Tag Archives: bootstrap

My journey with Poached Creative

Pic: Tobias. Yousif Farrah outside the Poached Creative offices at Bootstrap.

Pic: Tobias. Yousif Farrah outside the Poached Creative offices at Bootstrap.

By Yousif Farrah

Poached Creative is a social enterprise communications agency, that puts creative jobs in reach for disadvantaged people. As their Volunteer Press Officer I can speak firsthand of how they make a positive impact on people’s lives.

Two years ago I was made homeless and had to drop out of University. It was at this time that I also experienced the loss of close relatives and life started to spin out of control. I ended up in prison and life seemed so bleak. I could not see any light at the end of the tunnel.

I genuinely believed that it was the end. Fortunately, upon my release from prison I began to receive support from homeless charity St Mungo’s Broadway and they told me about The Big Issue online journalism programme, which trains homeless and marginalised people in journalism and photography. Continue reading

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Hackney Pirates, getting kids reading with a swagger

Ship of Adventures

Pic: Jan Weuterisse: The Ship of Adventures provides a fun environment for kids to learn

By Billy Guedalla

Hackney Pirates is an innovative literacy project for children set-up in 2010. After three and a half years and five homes they have finally secured a permanent home. We went along to have a look around their new premises in Dalston, East London, and meet founding director, Catriona Maclay.

Catriona previously taught Citizenship in a secondary school, where she struggled with witnessing so many children fail to reach their potential. However she never lost her belief in education as “an optimistic and positive thing to be involved in”. Continue reading

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Enterprise helps SMEs & unemployed pull themselves up by the Bootstrap


While Dalston in east London has seen a huge investment and regeneration programme in recent years it has made it difficult for social enterprises and creatives to find affordable space to rent.

Fortunately long-running social enterprise Bootstrap is set-up to do just that. Founded in 1977 as a training and enterprise organisation the company has gone on to support and nurture charities, social enterprises small creative businesses based in and serving the community.

Poorly funded organisations such as Action for Children, the Latin American Women’s Refuge and the Refugee Women’s Association have all benefited from affordable space in an otherwise unaffordable area where not everyone has benefited from the influx of money and promises of social mobility.

Fiona Evans, who works with Action for Children, said: “Bootstrap enables us to reach local children who need our help, whether they are young carers, have Mental Health issues, as well as those who have trouble integrating at school or into the community.”

While funding by local government has been severely cut in recent years charitable organisations have had to learn to market themselves in recent years and so visits from Body Shop founder Anita Roddick and actor Eva Longoria have helped get the publicity they need as well as a moral boost.

However Bootstrap has not forgotten its roots of helping train and support young people into employment.

Damion Thomas

Damion Thomas

Damion Thomas, who works at Bootstrap, was long term unemployed before he became their receptionist and he believes he would have found work a lot quicker had he learnt about Bootstraps intern programme, he said.

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