Category Archives: Uncategorized

Let’s Talk Social Enterprise

So this week I went over to Bishop Auckland to talk to some customers of the South Durham Enterprise Agency about Social Enterprise. Quite a varied crowd of people about to venture forth into the world of business and for some Social Enterprise might be the way forward, for others not, but a good discussion was had about the pros and cons of For Profit, Social Enterprise and Charity Models.

I tried to come up with a model that would explain the relationships between these – Here’s one I made earlier!

New Year, New Projects, Same old me…

So 2016 is upon us and its bloody freezing!

That said, there are plenty of things going on to keep me on my toes – several bids I have written may materialise in early 2016 (hopefully not all at once!), everything from improving quality to national service provision.

Local networking in North Yorkshire is also proving fruitful – linked up with Your Consortium recently, really interesting organisation trying to fill the (rather large) gaps in funding and service development.

So who knows what 2016 will bring, but I’m sure it will be varied and interesting!

Jelly (but no custard…)

So, what does one do when you move somewhere new and need to meet some local contacts? Go out for Jelly of course!

Jelly is an international initiative but the UK site is here:

Go to meet a few interesting people, so doing things I do, others not (I now know someone who can do Health and Safety Assessments and someone with a holiday cottage locally – result!) – all hosted by the very swish Evolution Business Centre.

Same time next month then – but bring some custard!

This year, I have mostly been…

… very busy!

Too busy to update this site sadly, but nevermind.

So here are a few things that have been going on:

  • Helping 3 environmental charities successfully relocate to a new shared office
  • Writing a huge bid to help a social enterprise compete with “The Big Boys” on a commercial basis
  • Doing a Business Developement Review to enable a social enterprise to market to the most appropriate segments
  • Running some Project Management workshops
  • Providing a process audit for a helpline charity
  • Doing the day job
  • Oh, and I’ve moved “Up North”!


One door closes, another one (or a few) open…

So, things have just about calmed down after a very hectic February (which included spending a long weekend on an industrial estate in the middle of nowhere in Oldham!), but there is always something else round the corner.

Community venues seem to be high on the agenda at the moment, be it charities looking to find affordable premises, or providing access to facilities for the community in general. It all boils down to grasping the opportunity when it comes and also having the support from above to make decisions and get on with it!

Me thinks there is more work to be done here…

All Together Now…

So my New Year’s Resolution is to get more organisations to work together in a constructive and open partnership. Not easy I know, but it is very odd that especially in the NGO and Social Enterprise space there is so much distrust between organisations that are obvious partners with each other.

The commercial world seems to be over this – Companies that sell complimentary products or services are happy to partner with “the competition” as they can see the net outcome as being beneficial for both. There just seems to be a lack of trust of willing elsewhere.

The problem seems to lie at the Board of Trustees / Directors level, most of this time – sometimes a gentle kick is required. Good job I got a new pair of boots for Christmas then!

Helping the Helplines

Had a really interesting day at Helplines Partnership’s Annual Conference last Friday. Great to meet lots staff and volunteers from all sorts of helplines and see what they are up to (and how I can help).

One of the breakout sessions was about “Emotional Intelligence” (delivered by Lisa from CCS Coaching International), not something I know anything about, but really interesting. I did however learn:

  • We have 3 “brains” (well there’s a 4th in the heart apparently as well…)
  • There are 100 logical brain cells firing every second
  • There are 6,000,000,000 emotional brain cells firing every second

One qualification that I don’t have is a GCSE in biology, but this has (literally) opened my mind to a whole new way of thinking about interacting with others!