Category Archives: Features

Supply Shack

Des shows off an upright banner made by Supply Shack

Pic: Helen Hanbury. Des shows off an upright banner made by Supply Shack

By Dave C

Tucked away in a small business park at the back of Hurn Airport, Supply Shack sells business supplies, printed stationery, signs and banners, point-of-sale material and branded merchandise. What makes it different to any other printer and stationer is that part of the profits the business makes get re-distributed, at the end of the financial year, to democratically chosen good causes.

This year they are supporting Life Education Wessex, specialists in providing high quality health and drug prevention education to children in Devon, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset and helping to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to lead healthier and happier lives. Supply Shack’s previous charity partners are Diverse Abilities Plus, The Butterfly Foundation, Hannah House and Crumbs. Continue reading


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We Walk The Line, kickstarting employment opportunities

We Walk The Line supporters enjoying their ice cream and espresso delights!

We Walk The Line supporters, enjoying their ice cream and espresso delights, at Launch event.

We Walk the Line is a social enterprise that empowers tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, by providing the skills they need to sell great tasting artisanal coffee as their own boss.

The social enterprise provides employment and training opportunities for young people who need a break, or disadvantaged individuals who need a second chance. Continue reading

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Poole Enterprise Library, the future of our libraries

Nell O'hara

Nell O’hara, Information Services Librarian, at Poole Library

By Tom Collier.

Poole Enterprise Library, established first in 1887 has gone on to become one of the main hubs for information in the Poole and Bournemouth area. It now includes a public meeting and information facility within the main library; including an IT suite with laptops and seminar room. The meeting and information area offers access to business books, magazines and journals – alongside free access to Wi-Fi and public computers. Meetings for businesses, training programmes and seminars are held regularly. The Enterprise Library will also be of huge benefit to people considering setting up their own businesses and new firms looking for some help and advice. Continue reading

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PHASES, renovating empty homes into affordable rentals


Glen Heaton, project manager at PHASES

By Rooney John

PHASES (People Housing and Social Enterprise Scheme) is a South London based social enterprise charity. Their main goal is to renovate disused properties in South London, using trainees that are marginalised, long term unemployed, ex-offenders or those who have experienced homelessness.

Set up in 2001 the charity was originally called Advocates for Homeless, providing advice and support to homeless people in South London. Speaking about the change of focus for the charity Glen Heaton, project manager at PHASES said: “We focused on advice for about five years then we realised a lot of homeless people had careers in construction and then had drug or alcohol problems and then there were empty properties that could be used as construction projects so putting the two together seemed bit of a no brainer.” Continue reading

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The Otesha Project, inspiring environmental change

Anna Devi Nagtalon, Director, The Otesha Project UK

Anna Devi Nagtalon, Director, The Otesha Project UK

By Rooney John

“Otesha” is a Swahili word meaning “to plant a seed and watch it grow.” or “to nurture a dream”. It is also a global community of people who see their lives as powerful tools for environmental and social change.

Founded by two Canadians, Jocelyn Land-Murphy and Jessica Lax in 2002, Otesha’s goal is to bring young people together and create a movement which gives them the power, skills and creativity to make a fairer, cleaner and greener world. Continue reading

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Prostate Cancer UK, uniting men in friendship against disease

Prostate Cancer UK's CEO Owen Sharp, at the launch of the 'Men at Arms' campaign.

Prostate Cancer UK’s CEO Owen Sharp, at the launch of the ‘Men United’ campaign.

By Rooney John

Prostate Cancer UK’s new campaign has transformed a real pub intoThe Men United Arms’, to highlight the need for men to support each other in the battle against a disease that affects 1 in 8 men.

The campaign was launched on Wednesday 28 January, at the ‘pop-up-pub’ near London’s Borough Market. Over the next couple of weeks mates are invited to get together, celebrate and explore their friendship through a series of fun activities, that show the importance of male friendship in battling the disease and ultimately keeping friends alive. Continue reading

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MakeBelieve Arts, using storytelling to re-engage children with learning

Pic: Sana.

Pic: Sana.

By Rooney John

“Stories have got magic in them. It’s in the walls, it’s in their hands, it’s everywhere.”

MakeBelieve Arts offers innovative, high quality programmes to develop the creative, emotional and cognitive potential of children and young people across the UK. Based in Deptford, South London the educational theatre company and social enterprise believe in the power of story to re-engage children with learning.

MakeBelieve Arts use storytelling and theatre to teach subjects across the curriculum, including English, Drama, Mathematics and Science. Their aim is to change the way children engage with learning through creative education, giving them the skills to cope within an increasingly complex world. Continue reading

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Cockpit Arts, enabling craft-makers to flourish

Pic: Rebwar. Vanessa Swann, the director of Cockpit Arts and jewellery maker Sarah Marafie (from right to left)

Pic: Rebwar. Vanessa Swann, the director of Cockpit Arts and jewellery maker Sarah Marafie

By Christopher Ubsdell

Cockpit Arts is an incubator for talented craftspeople and supports makers in the growth of their craft businesses, by giving them space and entrepreneurial advice.

Founded in 1986, the social enterprise helps people of all ages pursue a career in the creative industries, by offering a space to work and business advice enabling them promote and maintain their own companies.

Vanessa Swann, the director of Cockpit Arts, said: “The purpose of Cockpit Arts is to support individuals who want to start up and develop a craft career.”

She added: “It’s difficult enough setting up a small business, but when you want to set up a creative business the tendency is for the person to have a leaning toward the creative side, as opposed to the business side. So we want to ensure that as many people who have that craft and creative skill, develop the business acumen to be able to exploit their creativity and become successful.” Continue reading

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We Walk the Line, changing peoples lives through coffee

coffee bike-1

By Christopher Ubsdell

A faint aroma of coffee strangely drifts through the entrance of a charity shop in East London. Inside a man is producing fine cups of artisan coffee, on a gleaming red tricycle and coffee cart.

Kieron Tilley, the co-founder of We Walk the Line explained the idea behind locating a coffee making tricycle in a charity shop and the system that brewed the result.

We Walk the Line is a not for profit social enterprise that helps young and disadvantaged people become their own boss, by teaching people the skills and attributes they need to run their own business.

Tilley believes there are not enough opportunities for marginalised people to set themselves up in business. He said: “It seemed to us that there weren’t many mechanisms out there to support those young and disadvantaged people into self employment status. So we came up with this idea, to offer an apprenticeship in business and barista skills, with the end goal of using these skills to set up on your own, running a micro coffee business.” Continue reading

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Petit Miracle, bringing the best out of people and furniture

Pic: Ve. Petite Miracle's Director Elisicia Moore

Pic: Ve. Petite Miracle’s Director Elisicia Moore

By Marco Meert

At the entrance, a real piece of modern art, a glass tabletop with crockery inserted in it creates a striking entrance and reflects the motto of the social enterprise: ‘Giving people and furniture a second chance.’

Petit Miracles creates beautiful bespoke furniture at an affordable price, while diverting furniture from landfill and creating training opportunities for disadvantaged London residents. To add extra social value Petit Miracle also occupies empty commercial property and is currently located at the West12 Shopping Centre, in Shepherds Bush.

The shop offers a broad range of up-cycled furniture, restored antiques and vintage items, mixing style and colours with an equal blend of contemporary and classic pieces. The social enterprise clearly has its finger firmly on the pulse of contemporary design, as their eye-catching restorations transform tired old furniture into fashionable, fun and quirky items for the modern home. Continue reading

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