Live from the Broom Cupboard (but no Ed the Duck): Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

“How do you think of what to write in your newsletter each week?” is a question I frequently get asked (at least once a year). I’d love there to be some sophisticated answer but it essentially comes down to this:

  1. Has anything interesting and amusing happened in the office this week?
  2. Has anything interesting and amusing happened in the world this week?
  3. If the answer to 1 and 2 = no, then fall back onto a bit of nostalgia. Everyone loves nostalgia (the positive type, not the Brexity type).

You can see where we going with this. So without further ado, let’s get stuck into this week’s theme: 80s kids TV shows. Always a popular topic of conversation, and I’ve even included a link to the theme tune for each so you can get stuck down a Youtube rabbit hole for the rest of the day. Apologies in advance, I got a bit carried away so it’s quite long. Next week’s will focus on brevity…


Why don’t you?


The theme tune lyrics of Why Don’t You were ‘why don’t you just switch off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead?’. This was pretty sage advice; for the most part, TV was terrible back then. Only four channels and during the summer holidays one of them would be devoted pretty much entirely to cricket. I grew to love the sport through indoctrination; I’m pretty sure I spent more time growing up in the company of Richie Benaud than I did my own father.

Anyway, if you happen to find yourself a little bored later today (you will do, probably around 4.30pm) then why don’t you do something less boring instead and complete our 2019 training survey. It’s your opportunity to tell us about the training topics that you’d like to see us cover in the future. You could even win a £50 John Lewis voucher for taking part. Ooooooooooooooooh.

Complete the survey here

(If you want to be really helpful- once you’ve finished the survey click this link and it will post the survey to Twitter. We want as many replies as possible, so thank you!)

Jimbo and the Jet-set


According to Wikipedia, the premise of Jimbo and the Jet-set was ‘that Jimbo was originally intended to be a Jumbo Jet, but his designer could not tell the difference between inches and centimetres, resulting in his diminutive size’. The first episode was broadcast in 1985, whereas the metric system was adopted in 1965 so you’d really hope that a plane designer would have got his or her head around it by then.

Fortunately such design flaws don’t apply to the fleet of Virgin Atlantic, which is good news for SSE Fellow Cemal Ezel and his social enterprise Change Please. Change Please provide education programmes and barista training for homeless people and will now be providing the coffee on all Virgin Atlantic flights, adding to their existing relationship with Virgin Trains.

Read more here

Press Gang


A TV show that was focused around a school newspaper, which very much makes it of its time. Kids probably just do everything on Tiktok (I know the name, I don’t know what it does) and Snapchat these days. You can read the full story on Tiktok and the richest people on it here.

Fortunately, SSE still has a strong focus on quality media production (this newsletter the exception, obviously) and my colleagues have been busy away writing this week. First our head of comms Sophie has been chatting to some of the participants on our Enterprise Learning programme to unearth three ideas for how homelessness charities can increase income.

Not to be outdone, comms assistant Henna has a Glastonbury inspired post looking at five music and performing-arts projects that are changing lives. All five of whom are mercifully free of a Chris Martin guest appearance.

Postman Pat


They are still showing this now, my three year old occasionally watches it. I think it’s actually a commentary on the strength of the Communication Workers Union, because there is no way that in most workplaces someone can be as incompetent as Pat would not get at least a verbal warning. Should Pat get his act together, he may realise that perhaps his future lies elsewhere:

  • He could apply to be SSE’s new Director of Programmes and Learning. We’re looking for someone motivated by the impact social entrepreneurs, community businesses and social sector leaders can have in tackling society’s biggest problems, and energised by the role that learning and support can play in helping bring about transformational social change. You can find out more here.
  • Or, he could become either a Freelance Chef or a Progression and Engagement Officer at social enterprise Fat Macy’s, who work with young Londoners living in temporary accommodation and train them as chefs. Details of both jobs are available here.
  • Perhaps a bit of volunteering would be good for Pat. SSE Fellow Amani Eke is looking for trustees for Project Yogi, a not-for-profit organisation that creates yoga, mindfulness and social emotional well-being based programmes, classes and workshops. They are based in London, find out more here.
  •  Or maybe Pat would prefer to support Open Briefing’s work in advancing the physical, digital and psychological security and resilience of at-risk human rights defenders and humanitarians. It’s a bit of a step up from doing the rounds in Greendale but you never know. Open Briefing have a number of voluntary positions on their advisory board, whether you are an experienced board member or wanting to take your first step at board level. Further details here.

Blue Peter


Any readers have a Blue Peter badge at all? Tweet us @schsocent if you do, bonus points if you have a picture with it. It’s looks like it’s actually quite a decent thing to have, you can get into all these places for free.

Of course, one of the things that Blue Peter is most famous for is its garden. Did the garden inspire SSE Fellow Rachel Summersdale? I can only speculate, but what I do know for certain is that Rachel is looking to raise £200,000 in a community share offer for the Hulme Community Garden Centre. It’s a chance ‘to invest in a unique Mancunian urban oasis, to drastically improve its facilities and to increase its positive social impact’. It looks cool – find out more here.

Similarly green-fingered is SSE Fellow Steve Williams of the OASIS Community Centre & Gardens in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. They’ve just had a crew from BBC Gardener’s World film for a segment on the difference that community gardens make to individuals and to a community – it’s being broadcast on BBC Two tonight on BBC Two. You find out more about Oasis here.

Junior Kickstart


This was absolutely brilliant. Without wanting to get all “it was much better in the old days” I really can’t imagine a production meeting suggesting a show with kids whizzing around on motorbikes without proper helmets getting very far these days.

Anyhow, if you have a social venture working within the education curriculum with a focus on employability – working with young people to access, thrive and progress in their careers – then the Young Academy would like to hear from you. Their free Accelerator programme offers workshops, coaching, mentoring and more. It could be just the kickstart that you need…

Find out more here

He Man and the Masters of the Universe


I struggled a bit with this one. Let me explain my thinking: there is a book called Chasing Goldman Sachs: How the Masters of the Universe Melted Wall Street Down…And Why They’ll Take Us to the Brink Again. Goldman Sachs are a bank. Banks provide financial products. Similarly, Fair4All Finance is an organisation that aims to increase access to fair, affordable and appropriate financial products and services.

And now, Fair4All Finance is inviting affordable credit providers to submit expressions of interest to participate in a pilot scale up programme during the summer of 2019.

Which you can do here

Byker Grove


“Alreet PJ lad, are you going the Social Enterprise Acumen Social Entrepreneurs Summer Social?”

“Where’s that Duncan man?”

“3pm – 6pm at the Old Rectory, Houghton Le Spring on Friday 19th July. It looks canny”

“Will there be scran and drink?”

“Why aye man”.

“Haddawaay PJ, I’m going then”.

Book your ticket here then man

Home and Away


You can do social innovation at home, you can do social innovation away. You can even do social innovation at the Møller Centre at the University of Cambridge; they are hosting a three day Leading Social Ventures seminar for chief executives of medium to large social enterprises who are managing and leading growth and striving for increased social impact.

The course takes place at the end of October and costs £3000+VAT.

You can find out more here.

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