Power to Change your community

Power to Change is a new initiative which will invest up to £150 million to support the development of sustainable community-led enterprises across England. It will be delivered by an independent Trust to be established later this year.

For more information http://www.biglotteryfund.org/powertochange

Locality are hosting Power to Change Roadshows across the country during September, including one at Dartington on 24th September.



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RBS SE100 announces two new awards for social enterprises

Now in its 5th year,  the RBS SE100 Index, the leading market intelligence tool for social ventures, is pleased to announce two new awards for 2014: the storyteller award, designed to encourage social enterprises to share their tales of social transformation, as well as the Resilience award, for organisations that have consistently worked for social change over a number of years. Other categories include: Sustainable growth champion, Social impact champion and Trailblazing newcomer.

The awards are open to all social ventures that have entered or updated their financial information on the SE100 platform. Members are automatically entered into the awards with a chance to win a share of over £30,000 in prize funds, visit www.se100.net for further details of how to take part.

The deadline for nominations for the Resilience and Storyteller Awards is 31st August 2014. Organisations must sign up to the Index and complete their profile by 30th September to be eligible for the 2014 Annual Awards.

See our film about last year’s awards here

Designed by social innovation company Matter&Co, the RBS SE100 Index has been developed in partnership with RBS, who have supported the initiative since its creation.

 Duncan Sloan, RBS Head of Community Banking, said: “There are many organisations that have worked steadily over a long period to deliver solutions to social problems. Well-established social ventures might not be the fastest growing on the SE100 Index, but the Resilience award will enable us to recognize their contribution to society and the communities they have served over the years.”

 Tim West, Director of Matter&Co and founder of the SE100 commented, “We created the SE100 Index five years ago to put the figures behind the great stories of social enterprise and are excited that the new storyteller award will identify those organisations using creative means to share their story.”

 Why should social enterprises take part?

 The RBS SE100 Index is a listing of social ventures, ranked and scored according to their growth and social impact, designed to allow social ventures to benchmark their organisation against others in their sector or region, as well as helping commissioners and policymakers as they seek to build knowledge and understanding of the landscape of the social economy in the UK. For enterprising charities, CICs, social enterprises, co-ops, housing associations, and other organisations taking enterprising approaches to social change, the RBS SE100 represents a significant opportunity to showcase their individual success and to help quantify and demonstrate the strength of the social venture sector.

Save the date

The awards ceremony will take place on the evening of the 24th November at Good Deals, the UK’s leading Social Investment conference. All shortlisted organisations will be invited to attend this free event to celebrate the success of the sector. For SE100 members wishing to attend the full conference, limited half-price tickets are available via http://www.good-dealsuk.com

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Plymouth Energy Community vacancy

Plymouth Energy Community have a vacancy for a Volunteer Coordinator.

1 Year fixed term contract to October 2015 at a salary of £30,311 per annum.

Close for applications is Sunday 17th August and you can download further information here.





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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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

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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

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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

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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.



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