Sticking its neck out: Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You

Happy World Giraffe Day. Are you doing anything special for it? If I’m honest, celebrations in the SSE office are somewhat muted, we haven’t even borrowed a giraffe for the day. People just don’t seem to put the effort in, which is a shame. Still I’m not going to let this dampen my mood so this week’s newsletter contains some “amazing” facts about giraffes that you can share with your friends, colleagues and family as you celebrate later. I’ll even throw in a giraffe joke for you to get things going:

What do you call a giraffe that can turn into a boat?

A girraft.

Enjoy the news…


There are no giraffes living in the wild in Cornwall

I really should charge you to subscribe to this newsletter. What you are essentially getting here is a free Open University course. It doesn’t even stop there, as I can also inform you that if you do want to see a giraffe in Cornwall you can see them at Paignton Zoo (you can even adopt one).

While in Cornwall, you might like to pay a visit to our school there. They are in the final few days of gathering votes in the Cornwall Business Awards and need your support.

Vote for them as Business of the Year here.

A newly born giraffe measures around 6 feet in height

Which is near enough the same size as our chief executive Ali. He’s just been named on PwC’s Inspirational 50 list, recognising 50 inspiring people in network who make a difference to the LGBTQ+ community.

Congrats Ali!

Giraffes can host webinars

Look, you can watch one just here. Where giraffes go, SSE follows, so we’re going to host a series of webinars in partnership with Lime Green Consulting. They start next Thursday and will be covering all things fundraising related. Good value too – £15 each or all five for £55. Find out more here.

We’re also running an online start up boost course for fledgling social enterprises that would like direction and clear sight on how to grow and flourish. The next course takes place over 3rd and 4th July and it’s £45 to take part. Bargain! You can make a booking here.

Finally on webinars, the Youth Endowment Fund hosted one last week to explain the support it will offer to community partnerships working with children at risk of being drawn into crime and violence. Grants of up to £200,000 are available. Find out more here. 

No-one has ever seen a giraffe swimming

Not sure about this one. Have they asked everyone? If you did see a giraffe swimming, would you immediately think “Hmm, not sure anyone has ever seen that before, I should probably let the giraffe facts people know”? A classic example of why it’s important to do the research when it comes to things like this, which is why I’m delighted that Social Enterprise UK are doing things properly with their UK’s State of Social Enterprise Survey 2019.

You can take part in hit here

Giraffes are vegetarian

Something that they have in common with our head of learning Ian Baker. When not chewing leaves, Ian has been busy summarising 22 years of SSE’s experience in an article for Pioneers Post: ‘Five insights into how social entrepreneurs learn‘. He’s not the only one whose digits have been pounding the keyboard – Our managing director, Nicola Steuer, explains why social enterprises might hold the answer to the charity sector’s diversity problem in this column for Third Sector (paywall). She’s also shared her views on how social entrepreneurs could be the saviours of British high streets over at New Start Magazine (again, behind a paywall). And we’ve been written about too – here’s MP Margot James covering the government’s Digital Leadership Fund and our Third Sector Digital Leaders course.

England footballer Peter Crouch is a fan of giraffes

As you can see here. Now, it’s unlikely that Crouchie will be playing for England in next year’s European Championship but if he’d like to be involved he could act as a volunteer next summer for the matches being played in London.

Or, if he’d prefer something of a career change but to continue using his sector experience then London Football Journeys are looking for Facilitators to lead London Football Journeys’ workshops at partner schools in Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Kensington & Chelsea in the 2019/20 academic year. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis until mid August.

Also recruiting are Green Schools Project, who are looking for a programme manager in London to help drive their growth. This is an opportunity for someone to be at the heart of a start-up social enterprise that is helping schools to develop a response to the climate crisis and get young people involved in protecting the living planet. Apply by 14th July.

Giraffes are the only animal I can think of that have a chain of restaurants named after them

I know there is also Tiger Tiger but I think we can all agree that’s more of a chain of bars that happen to serve food rather than a dining destination. Which is the best branch of Giraffe? I don’t know, I’ve only eaten at the one at Gatwick and the one of South Bank. I’ve heard good things about the branch in Manchester though (I haven’t, I’m making it up for this newsletter). If you’re from the area, perhaps you could eat there after you’ve applied for free workspace at The Federation, an office space looking to support early-stage social enterprises that are using technology and innovation to benefit communities in the UK.

Up to four desks are available for 12 months

Giraffes are very social animals and roam around in groups, called towers

A tower of giraffes, I did not know that. I’m pretty sure that sociable towers of giraffes are welcome at our Finding New Customers and Making More Sales workshop next Friday; I’ve read through SSE’s policies and can’t find anything that says otherwise.

A few more humans could be good too, otherwise I’m going to have to have some sort of awkward meeting with management about time spent doing giraffe research vs time spent doing other parts of my job description (which is largely focused on finding new customers and making more sales, ironically).

Book your place on the course here. You won’t regret it.

Giraffes have the biggest heart of land mammal

Weighing in at a hefty 11kg, compared with 230g – 340g in humans. But it’s what you do with it that counts, and us humans have the advantage there. Giraffes don’t create community businesses, for example.  Throughout June, SSE will be welcoming new cohorts across England to our giraffe free Community Business Trade Up Programme. We’ve put together a piece where you can meet some of the organisations creating positive change in their local areas, and discover more about the programme.

Read it here

“Giraffe” is pronounced similarly in almost every language except for Cherokee, which calls them “digalisdugisgi”.

This is interesting, I thought. I wonder how you say other things in Cherokee. So I typed the word ‘almanac’ into an English to Cherokee dictionary and discovered that the Cherokee for almanac is ‘nvda adelohohisdodi’.

You might not think that this is particularly useful, but if you do happen to find yourself  in south eastern USA speaking to a Cherokee you can alert them to the fact that NCVO have just published their latest version of their Civil Society Almanac, offering ‘insights on what voluntary organisations do, their income and spending, workforce, volunteers and the sector’s impact’.

Find it here

There are various theories as to why giraffes have long neck

Including: being able to access food other animals can’t reach, as an early warning system to spot predators and for fighting with other giraffes. Whatever the reason, it certainly allows them to stand out from the crowd.

And (wait for it…) a number of SSE Fellows have also been standing out from the crowd recently:

Christie Spurling was awarded an MBE for Services To Young People In Greater Manchester. His organisation N-Gage is a Manchester-based charity that gives young people at risk of educational or social exclusion opportunities and skills to achieve their full potential. Visit their website here.

Ann Johnson has been awarded a Queens Award for Voluntary Service for Forge Urban Revival, a social enterprise in Telford cafe / events space that runs events and workshops to engage the community, reduce isolation and to help people develop new skills and interests. Visit Forge’s website here.

Asha Patel, founder of Innovating Minds CIC, was the winner of the ‘Women Who Achieves for Social Enterprise’ award at the Women Who awards, recognising women in business and rising stars of the future. Innovating Minds delivers therapy, training and consultation to help people access education, training and employment. You can find out more here.

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