Bashing the Balearics: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

One of my big regrets in life is that I’ve never been to Ibiza. I don’t know why, a week of nights out clubbing and days spent recovering on the beach would have been perfect in my twenties.

Good news, however, as this week I have made up for it all by booking a trip to…Centerparcs. In January. Ok, it might not be 30 degrees and sunny but apparently the ‘Fun Pots with Tots’ activity is better than a night at Pacha and ‘Toddler Party Hour’ is the new Sundays at Space. The comparisons don’t end there – people always complain that Ibiza is horrendously expensive. Guess what, Centerparcs is too! I’ve looked online and it’s £5.40 for a pint of Peroni. So, why head all the way to San Antonio or Ibiza Town when you could go to Longleat or Woburn Forest. See you in the Aquazone…


Better than being Brexit Secretary

Much like Theresa May’s cabinet we’ve got a couple of vacancies at SSE at the moment.

If you are passionate about communications and social change you can apply to be our communications coordinator (£25,747 – £26,909). It’s a great opportunity for someone looking to take on more ownership of communications projects. Apply here by December 3rd.

If you are more interested in programme management and are highly organised, with excellent communications and influencing skills, you may wish to apply for our National Programme Manager role (£36,358 – £37,160). You’ll take the lead in managing and developing our highly successful Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, supporting 260 students annually in 13 locations across the UK. Apply here by December 11th. 

Read all about us

Be warned: if you do come and work at SSE some of your best efforts may go unrecognised. Here are just a few of my achievements over the past year: organising 4pm beers every Friday. Arranging for Channel Four to tweet our chief executive Ali telling him I deserved a pay rise. (It didn’t work.) Making sure I leave at 5pm on the dot every day. How many of those do you think made our annual report? Precisely zero. I don’t know why I bother sometimes.

If you’d like to see some of the other bits and pieces that we’ve got up to over the past twelve months, however, you can read our annual report here. There are 295 mentions of ‘social’, 227 mentions of ‘entrepreneurs’ and 100 mentions of ‘learning’. So there.

Fo’ shizzle

If you’ve ever been on a marketing course you may well have encountered the slightly ludicrous phrase ‘sell the sizzle, not the sausage’. (Marketing courses are full of ludicrous phrases). So it’s good to learn that purpose-driven companies are shifting their messaging ‘from sizzle to substance’. Mindful Branding for the 21st Century: Transparency, Authenticity and Trust is an interesting look at the way businesses are having to adapt their branding as consumers focus on the way businesses behave. (It’s worth pointing out that our How To Create an Authentic Mission Led Brand workshop covers a lot of this).

A helping hand

If you need help with your own organisation’s marketing and branding SSE Fellow Becky John can help out through her organisation 92 Minutes. If you’ve got a marketing campaign that you want to run before Christmas or need an evaluation report written you can find out more on Becky’s website. If you’re an SSE student or Fellow she’ll give you a discount too.

Making an exhibition

SSE Fellow Madeline Alterman is hosting ‘Articulate’, an art exhibition at the Cello Factory near Waterloo in London on Thursday 29th November between 6pm and 9pm. Madeline runs Artbox London, a social enterprise which works with people with learning disabilities to create, exhibit and sell their artwork.

You can find more about the exhibition here

Hello Exeter

Social entrepreneurs in the Exeter area should take a look at Essence of Exeter, a new membership organisation for social enterprises. If you sign up before December 1st you’ll receive a free invitation to a Christmas Dinner event on 13th December. Membership starts at £35. 

Sign up here

Christmas Special

A few Christmassy bits and bobs (only 39 days to go!):

Social Enterprise UK have once again come up trumps with their Christmas Gift Guide which features gifts from 34 social enterprises.

SSE Fellow Kelly Walker-Reed of Inspiring Healthy Choices recently launched Project GIVE with the aim of helping young people stay in school by donating sanitary items and educating them about their own bodies. On December 8th they’ll be hosting a GIVEmas Fayre between 12pm and 4pm at the Lighthouse Cinema, Fryer St in Wolverhampton. Stalls are only £10 if you fancy going along to sell your goods – email [email protected] for further info.

Current SSE scale-up student Denis Byrne also has a suggestion for a stocking filler in his organisation Sussex Prisoners Families latest newsletter, which you can see here. (It’s the Doodle Cards, which have been specially designed to help children stay connected with a loved one during a separation).

Away Day

If you are based in the South East and looking for a team building session for your staff SSE Fellow Bela Emerson has just the thing. Her musical social enterprise Open Strings offers a range of workshops, from singing to strings for beginners, songwriting and soundmaking, for up to 50 people. The workshops aim to enhance the wellbeing of your staff in a safe and fun atmosphere.

You can find out more here

Short back and sides

Monday is International Men’s Day and SSE Fellow River Hawkins of mental health charity Humen is running a fundraising campaign involving barbers across the UK – barbers will add a discretionary £1 donation to customers’ bills with the money supporting Humen and its work. The campaign runs through November so if you go for a trim ask your barber to take part. There’s some further information here.

It’s all good

Expert Impact and the British Library are hosting Profit with Purpose – The Good Stuff next Tuesday evening at the British Library between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. There is a great lineup, with the founders of Aerende, Ohyo, Juta Shoes and Callaly speaking plus Karen Lynch of Belu chairing the event. It’s free to go along.

Register here


I sit on the board of a social enterprise called From Generation to Generation, set up by SSE Fellow Norma Raynes. We’ve got an entry in the Charity Film Awards for Intergen, one of the projects that the organisation runs. If you’d like to help out and vote for us I’d be eternally grateful.

You can vote here

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