The Chreda Foundation’s aim is to “Inspire the Next Generation”, so we are always interested in other organisations that are doing just that. The latest that we have come across is based in Hull, where business leaders and industrialists across the city have joined forces to motivate and inspire young people to give back to their communities through a new project called “Above And Beyond”… with the motto “Connecting Life and Learning”.
Created by Gerard Toplass, managing director of Claughtons Office Equipment Limited, the project brings together the following East Yorkshire businesses:
There are three aspects to the initiative:
- Ticket 2 Learn offers incentives to young people, such as tickets to sports.
- Make A Difference seeks to help pupils provide support and assistance to residents, thereby making a positive impact on their community.
- Getting It Done is all about businesses giving up their time and expertise to help schools deliver other, specific initiatives.
Mr Toplass believes that business leaders in the community “have a responsibility to give something back and hopefully inspire future generations to create their own businesses and understand the benefits of achievement and attainment”. Through the project he and his business community associates aim to “demonstrate a commitment to giving back and leading by example”, as well as providing a “comprehensive support platform” from which students can make a difference themselves.
Phase one of the project is already underway, and will run until July next year. It is currently being piloted in a small group of Hull schools, but the businesses that are funding it hope that other companies and charities will eventually come on board, so that it can be rolled out across the whole of Hull and the East Riding.
An exciting project, which we hope will produce some excellent results among the young people of Yorkshire.
Lord’s cricket ground was the venue for the UK Social Enterprise Awards 2012 on Monday evening. The event, which has been running now for 14 years, was attended by over 300 people, and was hosted by Social Enterprise UK and Haymarket Managed Events. Compere for the evening was comedian and television presenter Sue Perkins.
The winners were as follows:
- Start-Up Social Enterprise – Bristol Together CIC
- UK Social Enterprise – East Belfast Mission
- Social Enterprise Leader – Dai Powell, Chief Executive of HCT Group
- Social Enterprise Supporter – International Network of Street Papers
- Youth-Led Social Enterprise – Music Theatre 4 Youth
- Evidence of Impact – HCT Group
- Social Entrepreneur – Jayne Hulbert and Jayne Cresswell, The SWEET Project
- Social Enterprise Town – Alston Moor, Cumbria
- Social Enterprise Champion – David Adair
- Finance/Investment Deal – Social Investment Scotland
- Employee/Volunteer – Gillian Gilsenan
- Social Enterprise Transition – Accelerate CIC
- Innovation: best new product/service – Glasgow Credit Union
- International Social Enterprise – Shenzhen CANYOU Group
- Lifetime Achievement Awards – Baroness Glenys Thornton and Jonathan Bland
The trophies for the event were made specially by social enterprise Elvis & Kresse, which creates its products from materials that would otherwise go to landfill.
Social enterprises exist to tackle social problems: 68,000 of them currently operate in Britain, and 1 in 7 of them is a start-up.
It’s good to see young people involved, amongst others, in the winning entries above.
News out in the last few days… George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, is selling his company – Lucasfilm – to Disney for $4.05 billion, and giving away most of the money to charity. Already known for his philanthropy, as a signatory to the Giving Pledge (an initiative that invites “the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice either during their lifetime or after their death”), Mr Lucas leads an eponymous educational foundation, which is quite likely to be the main recipient of his generous donation: it was reported on Wednesday that he was planning to channel the proceeds of the sale into educational issues. In the past he has supported charities such as the Film Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Stand Up to Cancer, as well as making a large donation ($175 million) to his alma mater, USC, six years ago. As Mr Lucas said in his Giving Pledge, in 2010, education is “key to the survival of the human race”, involving as it does the “social, emotional and intellectual tools we provide to our children”. At the Chreda Foundation we couldn’t agree more – we believe that “Children Are Our Future”, and are doing our small part, too, to “Inspire the Next Generation”, with the award scheme that we are planning. Here at Generosity News we will be continuing to focus especially on young people and their contributions to society, but it’s good to remember that the philanthropy of wealthy people like George Lucas will always be a key factor; so we say to him, as they do in the Star Wars movies, “May the Force be with you”!
Generosity News tends to concentrate more on the positive side of life, but back in August I felt obliged to criticise present UK Government policy regarding disabled workers, as Remploy closures hit the headlines, and although there was some good news, overall the situation appeared rather bleak.
But I was delighted to read today that here in Wales former Remploy employees from the closed Treforest plant are now turning the tables and showing that disabled people aren’t willing to accept defeat. Steven Watts, Rocky Worsfold and three colleagues are successfully running a furniture refurbishment and re-upholstering business, GreenCap, at Caerphilly’s Western Industrial Estate, breathing new life into old office furniture and then selling it on. Local Council Leader Harry Andrews describes it as “a success story…[which]…has the support of the Welsh Government, local authorities and other businesses” and which, as he points out, is remarkably like “the original concept of Remploy back in the 1940s.”
It’s great to see these enterprising people, who understandably “felt cheated” at being dumped by their employer of many years, now regaining their confidence and sense of self-worth, as their new company – which has already rescued and sold-on 100 desks and 130 chairs that would have been destined for landfill – attracts admiration and support from many people, including Education Minister Leighton Andrews, who recently visited the social enterprise. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the flagship enterprise that once employed 10,000 people and generated sales totalling £175million, GreenCap is going from strength to strength, and already has a customer list that includes 118 118, HSBC, Swalec and Cardiff City Council. With the assistance of the Welsh Contact Centre Forum and the Local Authority it seems to have a great future ahead of it. Our congratulations to the workers who said “No!” to being thrown on the scrapheap, and had the foresight and courage to go it alone, despite their disabilities. All power to them and their new enterprise!
In just over a month the Festival of Social Enterprise will be taking place at the Eco Innovation Centre, Peterborough (Cambridgeshire, UK). Organised by Enterprise Pathways cic, and supported by the Norwich Festival of Social Enterprise, it aims to promote social enterprise collaboration, and will be an opportunity for the UK’s leading social entrepreneurs to come together to share their experiences creating businesses with “powerful and sustainable social impact”. The event takes place on 14 September, but now is the time to get Early Bird tickets (£35), or arrange Early Bird stand hire (£45): the deadline for the latter is next Wednesday (15 August).
With topics ranging from growth strategies, through the creation of sustainable social impact, to crowd-funding, it promises to be an event that you shouldn’t miss, if you are involved in this field of activity. The full contact details are as follows:
Telephone: 0845 582 6224
Mobile: 07738 479 153