ webinar on 19th June at 11am. The webinar will look at how to tell the perfect impact story to win over your audience when fundraising or raising investment. Which sounds useful.

Sign up here 


The Thick of It

Your eyes are not deceiving you. This may seem impossible to believe, but a political party has done something that isn’t related to either Brexit or a leadership contest. Somewhere in the dusty chambers of the House of Commons the Labour Party have been putting together their civil society strategy. It’s worth taking a look, although considering the current machinations in Westminster who knows if it will ever come close to being enacted…

Take a look here


In it to win it

A trio of awards are currently looking for entrants – someone has to win them, why can’t it be you?

Social Enterprise UK have fourteen categories to which you can apply, and as mentioned last week every shortlisted entrant in four of them (UK social enterprise of the year, international impact, women in social enterprise and education, training and jobs) will be offered a £1000 bursary towards attending the 2019 Social Enterprise World Forum in Ethiopia. Nominations close on 7th July.

Social Enterprise Scotland’s awards are also open until 7th July and in a strong demonstration of post Bannockburn harmony the winners of five of the six categories will win at ticket to Social Enterprise UK’s awards and be automatically shortlisted in them. Which I think means that you could win Scottish Social Enterprise of the Year, pick up a ticket for SEUK’s awards and qualify for a bursary to Addis Ababa and then win UK Social Enterprise of the Year. Probably worth entering.

Finally, the Blue Patch Sustainable Business Awards are open to organisations from across the UK. There are a couple of categories that could be of interest, including the Social Good Award, the Global Impact Award and the Sustainable Innovation Award. The awards are open until 24th July.


This is how you do marketing

We’ve got a couple of upcoming workshops at SSE London and availability on both. Working with Corporates next Thursday will tell you all about working with corporates, while Finding New Customers and Making More Sales on 28th June will explain how you find new customers and making more sales.


Pour les femmes

French organisation Empow’Her are currently running a study on women in social entrepreneurship in Europe and they need your help to better understand what difficulties you have met and what are your support needs. If you are a woman social entrepreneur interested in joining a European community of women changemakers then they’d love it if you could take a few minutes to answer this survey.


Food for the soul

SSE Fellow Helen James is looking for wellbeing focused social enterprises to join as speakers / presenters to join an online summit later in the year. The event aims to gather a like-minded group with lived experience of diet-culture and body stigma. Helen’s organisation Nutriri helps people accept, like and love their bodies, quit disordered eating and make nurturing self care choices.

Find out more about the online summit here



Finally, if you’re looking for something to read over lunch I enjoyed ‘How to take over your town: the inside story of a local revolution‘ by John Harris on the Guardian’s website this week. The tl;dr version is that local party politics is failing and community groups are stepping in to fill the void. It’s a v good piece.

Noughtie but nice: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

After March’s 90s pop music edition my inbox was overwhelmed by hordes of people (at least five) requesting a follow up noughties edition. If there is one thing that I’ve learned writing this newsletter it’s to give the people what they want, so here you are – a whole list of ’00’s song titles bearing a tentative link to the stories below them. For older readers who might say “oh, I’ve never heard of any of these songs, why can’t you do something from the ’70s”, don’t worry, I can hardly remember most of these songs anyway. In yet another striking blow to any notion I might have of not getting old, the year 2000 was literally half my lifetime ago.

Enjoy this week’s news and have a great weekend – if you happen to be in SE London on Sunday I’m hosting a jumble sale outside my house for Lewisham foodbank. Seriously. The weekends aren’t what they used to be…



Pure Shores, All Saints

All Saints are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine – I was at their comeback gig in 2016 and then saw them again in Oxford last year. You may scoff, but anyone who denies that Pure Shores is an absolute banger must be tone deaf.

Pure shores are, of course, a good and environmentally sound thing. All Saints are all women. What do you get if you combine the two? The Carolina Nyberg-Steiser Bursary, open to women up to 36 years of age working in the Social Impact Sector. Supported by Greenpeace and the Resource Alliance the programme is in memory of Carolina Nyberg-Steiser who lost her life while working for Greenpeace in the Amazon. Three bursary winners will receive a mentor and flights, accommodation etc to the IFC Time For Action conference in Holland in November.

Find out more here

Human, The Killers 

A song that asks the vital question “Are we human, or are we dancer?”. It may seem a silly question, but the questions in the ’00s were a lot better than they are now. No-one asked if you wanted to be in or out of the EU, for starters. It was better.

Hoping to return us to a better world for men and women are Humen, a CIO set up by SSE Fellow River Hawkins. Humen’s primary aim is to improve men’s mental health, which it does through the provision of safe spaces for men to talk on a regular basis. Humen are now looking for two trustees: one from an accounting background who can take responsibility for the annual accounts and one with experience of fundraising.

If you are interested, please contact the Chairman of the Trustees, Stephen Brough, at and you can find out all about the organisation on their website.


Ladies of Cambridge, Vampire Weekend

So it’s the wrong Cambridge but what does it matter? Vampire Weekend are singing about Cambridge, Massachusetts, and not Cambridge, England, which is where you’ll find the Judge Business School. (You’ll find Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, fact fans). The Judge Business School are currently accepting applications to their Social Venture Incubator, which offers social entrepreneurs expert business advice, training and networking.

You don’t need to be part of Cambridge University, but you do need to apply by 28th June.


Hot n’ Cold, Katy Perry

Average high temperature in Addis Adaba in October = 23°C. Average low temperature in Addis Adaba in October = 8°C. If you are heading to the Social Enterprise World Forum, make sure to pack a jumper for the evening.

If you’ve not booked your trip yet, Social Enterprise UK and The British Council are offering a bursary of £1000 to shortlisted social enterprises in four categories of this year’s Social Enterprise Awards. I’ve done the research for you: flights come in at about £400 return on Ethiopian Airways and then you can stay at the rather nice looking Sabon hotel for £54 per night. (Their promo photos feature some outstanding pictures of guests in dressing gowns enjoying some orange juice).

Find out more about the bursary here


I Gotta Feeling, Black Eyed Peas

“I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good, good night”

And it certainly was for SSE Fellow David Carnaffan, whose organisation YMCA North Tyneside was recently awarded the Improving Impact award for charities with 26+ staff at the Charity Governance Awards. YMCA North Tyneside is a sustainable charity with numerous social enterprises including a training cafe, gym, housing, music and music studio.

Read more here


Drop It Like It’s Hot, Snoop Dogg (featuring Pharrell)

No need for similes, Clore Social Leadership’s new Backpack is hot. It’s not really a backpack in the conventional sense, however, more a collection of tools and case studies helping to address leadership challenges.

Check it out


Can We Fix It?, Bob the Builder

Yes we can, say the good people of Bethnal Green Ventures. They are looking for tech for good ventures to invest and support for their Autumn 2019 programme. There’s a whole package of support on offer including an investment of £20,000 (in exchange for 6% equity), learning, mentoring and office space.

Apply by 18th June


Dilemma, Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland

“Don’t think I know that song”, I thought when I was doing the research for this newsletter. So I did a search on Youtube. It’s this one. It felt like that was everywhere for a spell in 2002.

But Nelly and Kelly aren’t the only people with a dilemma (although I’m guessing they may have resolved theirs 17 years after the event). Nope, the third sector has one too: diversity. But our managing director Nicola reckons that social enterprises might hold some of the solutions, in an article that she has penned below (if you have any difficulties accessing it, try copying the link into an incognito window and you should bypass the sign in page).

Read it here  


Hero, Enrique Iglesias

The 18th biggest selling song in the UK in the 00’s. By a strange quirk, next on the list and the 19th biggest selling song is also called Hero, but it’s by the 2008 X-factor contestants and is a cover of a Mariah Carey song. Weird huh?

If you know someone you consider to be a hero, why not nominate them for the Independent’s Happy List, which ‘shines a light on the great Britons whose extraordinary efforts are for no personal gain, and who often go unrecognised outside their own communities’ It’s always an inspiring list (last year’s is here) and it would be great to see some SSE Fellows on it again.

Nominations are open until 16th June 


Bye Bye Bye, NSYNC

That’s what you’ll be saying to your current colleagues if you’re to successfully apply for one of the following jobs:

In London, Social Enterprise UK are looking for an enterprise programme coordinator to support Social Enterprise UK’s work to increase and diversify the organisation’s income streams. The role pays £25k and will help to administer and deliver the organisation’s corporate programmes, working with household names including Johnson & Johnson, PwC and SAP, as well as a wide range of B2B social enterprises. Apply by 14th June.

In Oxford, award-winning positive investment retail platform Ethex are recruiting an operations manager. You’ll be responsible for ensuring great customer service to positive investors and, to businesses using the platform to raise finance and build an engaged investor base. The job pays £25k-30k, apply by 19th June.

And in Runcorn, Wellbeing Enterprises have two vacancies: a Community Wellbeing Officer (£19.5k) and a Community Wellbeing Administrator (£17.5k). Wellbeing Enterprises are a CIC which addresses issues of social isolation and loneliness by helping people to connect in their communities, make new friends, volunteer or just reconnect with people they have lost touch with. Both roles close on 12th June.


White Flag, Dido

I’m pretty sure that Dido lives in Islington, she was once queuing behind me in the Sainsbury’s on Liverpool Road and it looked like the sort of big shop that you’d be taking home, rather than picking up a meal deal on the run.

Also in Islington are Islington Giving’s Young Grant Makers, a group of sixteen people aged 16-25 who are now inviting applications for inclusive projects that equip young people for their future, help them overcome barriers to participation and provide them with the opportunity to shine. Grants of up to £25k are available to charities and social enterprises operating in Islington.

There is an information session on Tuesday 25th June and expressions of interest need to be completed.

All the details you need are here

Come for the weather, stay for the Calpol: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

According to Lonely Planet, ‘Pollença is beautiful. On a late summer afternoon, when its stone houses glow in the fading light, cicadas strike up their tentative drone and the burble of chatter floats from cafe terraces lining the Placa Major, the town is like the Mallorca you always hoped you would discover.’

This could be true. I can neither confirm nor deny it, despite having just been there for a week. I was mainly confined to an apartment with a sick three year old. It wasn’t the most successful of holidays –  BA lost one of our bags too. Yes, yes, I am aware that it’s the very definition of entitlement to complain about a holiday but there you go. I did at least discover that they don’t have Calpol on Majorca, instead using something called Apiretal, which is seven times stronger. Good thing I checked the label…

After all that, it was something of a relief to return to the office this week and voila, here is your news.

Enjoy your weekend.


Helping us

Right, time for your good deed of the day. SSE Cornwall have been named a finalist in the ‘Ambassador of the Year’ category of the Cornwall Business Awards and now need you to vote for them. I know you may not have had anything to do with SSE Cornwall previously but trust me when I say that they deserve your vote. It will take you about three seconds – you don’t even need to faff about entering your email address or anything.

You need to scroll down this page a bit to vote

Helping you

We can offer something back too: we’re collaborating with PwC for PwC’s Building Public Trust Award for Impact in Social Enterprise 2019 award (or the PWCBPTAFIISE2019 award, as some people are calling it for short). The award will recognise excellence in social enterprises demonstrating a positive social or environmental impact. One winner will pick up a prize of £5000 and two runners up will receive £2500.

Enter by 5pm on 13th June

A web of learning

Outside of all the democracy subversion, trolling and strange videos by Rory Stewart there can be some exciting and useful material on the internet. And very occasionally SSE is responsible for it…

SSE Yorkshire and North East are running an online Start Up Boost course for early stage social entrepreneurs. Two interactive and highly practical online sessions that will give your young enterprise – or even just the germ of an idea – direction and clear sight on how to grow and flourish. There are dates available in July, September and November. Find out more here.

Not to be outdone by our friends in the north, we’ve blown the cobwebs off the floppy discs marked ‘Fundraising Webinar Series’, given them a bit of a clean up and thrust them back online. Lime Green Consulting will be running five webinars for us starting on Thursday 27th June, covering everything from fundraising strategy to crowdfunding, trusts and foundations and events fundraising. Get involved here.

By gum

The only people I have ever actually heard say ‘by gum’ are people doing an impersonation of a Yorkshire accent. If anyone from Yorkshire could confirm whether or not it is actually common parlance it would help clear things up. I went out with a girl from Yorkshire while at university and I’m fairly sure she never said it, although to be fair I didn’t pay much attention to anything while at uni (hence my unqualified support for this campaign).

Why is this important? Because it’s Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber’s annual conference on 28th June. Taking place in Huddersfield, the theme is ‘Rebelling Social Enterprise Style’. They promise that you’ll hear from and celebrate those that are rebelling against the status quo in their area.

Find out more here

Torbay or not Torbay

Next Friday sees the first ever Torbay Local Entrepreneurs Forum, a unique way to be involved in supporting new business ventures in the area with a community version of Dragon’s Den, where anyone can attend as a friendly dragon and offer support. There will be two sessions – a first discussing rejuvenation of the local economy and the second the community dragon’s den. It looks like a fun way to spend a day.

Find out more here

Made up

For some reason every time I see the word ‘Clarion’ I think of the make-up department in Boots. (Nothing to do with any goth stage, you just have to walk through it in the Oxford branch to get to the sandwiches). But, of course, Clarins are the make-up people and Clarion are a housing group. A housing group with money to spend, as they have have two prize funds of up to £20,000 on offer as part of their William Sutton Prize.

There are two categories: The William Sutton Prize for Social Innovation will be awarded to an individual or organisation that has developed a ground-breaking new product, concept or service that will make a positive social impact on disadvantaged groups or communities. The William Sutton Prize for Placemaking and Affordable Housing Design will be awarded to an individual or organisation that has developed a ground-breaking design concept that will improve the quality of life and support the wellbeing of residents and communities.

Apply by 31st July

Advice please

“What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?” is a staple of Sunday newspaper magazine interviews. It’s actually quite a tough one to answer; firstly, can you remember any advice that anyone has ever given you? I struggle to remember what I had for dinner last night. Then, you need to make sure that you don’t come across as a bit of a muppet – say something like “my great grandmother always taught me to help those less fortunate before helping myself” and you’re going to seem a bit worthy but saying something like “baking soda is the best way to get rid of mould” and it’s just that bit too practical. It’s a minefield.

This is all frankly a very long and overly complicated way of telling you that we’re looking for people to act as mentors to some our students in London. You don’t need vast amounts of experience and it can be face-to-face, on the phone or online.

If you’re interested, please fill in this short application to tell us about yourself and why you would like to be a mentor. If you have any questions, please email Harriet who assists the SSE mentoring programme.

Game set and match

Matchable is an interesting looking platform matching companies and their employees with innovative, high impact skilled volunteering opportunities. They have a whole load of companies and employees across all sectors (legal, design, consulting, accounting, real estate, digital, finance etc) who are looking to use their skills to do meaningful and impactful projects with social enterprises. If you need help in any particular area, please feel free to drop Matchable founder, Foong, an email on to see if Matchable might be able to find you a corporate to help.

Find out more here

Gone but not forgotten

You’ll remember from the last edition that our ceo Ali was departing to tour Europe in a Campervan (I heard from him last week and it was raining and his roof was leaking) but before he left he wrote a piece on the back of Community Business Weekend discussing how and why SSE is supporting community businesses, along with our partners Power to Change.

You can read it here

Question Time

‘What is the Youth Endowment Fund, where did it come from and who is running the Youth Endowment Fund?’ are just three of the twenty two questions that you can find the answers to on the new Youth Endowment Fund webpage. For those of you who need a bit more info before clicking the link, it’s a new programme that will fund and evaluate interventions primarily targeting young people aged 10-14 who are judged to be at risk of being drawn into crime and violence.

You can get all the answers here

Get the party started

Finally, congratulations are in order to a number of SSE Fellows this week:

Josh Stunell was recently awarded The Devon & Cornwall’s Police And Crime Commissioners, Commissioners Award, in recognition of his Police Custody, Schools and Prison initiatives through his organisation bthechange CIC, which individuals immediate well-being support and practical guidance should they find themselves on the wrong side of the law for the first time.

Anita Godson picked up Employer of the Year at a Disability Confident event in Portsmouth. Her organisation Lily and Lime offers real work and training opportunities for young people with learning disabilities through catering provision and she is now branching out into running cleaning contracts.

Finally, Suzi Godson’s social enterprise MeeTwo, an app that helps anxious teenagers talk about difficult things, were named runners up at the National Medilink UK Healthcare Business Awards.

A hearty round of applause to you all!

White Campervan Man: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I think I last picked up a copy of The Sun about fifteen years ago. In it, there was a feature called ‘White Van Man’ in which they’d interview a man in a white van about some of the week’s pressing issues: questions like ‘who should win Pop Idol, Gareth Gates or Will Young?’, or ‘what do you think of the news that David Beckham has a new tattoo?’. From memory, the column was accompanied by a picture of bloke leaning cheerfully with one arm out the window.

Why am I telling you this? Because our chief executive Ali is taking four months off work to drive around Europe in a Campervan. So I thought it was the perfect time to “interview” “him” for his views on some of the key issues.

No newsletter next week, I’ll be in Majorca. Call me old fashioned by I’ll be staying a house. I’ve always preferred sleeping in an object whose primary purpose is living in, rather than transportation.


Hi Ali, thanks for giving up your time to speak to Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You. Last August, there were a number of nights in Spain when the night time temperature did not fall below 31.0°C. You will be in what is essentially a tin box. What will you do in the absence of sleep? 

Well, Dave, you’ll know that all Scots are uniquely adapted to cope with warm weather. I plan on sitting in an ice bath with a hanky on my head and working my way through this excellent list of useful resources for social entrepreneurs put together by BQ. It’s hot stuff.

What’s the motivation behind the trip? There are rumours in the SSE office that you’re actually a fugitive from the law and that this is all an elaborate cover-up.

I’ve heard those rumours and I will continue to deny them. My alternative reason? Well, we’ve just published the biggest-ever evaluation of our work: CLES’s evaluation of the first five years of the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with SSE and jointly funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. So the time seemed right your honour.

What will you miss most while you are away? 

Beyond proper walls, access to plumbing and a reliable source of electricity I’d probably say my colleagues, who are a daily source of inspiration to me. What will they be working on while I’m gone? Well, we’ve just launched a Health and Wellbeing Trade Up Programme for projects that benefit communities in Southwark and Lambeth so that will probably keep them busy.

Are you looking forward to meeting new people?

I’m am, yes. It’s just a shame I won’t be around to attend SSE London’s How to Network Successfully workshop next Friday. It would have been great to have fine tuned my elevator pitch before heading to St Tropez.

You’re going to be on the road a lot. Any tips for staying alert while driving?

Red Bull. Love the stuff. It’s the drink for every occasion. Did you know that Red Bull are fans of social enterprise too? They are currently looking for trail-blazers and innovators who are passionate about driving positive change in their community to take part in the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy 2019. It takes place in Bradford from 28 September to 6 October 2019. Borrow my Campervan if you need somewhere to stay.

Are you concerned about fluctuating exchange rates making it difficult to forecast the cost of the trip?

No. I went to the money exchange at the Oxford Street brank of Halifax so I’m well prepared. Conincidentally, I picked up a flyer while there and it seems SSE Fellow Cemal Ezel will be speaking at the very same branch of Halifax on June 12th about what it takes to set up a social enterprise. He’ll be talking about how his company Change Please has expanded to the success it is today and where he got help along the way. According to the flyer, you can book your space here.

That is a remarkable coincidence. Next you’ll be telling me that you considered crowdfunding the trip but could have seen it in action before taking the plunge.

That’s exactly what I was going to say next. How spooky. I think if I had been to The Funding Network’s live crowdfunding event in London on June 12th and watched four inspiring non-profits pitch for funds I’d feel a lot more confident about the whole thing.

If you had to spend the time in the UK instead of Europe, where would you go?

Another great question Dave. This has been such a good interview so far, you more than deserve a payrise. I’d go to three places:

Mile End. I’ve always wanted to visit Queen Mary University and find out more about their QConsult Summer programme. From what I understand, QConsult Summer works in partnership with City University of London & University of East London to place students into mini consultancy projects with London-based organisations and they are looking for businesses, social enterprises, charities and start ups who are interested in hiring interns.

Next stop would be Manchester, took take a look at the work being done by SSE fellow Adele Jordan. She’s is part of a collective mission to eradicate food poverty in Greater Manchester. Over 100 organisations & individuals are intent on addressing the causes as much as the symptoms. To achieve their goals they need unwanted cooking & growing equipment, and they’ve also created a food poverty action plan that local organisations can sign up to.

My final stopping point would be Cornwall, where I’d congratulate the team at SSE Cornwall on being nominated as a finalist in the Cornwall Business Awards in the Ambassador or the Year category.

Finally Ali; technology moves pretty swiftly these days. Are you worried that while you are away your job will be replaced

By a marshmallow?

No, by a robot. 

It’s a constant worry. So it’s good to know that BFB labs, a tech-for-good company developing products to improve mental health in young people, are currently in the process of recruiting for 2 roles – product manager and UX designer and researcher.