Fun fun fun: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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Today is ‘Fun at Work Day’. I know, I had a wry chuckle too. But this is a (mainly American) thing, and sometimes you just have to accept that the impossible could happen and embrace it. Having done some research, this could be tough however – it seems to be a lot of forced fun and wackiness, words that strike me with horror and bring me out in a cold sweat. Still, I found some tips online (here, for example) for how to ‘enjoy’ the day and have crowbarred them into this week’s news with all the subtlety of a member of the establishment at a President’s Club Dinner.



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Block what? Bit who? Big where? Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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When I was younger I used to get endlessly frustrated that my parents couldn’t work out how to set the video recorder. No matter how many times I showed them, there was only about a 5% chance that they would manage to actually record the programme that they wanted to watch. “I’ll never be like that”, I’d think to myself, before heading back to my bedroom to apply some Lynx and listen to Green Day or Offspring.

Now in my mid 30s, I am becoming just like that. I think the warning signs started a few years ago, around the time that ‘Big Data’ started to be a thing. “Big data will change everything” people would say to me. “Agreed”, I’d say confidently. “Could be huge”. But in my head I’d be thinking “I have no idea what you are talking about”.

Next came Bitcoin. About five years ago a friend who worked in San Francisco told me to buy some. So I did, and it turned out to be a prudent tip – I think I spent about £100 and the value of my investment has soared, to somewhere in the region of £12,000 – £15,000. The problem I have is that I a) have no idea where I bought the Bitcoin from b) have no idea where my Bitcoin is stored and how to access it c) have no record of how to overcome these problems and d) still don’t really understand what Bitcoin is. So I have in fact managed to lose £100.

Now, people keep banging on about blockchain. I’m not even going to pretend to know about this, it’s baffling. Read the Wikipedia page and see if you can get passed the first paragraph. I’ve decided that life is too short, and I have to say that it is quite liberating. Maybe my parents were right all along.

Enjoy the news…


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Actually busy. Really. Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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I don’t have a lot of time for people who always bang on about being busy. “Yeah, busy complaining about being busy” I’ll mutter to myself under my breath while wondering what it is they actually do anyway. In a Venn diagram of workplace annoyances ‘busy people’ overlap with ‘people who have a ringtone and don’t just leave their phone on vibrate’ and ‘people who hit reply all as if they are engaged in an email version of hungry hippos’.

There is a further section to my Venn diagram: ‘Massive hypocrites’. It’s into this section that I’m inserting myself as I have this week been complaining about being too busy. People at work keep giving me things to do with deadlines attached to them which means that this week’s HIGSENFY is a little half-arsed, to use a technical term. Yep, the powers that be at SSE would rather I complete spreadsheets and have meetings and other such things which mean that you, a loyal reader of this newsletter, have to suffer. Don’t worry though, I have begun a protest campaign by muttering under my breath and hope that things will soon return to normal…

Enjoy the news


No, they aren’t named after the cat. I checked. 

Let’s start with some funding news. Garfield Weston are celebrating their 60th birthday this year and alongside the balloon, party popper and small bag of Haribo Tangfastics that you’ll find in your party bag they are also handing out grants of up to £150,000  ‘to provide new or improve existing community facilities’. Applications are open to UK registered charities, CIOs, places of worship and state schools only with a total income under £3million.

Find out more


After I slammed GDPR as being boring last week Sarah Doerksen at Catch 22 got in touch with some genuinely useful GDPR related information: the good people at Capacity have put together a GDPR health check tool and a whole glossary of GDPR related terms. They are also running free GDPR workshops in Liverpool.

Take the health check here 

Weekend plans?

It’s short notice but tomorrow is StartUp 2018, ‘the biggest start-up show of the year’. Run by Enterprise Nation it takes place in at Queen Mary’s University in London and includes over 100 expert speakers and inspiring entrepreneurs across 10 stages. Could be worth checking out.

Book a ticket here

I got know-how, party people, I got know-how

10 points to the first person who names that song lyric, no checking Google. If you live near Bristol and want to get some digital know how then Google and Lloyds Bank are running a free ½ day digital skills workshops for small businesses and charities. It takes place on Wednesday 31 January at University of the West of England.

Book a place


SSE Fellow Alice Lacey is looking for an Account Manager for her fantastic social enterprise now>press>play, which uses a new way of learning to engage children through movement, imagination and emotion. The role is based in the north of England and is paying £35k a year.

Apply here


Creative entrepreneurs based in London can now apply to Trampery Pathways, a new free programme of support that will ‘provide three-months of business support focusing on the entrepreneur as a human’. It looks really good – applications are open until 7th February.

Apply here

Opinions wanted

Good Finance have launched a survey testing a number of new concepts to make navigating the world of social investment easier and want to hear the views of charities and social enterprises – you can complete the survey by clicking the link below and you may win a £100 John Lewis voucher. You may also like to take a look at five tips to get ready for social investment in 2018, a blog they posted late last year.

Take the survey here

TV star

Finally, SSE Fellow Ben Andrews’ organisation Empower was featured on The One Show on Tuesday. Tanni Gray-Thompson looked at how Ben is supporting people with disabilities to access exercise programmes. The segment run between 10:36 and 14:56 on the iPlayer show.

Watch it here

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What’s on at SSE:

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Easing into 2018: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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Happy new year and welcome to the first Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You of 2018. Isn’t it fun being back at work? Just how did all those emails cope without us while we were away? Just think of the poor and lonely meeting rooms while you were at home enjoying your turkey…

Loads of new subscribers this week – welcome to you all and if you ever have anything that you want included just send it my way.

Enjoy your weekend


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