Employee of the Month for Napha

Napha 1Bubbly, dedicated and a great sense of humour; these are just a few reasons that Napha Beer, a Room Attendant at the Future Inn in Plymouth, has recently been nominated as their ‘Employee of the Month’. Yet this is Napha’s first paid job in over seven years.

Napha has a learning disability and is profoundly deaf. She is supported by local Social Enterprise and PSEN member, Pluss, who have helped over 500 people with disabilities and health conditions into work across Plymouth.

Napha is unable to use the spoken word and communicates using gestures and pictures. She is from Thailand and doesn’t speak English; she uses an interpreter who communicates using both British and Thai Sign Language.

Yet despite these barriers, the determined Napha is a highly valued member of the team. She is hard-working and her rooms are immaculate.

Through her interpreter, Napha told us “I have not had paid work for years. I did do work experience in a Thai restaurant before but I wasn’t happy. The communication was very difficult. It was hard work and there was no pay.

“Then I had really good help from Pluss. It feels so good to be paid and I really like being sociable with the staff here.

“The bit I most enjoy about my job is making the beds; my beds are perfect. I really didn’t expect to be made ‘Employee of the Month’ but I was very happy when it happened.”

But it’s not only Napha who is pleased. Housekeeping Manager, Janet Chiswell, couldn’t be happier, “Napha came for a six week trial initially. Even in those early days on work experience, her work was to an excellent standard.

“As her six weeks were due to finish, we were looking to employ someone and Napha was the best and obvious choice. She had done so well and had really proved herself during her placement. We thought she would do even better as an employee – she was absolutely thrilled.

“I can’t stress how important it is for a hotel like Future Inn to get the presentation of the bedrooms right. It can take most people a very long time to get it right – Napha just has the ‘knack’. She is very proud of her work and extremely organised as well.

“As a person, Napha is great. She is always happy, smiling and continually making us laugh. It’s a hard job and Napha really helps keep team morale up. All colleagues and customers feel the same; even the guests tell me they think it is great that she is working here. As a result, Napha was recently awarded the ‘Employee of the Month’. I nominated Napha because of the standard of her work but people from other departments also nominated her.

“It has made a real difference to the business. She’s fun to be around and it’s great for other staff to see that we employ people from all backgrounds. Napha is actually really good at getting things across…although she does tease me about my attempts at sign language! It just wouldn’t be the same here without Napha around.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Refugee Week Award for Open Doors International Language School

IMGA0038 (2)Open Doors International Language School were very pleased and proud that one of their volunteers, Reg Matthews (age 86!) won the Simple Acts Award at 2014 Refugee week. The award was given to Reg who has been a volunteer at Open Doors for approx 6 years for carrying out simple acts of kindness, giving his time and enthusiasm to help people who are new to the City and are often very lonely and isolated. Well done Reg!

Open Doors Language School  are a social enterprise who train teachers and community interpreters and work with employers to help staff improve their English. Contact orielbutcher@odils.com for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creative Apprentice joins Fotonow CIC

Jake (2)PSEN members, photography and media organisation Fotonow CIC have taken on a young Plymouth photographer as their paid creative apprentice. Jake McPherson, aged 18, joined the community interest company in May after completing his Gold Arts Award qualification and most recently his A Levels.

Matthew Pontin of Fotonow CIC said; “Jake started volunteering with Fotonow a year ago now, we then took him onto our Arts Award programme which is supported by Real Ideas Organisation and he quickly grew in confidence and technical ability as a photographer. In commissioning a photographer to work with us and Plymouth and West Devon Record Office to document the recent History Festival it became clear that Jake had all the attributes. We’ve extended his work with us until the Autumn as Jake has quickly become an invaluable member of the team.”

Jake is delighted to have joined the organisation and is now covering a number of events across the city for FotoPlus Collective (Fotonow’s commercial media outlet). “To work on documenting Plymouth History Festival as my first major commission was amazing, and to know that the work will sit in the city archives for years to come is a real privilege.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get a free SROI assessment

A local student, Fabio Giraldo-Franco is looking to undertake an SROI assessment for a Plymouth social enterprise. Fabio is a Spanish citizen, born in Colombia.

A group of consultants is trying to introduce the SROI methodology to Colombia (and South America), where there are businesses interested in its use for some social projects. The consultants want Fabio to help with the establishment of SROI there.

Fabio is training as an SROI Practitioner but has not yet been involved in a SROI assessment. Fabio is happy to collaborate with any organisation here in Plymouth. He would also like to write an SROI report in order to obtain his ‘Accredited Practitioner’ status from the SROI Network. That way, he would get the experience he needs and the organization gets a free SROI assessment.

Fabio is undertaking an MSc in Water and Environmental Management at the University of Bristol and is happy to start exploring immediately. He holds a BEng, a BSc (Mathematics from Plymouth University) and many years of work experience (mainly in management).

Please email Fabio here if you are interested: fabio.giraldo@grupocivis.org

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Professional Development for Social Enterprise Practitioners

This one year professional development programme is aimed at practitioners who provide business support to social enterprises. It comprises of nine, one day workshops, held at monthly intervals, starting in October 2014. The workshops combine theory and professional practice, addressing the following topics:

  • Defining social enterprise and the social competitive advantage
  • Organisational design and legal structures
  • Reviewing and assessing financial reports and accounts
  • Capital finance, including equity and community shares
  • Working with clients, support diagnostics, work agreements and contracts
  • Growth, sustainability and the business model
  • Business planning, fundraising, project development
  • Community engagement, leadership and change
  • Personal professional development

The programme is accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and leads to the Level 5 Certificate in Social Enterprise Support. This qualification is based on the SFEDI occupational standards for business advisers and social enterprise advisers and is regulated by OFQUAL. There are no qualification-based entry requirements, but participants must be actively providing support to one or more social enterprise clients at pre-start, start-up, early growth or consolidation phases of development. Assessment is by written case study and portfolios of client case work and personal professional development activities. Participants also receive three hours of personal tuition and support.

The course is tutored and led by Jim Brown, principal consultant for Baker Brown Associates and strategic adviser to the Community Shares Unit. Jim was responsible for researching and writing the SFEDI occupational standards for social enterprise support, and for designing the ILM social enterprise support qualifications. He has delivered 14 programmes in the last seven years and trained over 250 practitioners from organisations such as Co-operatives UK, Locality, Plunkett Foundation, various Rural Community Councils, Remploy, Supporters Direct, Triodos Bank, Wales Co-operative Centre, and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

Fees: £1,800 plus VAT. Discounts available for freelance practitioners
Further details: jim.brown@bakerbrown.co.uk T: 0117 9250824 www.bakerbrown.co.uk

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SSE and SEEDbed are recruiting

We are now looking for a Programme Manager to take charge of all our programmes and learning activities, both within SSE and SEEDbed and for a part time Office Administrator to support our coordinator.

More information and application forms here or download the recruitment ad DSEH Recruitment e-ad-pdf

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

GAIN for business and funding advice

GAIN helps small businesses and SME’s find funding, networking opportunities and information in the South West.

With access to more than 500 businesses throughout the South West GAIN offers a variety of business support options including an innovative forum with access to business professionals answering your enterprise questions.

GAIN’s unique grant finder  is ideally placed to help businesses discover the right funding opportunities for businesses

GAIN offers a fresh new way to network, increasing exposure and improved visibility of your business. Sign up to discover how you can connect, grow and fund your business here in the SW.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Patents, trademarks and copyright

The PATLIB is a free information service providing

  • Help with patent and trade mark searching
  • All you need to know about copyright, trademarks, patents and designs.

We are part of a network of patent libraries across the UK and serve the whole of the South West.

For more information contact Plymouth PATLIB Plymouth Central Library Drake Circus PL4 8AL 01752 306795



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Big Potential fund

The Big Potential event, hosted by PSEN in Devonport Guildhall last Friday, 27th June explained social investment and introduced the Big Potential fund.  There were also workshops on investment readiness, crowdfunding, loans and community share offers.

You can view the main presentation used at the event here.

For more information on the four workshops please visit this page. 

Applying to Big Potential

The Big Potential Fund offers grants of between £25,000 and £75,000 to social enterprises aspiring to raise up to £500,000 in social investment to help them become “investment ready”.

To apply to the fund, you must initially complete the diagnostic tool and then attend a 1:1 session with an expert support advisor. After you have done so, you can complete the application form with one of the programme’s approved providers.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Re-localisation: is it meeting your needs?

On Thursday July 3rd, at 7.00 pm Jay Tompt and Inez Aponte will be speaking on  ”Re-localisation: is it meeting your needs?” at Plymouth University’s Babbage Building in Room 002.

They will discuss how Human Scale Development and the theory of fundamental human needs fits into the economic relocalisation work they are involved in.

Jay says: “We would like to make the case for why understanding fundamental needs is foundational for the work we are engaged in – we as Transitioners, REconomist, relocalisation activists, community development organisers, etc. We think the work of Manfred Max-Neef and his Human Scale Development approach provides a good foundation to build on. We’ll also talk about how it fits with the practical projects we’re doing, or would like to do, in our communities. We’ll share our experience of working with groups in diverse places in UK and Europe who are faces different economic problems but are united by some very common themes, including the very important idea of solidarity. You can see more about what we’ve been up to on our website.”


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment