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Posted By Adrian Ashton
On 5 September 2011 - 8:22pm

There seems to be an ongoing proliferation of e-commerce sites offering bulk-purchasing services (and savings) to small businesses and individuals ( ...more

Posted By Community Money
On 5 September 2011 - 4:19pm

Hyde Housing has recently published its Money Guidance Programme Evaluation Report - following a 3 year Money Guidance Programme (MGP), delivered in partnership with a number of other housing associations.

Community Money has worked with 3 of the partners involved - Hyde, L & Q and Metropolitan Housing Partnership.

The progammes aim was to increase financial capability by developing money management skills, preventing debt problems, and improving financial well-being.

The report finds that early intervention has a positive social and financial impact on social housing residents, and financial benefits to participating housing associations.

The progamme resulted in an overall reduction in rent arrears by social housing tenants and improvements to rent payment behaviour. The report also showed that the cost in running this service for 12 months was offset by the rent arrears reduction calculated over the same period ...more

On 5 September 2011 - 12:49pm



Back today from a great couple of weeks’ holiday – first in Northumberland, then in East Yorkshire.

I really felt like I needed the break. Lots of people have things far worse at the moment, both in terms of work and personal life, but as a small social business we’re by no means immune from the troubles we’re facing as an economy. No-one will tell you it’s much fun to do 20% more work for 20% less money, as I reckon we’re doing at the moment. I’m a believer in hard times bringing out the best in innovation – but there’s always a limit to how much more you can do with less. So it was good to get away for a while – no phone, no Twitter, no TV. Even ...more

Posted By Red Button Design
On 5 September 2011 - 12:05pm

The Midomo Bracelet featuring in the ‘Stuff we Love’ section of School for Startups is just the latest in a recent run of media attention for Red Button Design. Here’s our five favourite pieces of current press, for your browsing pleasure.


1. Doug Richard’s School for Startups: The Midomo Bracelet initiative is described as ‘intuitive, ambitious and visionary’ and ‘the perfect gift for an enterprising woman.’

2. BSSEC blog: The Birmingham and Solihull Social Economy Consortium wrote an article on the successful implementation of the first Midomos in ...more

On 4 September 2011 - 10:34pm


A real haul


What 3kgs raspberries looks like
It's that time of year when cropping at the allotment has to be done with the aid of a wheelbarrow because 20lbs of fruit and veg takes some carrying. Given the revolting weather I found myself picking fruit until the September rain had soaked right through to my knickers, but once ...more

On 4 September 2011 - 5:18pm

On Tuesday I am going to be a judge at the Big Venture Challenge run by Unltd and the Big Lottery Fund where 41 entrepreneurs compete to be one of 25 selected for a chunky investment package.

As far as these types of competition go, I am impressed so far both by the calibre of the 41 and the way the whole thing is being run. It is professional, brings the right kind of people in as judges and avoids Dragons Den cliches, going instead for a constructive interview process.

The pack arrived last week and I was pretty dazzled by the diversity of stuff we're looking at. Alongside well-known social enterprises in the employment sector there are start-ups and early stage businesses doing everything from clothing for disabled people through to franchising opps for the unemployed.

Well done to Unltd and the Lottery for putting all of this together. It all reads like a compendium of the best emerging stuff in social enterprise right now in the UK, all overseen ...more

Posted By Changemakers blogs
On 2 September 2011 - 8:26pm


You won’t find many World Cup soccer players who have had to rise above extreme poverty, homelessness, and prolonged spells of alcoholism and drug abuse. But these are the kinds of challenges that socially marginalized players from around the world have surmounted in order to be featured in the Homeless World Cup (HWC) annual tournament.  This year’s tournament, held from August 21 through August 28 in Paris, France, was supported by legendary Premier League manager, Arsène Wenger, and former French internationals Lilian Thuram and Emmanuelle Petit.  Since its inception in Graz, Austria in 2003, the 48-team Homeless World Cup tournament has given some of the world’s most invisible people a grand stage to showcase their courage, perseverance, and pure footballing talent in their nation’s ...more

On 2 September 2011 - 4:05pm

One morning as I was leaving for work, my mom and I had a very special interchange.

We live in Menlo Park, and I was headed north to San Francisco.  My parents were headed south to Carmel for a bit of rest.  “Have a great day, Mom!  Thank you for having me… and now we’re going in different directions!”

“No, we’re not,” she said immediately.

I knew exactly what she meant.  Our minds and hearts are going in the same direction.   She’s taught me to be loving and kind.   To follow my heart, and to do what I love to do.  And to live rightly.   And that is what she does with her life.  She is so consistently, joyously serving others.  I’ve never seen a better model of this.

And so, as we parted that morning, we went in the same direction.

...more

On 2 September 2011 - 3:31pm


Helen,  (left) and Michelle (right) heading off to new adventures

As we bid a fond farewell to SELites Michelle Richmond and Helen Deason this week  I thought I would also update you on other news surrounding ex SELites. Helen is leaving us to tour South America and spend some time with ex-SELite the fabulous Brenda Poggio in Argentina, and as I suspected might happen, Matt Jarrett has got himself into a bit of a pickle at his new place of work with the uniform requirements as you can see below. We are not at all sure he read the memo correctly.

...more

On 2 September 2011 - 1:38pm


Lord Coe with CFU

The Community Film Unit is a collective of skilled young adults who work to empower individuals, communities and services through the power of film and the wider creative process. The Community Film Unit’s product includes film, graphic design, still photography, web design and music production. Combined, these creative tools encompass a unique and high quality product. The Community Film Unit is dedicated to influencing social good through their unique and diverse product.

With support from ...more