Back to life, back to reality: Have I Got Social Enterprise For You

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I’ll be honest, Monday was a bit of a struggle. After 17 days out of the office I could barely remember where the office was, let alone the password to my computer and what I was supposed to do when I did actually log on. Handily, I found this article – 10 Tips On Returning To Work After A Significant Amount of Time Off – which is packed full of top tips for readjusting back into the workplace. It says that it’s aimed at people ‘returning after a redundancy, maternity or paternity leave, a long illness or just simply a career break’ rather than a two week holiday but why let that be a limiting factor?

Enjoy the news…


Identify your strengths

Going straight in there with procrastination. Some people would say it’s a weakness but they just need to think about if for longer. I’m even procrastinating now – rather than telling you that the Big Lottery’s Building Connections Fund is now open and offering grants of £30,000 to £100,000 to support projects that are able to prevent or reduce loneliness I’m writing this rubbish.

Update your cv

You’ve been out of the office having a lovely time, you get back to the office and aren’t having such a lovely time so now it’s time to leave. But where to? Well, SSE Fellow Rob Moores has created a really exciting role, central to the development of his social enterprise, Growing Better, which uses urban farming for better mental health. Based in Leeds, Rob is looking for the for the future leader of the organisation – details here (scroll down a bit).

Elsewhere, SSE Fellow Lynne Barton is recruiting a service manager for her organisation Entrust Care Partnership. The successful applicant will be responsible for recruiting, nurturing and managing a team of sessional workers who offer individually tailored support for disabled children, young people and adults in their home and in the community. The role is based in Warwickshire and pays £26,208 for a 30 hour week – email for a job spec.

Here at SSE we are looking for two development managers, one based in London and one home-based. The role will suit you if you are excited about the opportunity to have a significant impact on a long-established and well-respected organisation that operates on a global scale, apparently. Find out more here.

Refresh, refresh, refresh

After a month of ‘refreshing’ during the World Cup that’s the last thing I need. Still, staying refreshed is important as the Guardian discovered this week in ‘Work less, get more: New Zealand firm’s four-day week an ‘unmitigated success’.‘ I reckon we should go even further: a one-day working week. All in favour say aye.

Mind the gap

It may surprise you to learn that I do not know much about sculpture. I have never attempted to recreate Rodin’s ‘Thinker’ or Michelangelo’s ‘David’ (not me) for example. Therefore I could not tell you if minding gaps is important in statue making or not. It could be, I guess. Fortunately, I am not involved in ‘Put Her Forward’, a scheme to which you can a nominate living women to be immortalised as a statue. They need to be alive and to have have positively impacted the people around them.

Nominate here


‘Upskill’ sounds dangerously like management speak so let’s just pretend that it says ‘do some training’ instead. And what better training to do than our next one-day workshop in London on August 2nd? Fundraising from Trusts and Foundations is all about…er, fundraising from trusts and foundations. They give out £4 billion in grants each year apparently – you’ll learn how to get your hands on some of that cash.

Book a place here

A problem shared is a problem halved

I’m not entirely convinced by this saying. If my problem is that I’m suffering with flu and I share it with you that just means that there are two people with flu and we’ve got ourselves into a right old pickle. Whoever came up with this advice is peddling nonsense.

Far less nonsensical is the risk management toolkit from our friends at the Lloyds Bank Foundation, produced to help charities to understand the basics of risk management. It looks very useful.

Stay connected

I’ve been connected to SSE’s wifi since 8.30 this morning so got that one covered. If you’d prefer more of a person to person type connection then take a look at The Happy Startup Summercamp which returns this September for the 6th year running to inspire startups to create purpose-driven businesses. It takes place in East Grinstead, Sussex, from the 14th to 16th of September 2018, and 150 entrepreneurs will gather for talks, workshops, idea sharing and a host of outdoor activities, from stargazing to tree-dating. If you book a ticket and mention that you heard about it through SSE you’ll receive a 10% discount.

Find out more here

Step out of your comfort zone

But how? Enter an award maybe? That’s what SSE Fellow Mo Ali did and he picked up ‘International SME of the Year’ in the 2018 British Expertise International Awards for his social enterprise Aid Works. Aid Works provides project support and learning services to international organisations, and supports aid workers to reach their potential through training and e-learning.

You can visit their website here


Bit of an odd headline. One thing I can tell you about children though: they don’t half make a noise. Usually at completely the wrong time of day – 4.30am for example. One way to drown it out is to put on some headphones and listen to a podcast. Red Bull have put together a list of 10 essential podcast episodes for social entrepreneurs.

Treat yourself

I’ve spent my first week back in the office online shopping so that you don’t have to. Top of the list is social enterprise Aerende’s limited-edition textile range in collaboration with chef and broadcaster Rosie Birkett. It includes blush pink linen napkins and cushions made from upcycled velvet curtains sewn by refugees in Hertfordshire and a natural wool blanket handwoven made by a chap called Ashleigh in Scotland, on a loom he’s had adapted to accommodate his wheelchair.

See the full range here

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