Today is Black Friday but did you know it’s also Buy Nothing Day, set up as an antidote to the ‘absurd dystopian phenomenon’ of Black Friday? Living in London this is impossible to do as every Londoner has to spend at least £4 in Pret a Manger every day as part of the price for living here but I like the sentiment none the less. The organisers suggest that ‘if Black Friday does tempt you to go shopping – just remember to DO NOTHING.’ Hey, I do nothing 365 days a year, this is a campaign that I can get behind…
Enjoy the news
Greetings, newsletter reader. How has your week been? I was up in Manchester for the Locality conference – it was lovely to meet some of you there.
It does mean that I’ve had a bit of a quiet week with not much to shout about. Also the internet in the office is so slow today that just typing out this intro has taken about thirty minutes. So let’s just crack on with the news…
A number of SSE Fellows, students and people in our extended network are currently taking part in the Aviva Community Fund voting and need your support. You have to register to vote, but you get 10 votes to use how you want. You can give all your votes to one project or spread them around amongst up to 10 projects. The choice is yours!
- Tim Wood, Managing Bipolar – to set up and run a group in Brighton to provide education and ongoing support for people suffering with bipolar disorder. We have developed an extensive education programme and developed a system to monitor how many times our group members used NHS services and/or were arrested by the police due to their bipolar so we could measure the drop in the use of these services and calculate the savings achieved. Vote here.
- Victoria Ijeh, Iconic Steps – supporting young people aged 16 – 25, who need that extra bit of help to acquire much needed skills to get them work ready.
We specifically work with young people interested in a career in the media but who are experiencing barriers such as those not in education or training, ex-offenders, care leavers and unemployed graduates. Vote here.
- Maggie Sakora, Mapis CIC – The idea for this new programme was developed and planned by last year’s beneficiaries of the employability programme, who decided to become Community Leaders and share their newly gained knowledge, and support other women facing exclusion. Their lives improved so much, that they suggested helping others in similar situation and started to refer hard to reach women. Vote here
- Catherine Waters-Clark, Inspero – Inspero would like to set up an affordable Forest School for local children aged 5 upwards, including those with special needs. The project will transform their physical and mental health, enabling them to develop crucial life skills to thrive.Funding would enable the remaining volunteers to be trained and for the project to be rolled out to help more children. Children will take part in a minimum of 6 sessions, each lasting 3 hours and including a healthy snack. Vote here
- Emily Mathieson, Aerende – Hertfordshire Refugee Sewing Project: We would like to develop our textile programme that supports refugee women and men who have recently arrived in the UK. Based in Hertfordshire, the programme, which launched earlier this year, was designed to help support newly arrived refugees by offering sewing lessons and skills development in a friendly, non-threatening space which also doubles as a sociable place to reduce isolation and improve English language skills – the two main barriers to refugee integration. Vote here
- Hannah Christina, Twinkleboost -Vocabulary at age five is the best predictor of whether children experiencing social deprivation are able to escape poverty later in life. Our Twinkleboost project delivers speech and language training to parents in deprived communities in the familiar, non-threatening context of a parent-baby class. Each week our Speech and Language Therapy Assistants skill up parents with powerful techniques, used by Paediatric Speech and Language Therapists to promote language development at home, helping to close the gap between disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers. We are a modern project, using digital technologies to consolidate parent learning, such as weekly emails, youtube videos and social media support. Vote here
- Samantha Purcell, Ghost Academy – The concept of Ghost Academy is a holistic training provision working with girls and women, who face multiple barriers to accessing mainstream education, training and employment opportunities. This includes girls and women with a history of offending; at risk from gangs; in substance misuse recovery, Long term unemployment, Mental health, Social services interventions, Low self esteem and victims of domestic abuse amongst others. The programme aim is to deliver a personal development and training opportunity for those women to gain a qualification in a commercial salon, whilst providing all the additional support that the group would need to enable them to move forward in their lives, gain skills and access employment opportunities. Vote here
- Nikki Griffiths, Inspire Peterborough – Through our new project Amilly Fitness: inclusive health and wellbeing centre we aim to help 300 people with disabilities and their family members, carers and friends feel less socially isolated and become more active improving their health and wellbeing by addressing the identified the barriers to physical activity participation. We are looking to fund a Buddy Co-ordinator to help people access the Centre and a Gym Instructor to cover all the gym and exercise class sessions. We are looking to support and encourage people with disabilities to become gym and exercise instructors, and can provide access to training courses via our links with the local YMCA. Vote here.
- Zoe Garshong, Ms Independent – Ms Independent is a social enterprise on a misson to close the gender wage gap around the world by empowering young females between the ages 15–25, with the skills and confidence needed to enter male dominated industries or to become company leaders, entrepreneur’s and investors. Vote here
Uproar on time-wasting social media platform Twitter this week as the people at the top decided that tweets would now be 280 characters instead of 140 characters. “This is the worst idea ever” cried one user. “Literally the worst decision in history” bawled another. Because it turns out that people like brevity. Things should be short, concise and to the point.
This applies to social enterprise newsletters too. People are too busy to wade through waffle and irrelevance, they want someone to cut through the noise and serve them their news without grandiloquent words and ornate language. Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You is a firm believer in this, it runs through us like a stick of rock. So for simple, direct social enterprise news we recommend you sign up to Pioneer Post’s succinct and rather excellent digest.
Enjoy this week’s news…
My voice is rather hoarse today. “Oh, do you have a bad cold Dave?” Nope. “Have you been smoking cigarettes?”. Incorrect. The reason that my voice is shot is because on Wednesday evening I was at Wembley cheering the mighty Tottenham to a 3-1 victory over Real Madrid, the current European champions.
Why is this relevant in a newsletter about social enterprise? I’ll tell you. I reckon I’ve spent 30 odd years supporting Spurs, and most of it has been pretty tough. Hard work, you might say. But for those moments of joy it all becomes worthwhile – a bit like running a social enterprise. So my advice to you: be the Spurs that you want to see in the world (unless you support Arsenal or Chelsea, in which case you’re doomed…).
Enjoy the news.