Aviva Community Fund

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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
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Unlucky for some: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

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It’s Friday 13th, and unluckily for you here I am popping up in your inbox again. Luckily for you, there is an enormous amount of social enterprise news to get your teeth into. The people who complain that this is too long are not going to be happy this week.

Enjoy your weekend – I’m off to see Blade Runner later.


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Third Sector Digital Leaders: Five reasons to book your place today

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It’s not long until our Third Sector Digital Leaders course gets underway on October 25th. If you still need a reason to book a place, here are five for you:

1. You’ll receive support for your charity or social enterprise to use digital more strategically. It’s no longer an option for third sector organisations to ignore digital; Third Sector Digital Leaders will help you to understand the risks and opportunities to your organisation. We’ll keep it as jargon free as possible.

2.  You’ll hear from some of the finest voices working in digital today. We’ve got speakers lined up from RNIB, Small Charities Coalition, FutureGov, Services Sound and Vision, Green Park , Playtpus Digital and more. We’ll cover everything from fundraising, reputation management, service delivery and analytics through to recruitment and social media.

3. You’ll have fun! Let’s be honest, a lot of training can be pretty dull. This course certainly isn’t.

4. You’ll join a growing community of sector professionals tackling digital challenges together. During the course you’ll have the opportutnity to share ideas with other participants (including over a glass of prosecco) and you’ll then be able to join an active Facebook group of course alumni once the course is over.

5. You can still get an early-bird discount! We had an issue with our website which meant that I couldn’t turn off early-bird booking last week. I still haven’t got round to it…

Find out more and book your place here.


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Student update: Asha Patel, Innovating Minds.

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By Asha Patel

Asha Patel is currently a student on our Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs start up course in the Midlands. This blog provides an insight into the first year of running a social enterprise and how the School for Social Entrepreneurs has helped along the way… 

“We offer a world where young people with emotional and mental health needs are supported to achieve their aspirations”.

I am on the SSE West Midlands course and before starting I had not started to generate an income, I just had an idea in mind. After sitting on the idea for 12 months, I finally took the leap of faith and I personally invested £7,500 to set up Innovating Minds CIC in 2016. This money was invested into marketing and branding material to bring the enterprise alive. It also helped me to have materials ready to exhibit at three conferences (of course all of this was done whilst I was working full time). On Monday 29th February, I took the leap of faith and handed in my resignation. Promise I didn’t plan to take the leap on a leap day- it just felt right.

Commencing ‘trading’ in September 2016 (contract established from a contact I made at one of the exhibitions) with my first SLA worth over £20,000. I commuted to London on a weekly basis to deliver my service to support students, teachers and parents wellbeing by creating a whole school approach to mental health. Within 10 months of trading, we have secured over £180,000 worth of funding and successfully become a specialist delivery partner for the Building Better Opportunities project in Coventry and Warwickshire, which is part funded by European Social Fund and Big Lottery Fund. We have three employees, and all of our initial contracts have been renewed and doubled so we can make a bigger impact. To date we have reached 937 individuals with our work in the UK.

In July 2017, we were sponsored to visit Bangladesh for a week with a team of three colleagues to raise awareness of mental health in educational settings. In total we reached over 2000 people, this included students, teachers and parents! We have also been asked to put a proposal together so we can establish our services in Bangladesh.

I believe the SSE programme has enabled me to develop confidence in myself and it has given me nuggets of information that I have been able to take away and implement. The peer support has been incredible, my peers have shared this learning journey with me and they have supported me when I have experienced knockbacks and celebrated the successes with me. The action learning has enabled me to take a step back and really unpick the challenges I am facing individually and as a social enterprise. I am very grateful for this amazing experience with SSE, the support from Rozzie and Charles has been amazing. I hope one day I can give back.


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Slides from our Working With Corporates workshop.

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We ran our Working With Corporates workshop again in July, here are the slides that provided an overview through the day:

We were fortunate to be joined by some outstanding speakers during the day:

  • Natalie Tucker – Senior Manager, Three Hands
  • Emma Mortoo- Corporate Development Manager, School Home Support
  • Su Pickerill – Community Investment Manager, Wates Group Services
  • Peter Weiss – Partner, Simmons, Muirhead & Burton
  • Liz Cope – Senior CR Advisor (Global) Linklaters LLP

If you’re interested in booking a place on the next course, you can do so here: https://www.the-sse.org/courses/working-with-corporates/ 

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