The dog ate it: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

A bit of a brief newsletter this week. I could come up with some highly improbable excuse like ‘I’ve been too busy driving around testing my eyesight’ to explain it but the truth of the the matter is that I’ve left writing it until 30 minutes before I want to send it. It’s also a rare week where my inbox isn’t bursting at the seams with content to share with you.

Still, what has made it in is all good stuff. Enjoy…



The National Lottery Community Fund is now open for applications and will provide grants to activities supporting people and communities affected by COVID-19. All the info you need is on their website

MyCommunity, a new website providing ‘the latest tools, tips and ideas to make your community an even better place to live’ launched earlier this week. I’ve only had a quick look through it but there are loads of guides, case studies, podcasts and tips on the site. Check it out here.

Pioneers Post have put together a cracking list of ten social impact events taking place in 2020 that will now be happening online. It’s your chance to visit the US Social Innovation Summit, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network Virtual Conference or the Social Enterprise World Forum from the comfort of your living room. You can see the full list here.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation launched ‘Explore’, a new early stage digital funding strand for their Tech for Good programme. Charities and not-for-profit organisations with incomes of between £75,000 and £10 million can apply for a grant and a 12-week learning programme to scope digital services and to explore how digital technology could transform the ways they work. The deadline to apply is 22nd June.

You may remember that a few weeks ago I wrote asking you to lend your signature to a letter to be sent to Rishi Sunak asking for additional support for the social enterprise sector. Over 1000 organisations have now signed the letter, and there is some further coverage here.

Finally, brewer Brewdog is getting involved with the social enterprise action with a new ‘Barnard Castle Eye Test’ beer, with all profits funding production of free sanitiser for the NHS and healthcare charities. Cheers.

It’s the new Friday, after all: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Another Thursday edition of Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You. I’m not losing track of what day it is (actually I am slightly) and it’s nothing to do with timing it to arrive while you’re clapping, it’s just easier around my current work pattern.

Very little to report from me this week, although perhaps that’s to be expected when every day is the same as the last one. It’s not all bad though – the forthcoming bank holiday weekend means that our bins will be collected next Thursday, not next Wednesday. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

Enjoy the news…



The Government’s new Coronavirus Community Support Fund will open for applications at 10am tomorrow morning (Friday). £200m will be available to small and medium organisations in England, with two objectives: to increase community support to vulnerable people and to reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises. Everything will go live tomorrow, but for now you can read a statement from The National Lottery Community Fund here.


Also open to applications is the Resourcing Racial Justice Fund, providing financial support to individuals and organisations that are working to redress the impact of COVID-19 and beyond on those who identify as People of Colour (POC). Grants of between £5k – £30k are available to individuals and organisations, apply by 15th June.


I mentioned last week that Power to Change were conducting a Community Business Market survey at the moment but helpfully I forgot to include a link to it. The survey will help Power to Change know more about the community business market and how it can best help community businesses through the difficulties created by the Covid-19 virus. The survey is here and will take about 15 minutes.


Social enterprise newspaper publisher Social Spider CIC has worked with local volunteers to reinvent its distribution model to continue to provide vital news and information to local communities during Covid-19. It is continuing to distribute 10,000 copies each of their newspapers: Waltham Forest Echo, Tottenham Community Press and Enfield Dispatch each month. Any social enterprises that would like to advertise in the papers can get a 50% discount in the June issues which go to print next week – contact [email protected] for more details.


A nice offer for readers of this newsletter – SSE Fellow Jonathan Smith is launching a new online & zoom business coaching service for social entrepreneurs and is looking for six people to beta test it for free. The course and community is designed to help you to get “unstuck” so you can move your social enterprise forward again. The course will cost £847 in a few weeks time, so six of you can snap up a great offer here.


Our online workshops at SSE have proved to be so popular that we’ve scheduled in additional dates for some of the most popular, including Sources of Funding, Measuring Social Impact and Crowdfunding. Courses are selling out fast and in advance so if there is a workshop that you’d like to attend I recommend booking early. You can find a full list here.


We’re looking for a new background to look at during Zoom meetings so we’re recruiting a Head of Learning and Innovation (£46k-£49k). The successful candidate will ‘cultivate and develop SSE’s learning offer, putting innovation and creativity at the forefront’. The role can be based anywhere in the UK, perhaps not surprisingly during current circumstances. Apply by 7th June.


The fourth part in our blog series looking at how SSE students and fellows are adapting to the Covid-19 crisis is now live on our website. This week’s focuses largely on mental health, you can read it here.


Finally, SSE Fellow Jem Stein’s social enterprise Bike Project will be hosting a lockdown virtual pub quiz with comedian Robin Ince this Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets are available on a donate what you can basis but for £20 you can get a VIP ticket which comes with a whole load of goodies. Details here.

Communicating effectively: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I thought it was important to clarify some of the guidelines for reading Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You. Remember, if you are reading this on an iPhone, you need to wear gloves and ensure that the phone is in landscape mode. For Android users, put the phone inside a glove and then take a photo of a landscape before reading. For desktop computer users, DO NOT PRINT THIS OUT. This does not apply if you are translating it into French, or if your printer serial number is exactly 13 digits long and can be divided by at least three prime numbers.

Whatever you do, do not forward to friends or family members. You can forward it to strangers if you can guess their email address.

Hope that’s cleared everything up.


  • Power to Change have launched the C-19 Emergency Trading Income Support Scheme for community businesses that have lost trading income as a result of COVID-19. It’s available to current and previous Power to Change grantees, and to community businesses which are members of Power to Change’s strategic partners – Co-operatives UK, Locality and the Plunkett Foundation. The next funding round opens on 19th May at 10am and 100 grants will be available. You can find out more here.
  • Power to Change are also conducting a Community Business Market 2020 survey, aimed at understanding more about the community business market and to get a better understanding of how the current crisis is impacting on community businesses and what support they may need
  • Social Enterprise UK have launched an online forum, designed to bring the social enterprise community together to share their experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic, to discuss important topics and to post offers of support and calls for help. You can register for it here.
  • Third Sector have made an additional 1500 free places available for their Fundraising Conference on 20th – 21st May. Places are only available to registered charities, however. You can book a place here.
  • Supply Change and the Social Value Exchange have created an open-source directory of social enterprise suppliers which are still offering goods and services during this time. From cleaning to coffee, you can search for suppliers for your organisation here. If your social enterprise or community organisation is still operating or needs support, you can feature in the directory by filling out this short form.
  • Well done to all those who made the NatWest SE100 Index, the annual list of the UK’s leading 100 social enterprises, compiled by Pioneers Post in partnership with NatWest Social & Community Capital. It’s always good to see so many SSE Fellows in the list, which you can see here
  • SSE Fellow Hayley Stanton has launched Quiet Connections, an app which offers a safe space to easily connect with new friends and get support for those who struggle with meeting new people and speaking up in groups and conversations. Quieter people can share similar stories so they can support and learn from each other, and gain acceptance, friendship and understanding. You can find out more here.
  • If you’re at home trying to teach your children maths then Maths on Toast, a social enterprise founded by SSE Fellow Alex Fitzsimmons, could help. They are releasing lots of resources to support parents with primary age kids, including Fun Maths Monday, a creative crafty maths activity each Monday, and blog posts for parents, addressing common issues like how to help with a maths problem you can’t immediately see how to do yourself. Head here for more info.
  • Re-defined is a new, virtual conference that celebrates and cultivates the resilience of female founders and women in business in the UK. Taking place on May 29th, a programme of inspirational speakers and workshop facilitators will celebrate the successes and endurance of female founders and women in business. You can buy a ticket here.
  • The Fair Education Alliance are currently accepting applications to their Innovation Award. Open to anyone with an idea that could help end educational inequality in England, five winners will recieve 6 months of full-time salary, a place on an Innovation Incubator, an intensive programme of technical and leadership training, supportive mentoring and expert advice to help you develop, pilot and scale your idea. You can apply here.
  • Let’s end on a musical note. First up, SSE Fellow Martha Wright’s social enterprise Mindful Music have released a free set of singalong and deep relaxations with an accompanying resource pack for parents, carers, educators and anyone needing to take care of their inner child during this crisis. You can sign up here.
  • And finally, SSE Fellow Blue O’Conner is co-founder of Talk Club, a talking and listening club for men. Last week they released Soul to Save, a charity music single. You can hear the single here and find out more about Talk Club here.

Career swapping: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

I don’t know if every school did this but I remember being asked to fill in a multiple choice questionnaire when I was about 15 or so, the answers to which provided a guidance to the type of job I should be aiming towards. I think I got something like ‘procurement officer’ or ‘supply chain manager’ which put paid to my ambitions of being an astronaut or an Oscar winning actor.

Why does this occur to me now? Because weirdly, lockdown has enabled me to try out some different careers to ‘sales and marketing manager’. I now know, for example, that I would be an appalling teacher or nursery worker, I should have nothing to do with anything that involves a drill or hammer but that I could be a quite successful window cleaner. I just need to get a better ladder.

Enjoy the news…


Covid-19 support

  • Barclays have launched the 100 x 100 Community Fund, offering charities with a turnover of £1m+ that are supporting Covid-related efforts. Grants of up to £100k are available, the deadline to apply is Friday 22 May, 2020. Apply here.
  • Has COVID-19 impacted your social enterprise? Do you need support to solve a challenge but don’t have the time, skills or resources? The School for Social Entrepreneurs is piloting a virtual volunteer platform, connecting skilled corporate volunteers with social entrepreneurs who need support. Would you like to be a part of this pilot and receive business support from home?
    • Take part in a 15 minute introductory call where we’ll find out more about what you’re looking for in terms of remote support
    • You will get to sign up to the platform, post volunteer opportunities requesting the skills you need and decide which applicant you would like to work with
    • We’ll then check in with you to find out about your experience of the platform and working with your volunteer

All you need to do is complete this quick expression of interest by Wednesday (13th May) and we’ll be in touch.

  • The third part of our series of blogs examining how SSE fellows & students are adapting to the Covid-19 crisis is live. It features a video chat between Nathan Hopkins from Woodshed Workshop and Sue Osborne, SSE Yorkshire and North East CEO. Josh Turner of Stand For Socks and Jacqueline Hollows of Beyond Recovery also share how they are working in the current climate. You can read the blog here.
  • An extremely useful ‘Coronavirus Continuity Planning for Social Businesses and Charities’ document created by ventures from the Year Here network is available here. It covers everything from Key Regularly-Updated Resources to Webinars/ Online Meet-ups and Business Planning.
  • SSE Fellow Shaun Fox has launched a ‘Sporting Age Stay At Home Challenge’ to help parents get young people active and develop movement skills. It’s free to take part and combines fun, easy set-up skills tests with expert scientific analysis to work out if your child’s level of ability at skills such as running, jumping and throwing is on track with their age. Find out more here.
  • If, like me, you’ve been struggling to get your kids to engage in a Zoom call for anything longer than five minutes then SSE Fellow Charlotte Whittaker could have the answer. Her social enterprise InCommon, which brings generations together, is sharing some games and activities around a different theme that families can try with older friends and relatives over the phone or video call. All the activities so far are available here.
  • Social Enterprise The Sewing Rooms have capacity to make 10,000 face masks for the general public and are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to go into full production and bring our furloughed staff members back to work. £10 will get you a re-usable and virus-resistant mask. You can back the campaign here.
  • If you are struggling with anxiety, stress or depression during lockdown, SSE Fellow Chris Fleet can offer qualified talking therapy through The Devon Clinic CIC. His team are volunteering 9am – 9pm Monday to Saturday. Details are at or you can call 01803 500300.

Other news

  • We have just a few places left on Creative Leadership – offering £2,00 grant, learning and peer support. It’s for people early on in careers in arts & culture (including freelancers), committed to creating social impact through their work. The last places are available on a first-come, first-served basis. They are rolex replica reserved for people who are both: based in England but *outside* of London; AND from a so-called “diverse background” (by which we mean you are any of the following: BAME; D/deaf and disabled people; have caring responsibilities; LGBTQ+; from an economically disadvantaged background). Apply in under 30 minutes.
  • SSE Fellow Isabel Emerson is delivering a series of interactive music sessions for wellbeing and social inclusion online through her organisation Open Strings Music. Sessions include Workplace Harmony, Musical Windows (including ukelele lessons) and a Musical Box Scheme which features a virtual visit from one of Open Strings’ musicians. All the details you need are here.
  • FotoAwrds, a social enterprise founded by SSE Fellow Nina Emett, have launched the Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award. £2000 is available to ‘ a professional woman photographer towards the completion of a compelling and cohesive documentary photo essay, which addresses an important social, environmental, economic or cultural issue, whether local or global’. You can find out more here.

Perception versus reality: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

No, you’re not losing the plot. It is Thursday. I’m operating on slightly random timings at the moment. When all this kicked off part of me thought, ‘Hmm, lockdown. Doesn’t sound too bad. I can catch up with some reading, maybe learn a new language or something’.

Things are perhaps not running that smoothly. I’m staring at an email inbox with about 300 unread emails in it and a large part of my day is spent chasing my eighteen month daughter around while she comes up with increasingly creative ways to destroy our house. I am getting very good at washing up and tidying, however. Who knew how much washing up there could possibly be? By the time this is all over I’ll almost certainly have done the required 10,000 hours of washing up to be considered an expert. So that’s something positive.

Enjoy this week’s news…


  • Has your social enterprise been affected by Covid-19?  Trying to take your business online?  Frustrated that you’ve lost your income from trading? The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up programme will help you get back on track and set up to go beyond this with a stronger, sustainable, resilient business model.There are less than 2 weeks unttil the closing date: 30th April. Find out more, join an online info session and apply here.
  • Social Enterprise UK are hosting a a webinar focusing on digital marketing hosted by Stephanie Bennett, MD of digital agency Battenhall on Monday (20th April) at 11am. You can register here. It follows a webinar they delivered earlier this week which discussed digital tools & working from home, which you can watch here.
  • A really detailed article over on Pioneers Post looking at what the UK’s social sector needs now from social investment. (Five points to you if you guessed that a large part of it is grant funding.) Read the article here.
  • Along with the resurgence of hopscotch as a popular past time, ‘counting the rainbows in the windows’ appears to be keeping south east London’s children busy at the moment (we got to around 45 the other day). Now SSE Fellow Alex Winstanley of Happy Smiles is taking things a step further by raising money to send rainbow badges to NHS staff, frontline workers and carers across the country. You can donate from just £3 here.
  • If you’d like to experience the output of an organisation that has made the move online, then do take a look at our one-day workshops. We’ve currently got good availability on our Crowdfunding for Charities and Social Enterprises on 15th May – if you are thinking of running a crowdfunding campaign in the coming months it will be money well spent. Book a place here.
  • Are you a social enterprise in Essex, Kent or East Sussex? The South East LEP would like to hear how your business has been affected by the Covid-19 lock down. It’s likely that decisions on resources and funding will follow the findings of this survey so if you specifically mention social enterprise in the comments, we could see critical resources being earmarked for social enterprise across this region. You can take the survey here.
  • Donna Rowe-Green of Lancashire based social enterprise Rosemary and Time is putting together garden memory boxes to go out to local care homes and hospices. If you have links to a hospice or a care home in Lancashire, Donna can send a box (which you can see here) for free. Contact Donna by emailing [email protected]. There are also some smaller packs some smaller packs that can be sent out to individuals in Lancashire too (containing prompt cards, a scrapbook to create and guidance notes) – use the same email address to contact Donna for further details.
  • A neat idea from SSE Fellow Rhiannon Mair Griffiths and her social enterprise Comics Youth. They’ve launched Comics Youth Radio, designed to be a place of sharing and empathy and a resource for young people (and adults) about how to live IWC replica through lockdown. The fortnightly online live radio show Lockdown! at the Disco will feature songs requested by young people across the Liverpool City Region – you can learn more about it here.
  • Finally, we were saddened this week to hear of the death of SSE London Fellow Jobeda Ali. Jobeda was an incredible force of nature and well loved by many SSE staff who were around when she learnt with us. Our thoughts are with her friends and family. A page for Jobeda’s friends and family to connect and share their memories has been set up here.