By Tracey Ford, JAGS Foundation
One year ago I sat nervously in the offices of School for Social Entrepreneurs – applying for a place on the first ‘Power Up’ course for social entrepreneurs. I had no idea what was meant by ‘social change makers’, I just knew that I wanted to be part of this exciting new programme.
In November last year some new SSE students contributed to the blog as part of a ‘Student Spotlight’ series. As their time with SSE is now coming to a close (where has the time gone?!) we thought it would be good to catch up and see how things have progressed, here Florence Norman, CEO of Sweet Cavanagh gives us an update.
Florence at her workshop.
The middle of the summer is always the quietest time; we are working with about 7 women at the moment. One of our graduated members Amy, is a wonderful example of someone who has thrown everything into her recovery. She’s now back in full time work and had this to say about her time at Sweet Cavanagh:
“Having the support and structure of Sweet Cavanagh enabled me to feel safe in the early stages of my recovery. It is so important to have a routine. Being creative is also key to my personal recovery. For many years, my illness saw me loose interest in doing anything enjoyable. Making jewellery reignited a creativity in me that I had suppressed. This social enterprise is so important – not just as a safe environment but also as the provider of free support (something that is few and far between). I am now back in full time work and miss my time there, but am extremely greatful for the support it provided. I feel my experience there is directly relevant to my current ability to work productively and do my job well. “
Mermaid Gala, Image by Lizzie Coombes
Lucy Meredith is currently a student on Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme in Leeds. Lucy set up ‘Yorkshire Life Aquatic‘ to promote health, well-being and positive body image. Yorkshire Life Aquatic uses creative performance to encourage people to use their local leisure facilities without feeling intimidated or embarrassed about wearing a swimming costume in public.
Meet Barbara, Founder of Working with Cancer
For almost 40 years I was convinced I didn’t want to be an entrepreneur. Other people did that and most of them seemed to be a bit mad! My dad had been one of sorts and look where it had got him! He ran a small leather goods business for many years and was constantly worrying about not earning enough money to support us. He had a nervous breakdown when I was a few months old and never really recovered.
So, after university, I pursued a pretty successful career in large or medium sized companies as a loyal employee, specialising in HR, which I enjoyed but wasn’t terribly fulfilling. Why did I change my mind and set up my own business? Well, I got cancer – in that sense, heaven help me, I did follow the family’s lead; my dad died of pancreatic cancer when I was 15 and my mum died of bowel cancer in 1993. My aunt Barbara (who I’d been named after) had died of Hodgkins’ Lymphoma at the age of 36. Getting cancer didn’t surprise me – in a way I was expecting it – but for me it hasn’t been about endings; it has been about new beginnings…
Meet Rianna, founder of Shine ALOUD
What we do?
Shine ALOUD UK is a social enterprise that educates young people aged 15 – 24 about sex and relationships using interactive media. The company prides itself on being youth led and youth owned, which represents the tone direction of our material and resources. We are young people who are passionate about educating others young people.