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Blog Highlights published in 2017

Contents Page 3

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About this booklet & Author Profiles

Auditory Verbal UK ‘highly commended’ for Charity of the Year

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Page 13

Wood Green, The Animals Charity set up new base at CAN

CAN marks Social Saturday by celebrating work of social enterprises

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Micro Rainbow International open first safe house for LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees in the UK

Shared Assets is ‘making land a thing again’

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South East London Vision to take part in Prudential Ride London 2017

CAN Mezzanine Old Street welcomes growing start-up Fundraising Regulator

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Page 17

Social investment – is it worth exploring further for your organisation?

London Emergencies Trust to be temporarily housed by CAN

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CAN Invest introduce their new approach to p2p: Sprint Hacks!

Bates Wells Braithwaite announces new Charity Hub

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Page 19

Change Please expands from the streets to the stores


Disclaimer - All blogs contained in this booklet were published in the past. Content was relevant at the ‘Published date’ shown. Changes may have occurred since this date.

About this booklet

From LGBTI campaigners to support for the homeless, land management and animal welfare, charitable organisations at CAN Mezzanine represent a myriad of industries and we are delighted to provide an insight into their incredible work with this compilation of blogs taken from the CAN website. The CAN Invest team share their innovative approach to peer to peer discussions and find out if social investment is worth exploring further for your organisation. Thanks for reading!

Author Profiles

Jenny Palmer Marketing and PR Executive, CAN Jenny has worked at CAN since June 2016. In addition to writing blogs for the CAN website, she is responsible for managing CAN’s online networking platform, CANNECT, which was set up to encourage collaboration between organisations across Mezzanines. She also helps to organise networking breakfasts and lunches at CAN, alongside assisting with general marketing and promotional activity. Jenny spent some of her childhood living in Nepal and she holds a 2:1 in Media and Communications from Bournemouth University.

Ben Pearce Social Business Manager, CAN Invest Ben works on a range of CAN Invest activities, focusing on business readiness, impact measurement, and managing CAN’s Accelerator programme for mid-sized VCSEs. Ben previously worked with Morgan Stanley, enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commodities Operations department. He is a founder member and secretary of a Community Energy company. Ben has a first-class BSc in Sport Management from Loughborough University.

Greg Woolley Senior Social Business Analyst, CAN Invest Greg works on a range of CAN Invest activities, focusing on social impact measurement and capacity building. He also manages CAN’s Early Intervention Loan Fund. Greg has been working in the third sector for 8 years, having previously worked for the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply and Macmillan Cancer Support. Greg holds an MSc in Charity Resource Management and a 1st class honours BSc in Sports & Business Management.


Wood Green, The Animals Charity set up new base at CAN

Author: Jenny Palmer | Publish Date: 27 February 2017 (updated January 2018) Since its foundation in 1924, Wood Green, The Animals Charity has expanded significantly. After outgrowing its London Centre, the Charity set up headquarters in Godmanchester in Cambridgeshire. The site has become one of the largest animal rehoming centres in Europe with around 5,000 animals rehomed every year with modern facilities for the care of dogs, cats, small and field animals. With three centres in the East Anglia and London area and eleven charity shops, the Charity currently works across five counties and hopes to branch out even further. Patrick Tang, Database Manager for Wood Green, said: We are currently in a transitional period so we are focusing on all the areas that a typical charity would have, such as data and customer service. We realise that we could have a wider reach so we intend to increase our core business which is pet rescue and rehoming. Our MarComms team will work to create more of a digital presence to reach people who don’t know about us and we aim to expand and modernise our retail hubs.


Wood Green offers a unique range of services. “We deal with a huge variety of pets, from dogs and cats to guinea pigs and ferrets. From emergency care to the path of full recovery, our charity is committed to saving pets’ lives and finding them a forever home. For people who can’t look after their pets we have an initiative called Paws to Doors; our experts’ support to find homes for pets without having to come to our centres, which makes it quicker and less traumatic for the animal. Where other charities may outsource veterinary services, we also have our own surgery, allowing us to support other animals charities to care for pets.”


CAN Mezzanine Blogs

Micro Rainbow International open first safe house for LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees in the UK Author: Jenny Palmer | Publish Date: 8 November 2017 Micro Rainbow International (MRI), a social enterprise with office space at CAN Mezzanine, has opened its first safe house for LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees in the UK. In October 2017 Rashid and Maria*, two asylum seekers from Bangladesh and El Salvador, entered the safe house. MRI designs and delivers innovative programmes to lift LGBTI people out of poverty in the UK, Brazil and Cambodia. In the UK, MRI focuses on LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees and provides them with housing and employability support, including finding employment and setting up small businesses and social inclusion activities.

& Manges LLP. The international law firm has provided MRI with over 230 hours of pro-bono legal advice since February 2016. Robert Powell, Head of Pro Bono & CSR at Weil added: , “Providing pro bono legal advice to MRI on this truly pioneering project has been a joyful experience. It’s given our lawyers intellectually stimulating work with a real tangible and positive social outcome in providing a safe place to stay for LGBTI refugees. We look forward to helping MRI open more safe houses in 2018.”

When they come to the UK many LGBTI asylum seekers are still not safe. Maria said, “I suffered physical and sexual harassment on a regular basis in the accommodation I was given as an asylum seeker. Someone threw a pot at me once. I just could not sleep properly, I was always on the lookout for someone to try to hurt me. “The first thing I did when I arrived at MRI’s LGBTI safe house was cry with relief. I then unpacked my dresses and high heel shoes. I had not been able to even look at them for months”. Similarly, Rashid was homeless and slept rough for several months. Moud Goba, MRI’s Housing Project Manager said: “Maria claimed asylum over a year ago and is still waiting for a decision. Rashid had his asylum interview two weeks ago; he waited more than a year before he was given a date for his asylum application. They still have a tough process to go through, but they don’t have to worry about where to sleep anymore or being hurt at home. In MRI, they have found someone who will go through the asylum journey with them”. MRI’s safe housing project was officially launched in November 2017 at the London office of Weil, Gotshal

Sebastian Rocca, MRI’s Founder and CEO, said: Homosexuality is criminalised in over 70 countries and more than 1000 people from these countries seek asylum in the UK every year. MRI already supports over 150 LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees each year and provides them with vital social inclusion activities, peer support groups, and employability programmes. The housing project was the missing link in MRI’s holistic approach to integration and we are thrilled that the first safe house has finally opened in the UK. The first house has space for four people. MRI plan to provide safe housing to over 150 LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees by 2019. *Names have been changed

Since this blog was first published on the CAN website: A second safe house opened on December 15th 2017 and MRI plan to open several more in 2018. MRI’s safe housing project won the 2017 Innovation Award by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.



South East London Vision to take part in Prudential Ride London 2017 Author: Jenny Palmer | Publish Date: 21 July 2017 CAN Mezzanine based charity South East London Vision will be taking part in Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 to raise funds for The Metro Sports and Social Club of Vision Impaired People (Metro Blind Sport). CEO of South East London Vision Odette Battarel, who is partially sighted, will ride a tandem with her husband alongside five members of Metro Blind Sport.

also help them to enjoy the social benefits of taking part in team sports from a grass root to international level. The club has earned a reputation for meeting the needs of vision impaired people of all ages and abilities throughout Greater London and many of its members have represented the UK in international competitions including the Paralympics and The Commonwealth Games. In early 2017, Metro Blind Sport introduced its members to tandem cycling, inspiring some, including Odette, to take part in Prudential Ride London 2017. She shares her motivations for taking part: “I wanted to take part in an event with my husband who is sighted, to do a challenge together. We are always walking so carefully not to bump into things, it is great to feel we can go fast again!

Taking place on Sunday 30th July 2017, The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey comprises of a 46-mile route on traffic-free roads, beginning at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and following the same route as the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 for the first 27 miles. The ride then takes a new two-mile route, which links up with the last 17 miles through London to the finish at The Mall. Metro Blind Sport was founded in 1973 by a group of inspirational blind and partially sighted people determined to increase opportunities for vision impaired people to take part in a diverse range of sports including athletics, bowls, cricket, football, tennis, sailing and skiing. Members of Metro Blind Sport can benefit from activities which will not only improve physical fitness levels, but


“To be part of a big London event, riding in front of a supportive and enthusiastic crowd and be cheered. “To raise money for a charity that does fabulous work enabling blind and partially sighted people to take part in sport and physical activities. “I have experienced first-hand the benefits of sports, of staying fit, of meeting like-minded people and I want to ensure Metro can continue to do this for others. To inspire and to show others that it is possible that if you are blind or partially sighted you can still be active and take part in great events. South East London Vision has office space at CAN Mezzanine, Borough.


Social investment – is it worth exploring further for your organisation? Author: Greg Woolley | Publish Date: 28 September 2017 Social investment has been undoubtedly hyped since its introduction at the beginning of the decade but this method of finance is still largely misunderstood or unknown in the community of charities and social enterprises. It’s fair to say that those in the social investment sector are still discovering where social investment can best help different charities and social enterprises, where it isn’t relevant and won’t ever be relevant so it’s unrealistic to expect charities and social enterprises to have full awareness and understanding. In an environment of ever reducing public sector funding, there are misguided thoughts that social investment can be a replacement for grants. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and is an over-simplified narrative. There is certainly potential for this method of repayable finance to help organisations increase the social impact they create but social investment isn’t appropriate for all organisations. Learning and understanding all the elements and nuances of social investment can be very time intensive whilst an application process can be even more so. Time

is a precious resource for charity and social enterprises and it shouldn’t be spent exploring social investment when it’s not relevant for that organisation. At CAN Invest, through our experience of managing social investment funds and supporting organisations to become ‘investment-ready’, we have developed some quick indicators to identify whether social investment is; currently appropriate for consideration, possibly appropriate in the future or not appropriate at all. With this knowledge, we have developed a 5-minute tool to help organisations self-assess whether they should spend time exploring social investment further. We hope this tool will be informative and give you food for thought… or simply help you with time-saving! Happy self-assessing! To make use of our tool, visit the website below.



CAN Invest introduce their new approach to p2p: Sprint Hacks! Author: Ben Pearce | Publish Date: 2 November 2017 Through the CAN³ programme*, the CAN Invest mission is to create and nurture a community of truly social enterprises that are sustainable, committed to maximising social impact, and work with each other and others to help make the world a better place. We have recently added two new organisations to the programme, taking us up to six, and our first organisations have been part of the programme for a year now. Upon reflecting and evaluating the programme, we have made some changes to increase the value on offer to organisations. One of those changes is to facilitate more peer to peer (P2P) interactions between our CAN³ participants. Therefore, we have introduced 6x8 Sprint Hacks…

Peer learning

1. A lot of issues that crop up for small charities are those that others have either resolved or are also struggling with. This should be an effective way of helping your organisation to learn and develop, both by hearing suggestions related to your own specific issue and by hearing what is going on with other organisations. It was very interesting to be around a table with the other organisations and find out more about what they do/challenges they face. It was useful to hear new, external perspectives on a problem that internally we might think ‘we’re doing all we can’ to address. 2. We want to increase peer learning between our amazing CAN³ organisations

Who takes part?

Six individuals from six CAN³ organisations will attend the session, i.e one person per organisation.

How? What are Sprint Hacks?

CAN Invest has facilitated two monthly one hour sessions based around a specific theme for organisations to source solutions to particular issues that they are having. So far, the sessions have covered issues related to marketing, governance and delivery.


Each participant has eight minutes to present an issue and source solutions and ideas from others. The eight minute time limit is strict and it is the responsibility of the individual presenting the issue to source ideas within the time. Green (6 mins left), Amber (3 mins) and Red (1 min) lighting will signify time remaining. I enjoyed the different perspectives, the focus of time and the networking opportunities.

Content to date

Some of the topics that have been covered to date include: • How can we make high quality designed materials without any design expertise in-house • How can we maximise our social media output without significant input • How to engage alumni / former beneficiaries • How to create an effective team culture with new staff and remote/part-time working It was really good to hear more about what everyone does.

Outcomes to date

• Organisations have shared brand guideline templates and designers they have worked with • Simple tools for social media planning were shared along with high impact hashtags • Consider empowering alumni to manage performance and training for former beneficiaries • Different approaches of acute and chronic engagement were shared for staff teams

Organisations rated the events as:

The top benefits to date have been:

• Meeting other CAN³ organisations • The feedback received from others • Understanding more about what others do It was great having lots of different points of view.

*The CAN³ programme, run by CAN Invest, offers free business and impact advice in subsidised office space to support fast-growth organisations to accelerate their impact, growth and sustainability.

• 7.5/10 for usefulness • 8/10 for being engaging



Change Please expands from the streets to the stores Author: Jenny Palmer | Publish Date: 5 October 2017 Change Please, a social enterprise on the CAN³ programme, is now selling its coffee at 375 Sainsbury’s stores nationwide. Change Please train people previously experiencing homelessness to become baristas and sell its coffee from carts and fixed locations throughout London. The social enterprise also provide support with housing, bank accounts and future employment. Supported by CAN³, Big Issue and Big Issue Invest, Change Please has experienced considerable growth since its creation in 2015. The baristas themselves and their stories feature on the packaging of the three premium blends; available for £4.50 per bag. All profits are then put back into the social enterprise to help more homeless people. Cemal Ezel, the founder of Change Please, said: This is a huge step forward to helping the current state of homelessness in the country. We have built this social enterprise on being a ‘pick me up, not a hand out’ for the people involved and it is their hard work that has got their lives moving in the right direction. Change Please aims to create a real win-win situation; knowing that we’re continuing to feed the consumer demand for high quality coffee, but on a much wider scale now through the consumer product, we can make an even bigger impact on this country’s homelessness problem.


When trading began in 2015, Change Please had one coffee cart at Covent Garden. In under two years, the organisation has expanded its carts to London Bridge, Kraft-Heinz, Time-Inc, Canary Wharf, Borough Market, Here East and Christ Church Southwark. The social enterprise now has coffee bars operated by its baristas within Time Inc and Kraft-Heinz at The Shard and four new locations are planned to launch in the next few months. The growing impact of Change Please has been supported by CAN Invest through their participation in the CAN³ accelerator programme in CAN Mezzanine, Borough. The CAN³ programme aims to scale the growth and impact of ‘post start-up’ charities and social enterprises. It combines free business expertise from the CAN Invest team, surgery sessions from CAN’s SMT, and peer to peer sessions with other organisations, all within the dedicated office space of CAN Mezzanine. During their first year on the programme, Change Please received tailored advisory services to develop an impact-led growth strategy, including a Theory of Change to articulate their impact, and development of a bespoke impact management framework. The impact framework is fundamental to Change Please as it scales, as it enables the organisation to systematically report on the impact of their work to

funders, partners and customers and use impact data to improve the quality of their services for baristas. The social enterprise also benefitted from a loan of £28,000 from the CAN Early Intervention Fund, in partnership with UBS, to support the set-up of their first shopfront location and the salary of an Events Sales Manager.

Change Please was recently listed in Marketing Week’s 100 Disruptive Brands 2017 for young brands that could be ‘disrupting your world’ and are ‘imaginative in adapting to societal shifts and employ structures and models that break convention.’ Marketing Week state that ‘Change Please’s model of reducing homelessness by focusing on getting people a job and securing housing is disrupting how we think about the issue of homelessness.’



Auditory Verbal UK ‘highly commended’ for Charity of the Year Author: Jenny Palmer | Publish Date: 26 September 2017 Auditory Verbal UK (AVUK) received a highly commended award for Charity of the Year at the Third Sector Awards.

Gary Phillips, Director of Sales and Marketing at CAN, presented The Grand Appeal with the Enterprise Award.

FareShare, The Scout Association and Langley House Trust were also shortlisted for the award with the food waste charity FareShare named as the winner. By practising Auditory Verbal therapy (AVT), Auditory Verbal UK help babies and young children with permanent hearing loss to listen and talk without the need for lip reading or sign language. CAN Mezzanine provide AVUK with a customised office space in Bermondsey where AVT can take place. CEO of AVUK Anita Grover, said: We are so grateful to the judges of the Third Sector Awards for recognising our work and awarding us highly commended amongst other organisations doing such incredible work in their respective fields. Many people are still surprised to know that even profoundly deaf children can learn to listen, talk and achieve all the same things that hearing children can. By winning this award it is helping us to raise our profile so that we can continue to challenge perceptions and create a sound future for deaf children. Huge congratulations to the other charities who were nominated alongside us. CAN hosted a table at the Third Sector Awards with AVUK, in addition to being a sponsor for the evening and presenting the Enterprise Award.


Working in partnership with Aardman Animations, The Grand Appeal has raised £50 million to save lives and support over 100,000 sick children and babies treated yearly at Bristol Children’s Hospital and its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Since 2013, the charity has transformed a pop-up shop and online store into a successful retail operation with a multi-million pound turnover. The Coalfields Regeneration Trust was highly commended in the Enterprise Award category, with Local Hospice Lottery and St Andrew’s First Aid Training and Supplies as finalists.


CAN marks Social Saturday by celebrating work of social enterprises Author: Jenny Palmer | Publish Date: 20 October 2017 On Saturday 14th October Social Saturday took place throughout the UK to raise awareness of the work of social enterprises. Organised by Social Enterprise UK, the key message of Social Saturday is to encourage consumers to ‘Buy Social’ by swapping a regular purchase for one from a social enterprise and create positive social impact. This year’s campaign grew from 60 events last year to over 100 events in London, Lincolnshire, Scarborough, Northern Ireland and Swansea to name a few.

The flagship event took place at Borough Market where a range of social enterprises promoted their products to the public, including Change Please, an organisation on the CAN³ programme. CAN took part in the event by sharing a series of images on social media to showcase the variety of social enterprises with office space in its Mezzanines:



Shared Assets is ‘making land a thing again’ Author: Jenny Palmer | Publish Date: 18 October 2017 CAN has welcomed Shared Assets to the CAN³ programme. We sat down with Director Kate Swade to find out more about its work and why the social enterprise decided to join the programme. Shared Assets provide practical advice, support and training to landowners and communities who want to manage land as a sustainable and productive asset. It also undertakes research, policy and advocacy work to help create an environment where common good models of land management can flourish. Kate said:

Shared Assets wants to ‘make land a thing again’ and raise awareness of why land should be talked about. “We are keen to work towards the cultural shift in understanding issues surrounding land, such as how the way land is owned, taxed and valued affects the housing crisis, our physical and mental health, and whether our towns and cities experience regeneration, gentrification or decline. People are recognising that it is harder to buy houses and that farmers can’t make their businesses work due to the way we treat land as a commodity and store of wealth. It does feel like this is a time that is ripe for change.”

“We try and create relationships and structures that are needed to create a more productive relationship with land. That may involve creating a new type of body to take ownership or a lease on some land that is under threat, creating opportunities such as food growing or running enterprises in parks or woodland.” Shared Assets work with people in a variety of ways, including support with business models, advice about different types of land, facilitation and training. Kate said, “We call ourselves the ‘think and do’ tank. The ‘doing’ focuses on supporting pioneers who are managing land in new and innovative ways. The thinking focuses on trying to create an environment where those new models can thrive and pioneers can support each other.


“One of our aims is to encourage people in power to think about land as a strategic policy issue and to provide evidence to inform and reinforce that. Both Conservative and Labour parties mentioned land

“We’ve never had dedicated meeting rooms before so having that combined with informal break out space is a real bonus because sitting at your desk all day is not very productive. You can take yourself away if you need to concentrate so I think it works for us on many levels.” Collaboration is a key aspect of CAN culture and we encourage all organisations to network and create partnerships which are often developed at CAN Mezzanine networking events, held every six weeks at each Mezzanine.

policy explicitly in their manifestos for the first time in many years and there are other NGO’s, professional associations and activist groups who are working towards a more strategic approach to land.”

Kate said, “We’re a small team but we are good at building partnerships. At our events we bring together organisations that have an interest in land, such as the National Trust and the Forestry Commission, alongside activists and radical food growers, to share their knowledge which is quite exciting.

The CAN³ programme, which combines the investment and business expertise of the CAN Invest team with the dedicated office space of CAN Mezzanine, aims to scale the growth and impact of ‘post start-up’ charities and social enterprises.

“We have a partnership with Local Trust that we will be developing over the next six months and we have obvious synergies with National Community Land Trust Network and National Parks England [all organisations have office space at CAN Mezzanine, Borough].

Kate said, “Moving into CAN Mezzanine, Borough has come at a really good time for us because we are five years old and at a turning point in terms of the way we work. We want to learn more about how we can grow our impact and on the CAN³ programme we will receive support and be challenged to think more about the impact that we have. CAN Mezzanine offers flexible office space to charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations with meeting and conference room hire included in the rate for the space. Kate said, “The space is more flexible than we’ve had before; we are moving towards a model of more staff working remotely and part-time so it works well to have a space that can grow with us or downsize.

“We look forward to working with other organisations in the Mezzanine and with CAN Invest on refining our impact measurement and financial forecasting.”



CAN Mezzanine, Old Street welcomes growing start-up Fundraising Regulator Author: Jenny Palmer | Publish Date: 9 September 2016 (updated December 2017) The Fundraising Regulator’s mission is to set and maintain the standards for charitable fundraising in the UK. It has taken over ownership of the Code of Fundraising Practise from the Institute of Fundraising and is working on developing it in consultation with other key fundraising institutions. The Regulator has experienced rapid growth since its official launch in July 2016. Having launched with only three staff members, the organisation now has 17. CAN Mezzanine in Old Street was chosen by Fundraising Regulator to accommodate its expanding employee base.

moving in. Signing the license, moving in, sorting out the broadband and the phone wiring – it’s all been really easy.” “It’s good to get all your services provided through one desk fee and you know it’s all going to an organisation that itself exists to support charities.” One of the ways that the Regulator is working to restore public trust in charitable fundraising is by setting up the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) to give the public more control over the communication that they receive from charities. The service can be accessed online at www.fundraisingpreference.org.uk “We deal with issues that people raise when they feel under pressure to donate. The FPS gives someone a chance to opt out of direct mail, text, email and telephone communications from charities.

Gerald Oppenheim, Head of Policy and Communications, said: It’s the ideal space on the second floor for us with lots of other like-minded organisations. There are other regulators in the building so it’s got a good atmosphere about it. “CAN’s business team were very helpful with booking rooms for meetings that we had immediately after


“We recognise that if charities don’t have the ability to raise money from the public, they can’t do things for the charity’s beneficiaries. We want to reinforce that there shouldn’t be competition between the people who donate, the people who deliver and the people who receive services – one can’t work without the other.” Charities and fundraising organisations, including third parties and CICs, can register with the Fundraising Regulator to demonstrate their support for the Code of Fundraising Practice and effective independent regulation. For more information about the Regulator, please visit its website.


London Emergencies Trust temporarily housed by CAN Mezzanine Author: Jenny Palmer | Publish Date: 31 July 2017 (updated January 2018) CAN has donated an area of its desk space to London Emergencies Trust (LET) at CAN Mezzanine, Old Street. The London Emergencies Trust (LET) is a registered charity that was established following the terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge on 22 March 2017. LET aims to ‘relieve sickness or disability, whether physical or mental, of victims of emergency incidents and their dependents.’

Market, Finsbury Park and Parsons Green. LET also distributed public donations to those bereaved and injured following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington on 14 June 2017. Robert Bell, Director of London Emergencies Trust, said: We are very pleased and grateful to CAN that it is able to accommodate the LET whilst we work with all of those affected by the fire at Grenfell and the four terror related incidents in London. The office is in a prime location for us to work closely with our core partners, British Red Cross, based at Moorgate. Andrew Croft, Chief Executive of CAN, said: “We are delighted to assist the LET with temporary housing at our CAN Mezzanine at Old Street as it provides disaster emergency relief for a UK cause, centred around London where we have our main presence.”

LET works with its fundraising partner, British Red Cross and other charitable foundations to distribute funds raised to support the victims of the terrorist incidents at Westminster, London Bridge and Borough

CAN is a registered charity trading as a social enterprise and is committed to helping other charities and social ventures thrive, grow and maximize their impact. It offers business support services through CAN Invest and charity office space through CAN Mezzanine. CAN Mezzanine provide collaborative office desk space to 160 third sector organisations in five London locations.



Bates Wells Braithwaite announces new Charity Hub managed by CAN Mezzanine Author: Jenny Palmer | Publish Date: 20 December 2017 The charity solicitors firm Bates Wells Braithwaite (BWB) has announced that it will open a new hub in collaboration with CAN Mezzanine that offers charities the opportunity to rent space in BWB’s central London offices. Situated in the heart of the City of London, the new hub will occupy 4,000 square foot on the first floor of BWB’s Queen Street Place office, and will offer charities the opportunity to rent open-plan office desk space on either a long or short-term license basis.

Marking this announcement, Martin Bunch, Managing Partner, Bates Wells Braithwaite said: We’ve considered for some time how we could bring this project to life and, with the hub now almost a reality, it certainly feels that a long-term ambition is now being achieved. “At a time when organisations of all kinds often struggle to find suitable office space in London, we feel that this project provides a positive example of what, in practical terms, can be done to support charities. We look forward to both opening the hub next year and to welcoming those who are keen to use the available space.” Gary Phillips, Director, Sales & Marketing, at CAN Mezzanine said:

To deliver this project, BWB has partnered with the established registered charity and social enterprise CAN Mezzanine. CAN will promote the launch of the hub and undertake the day to day management and renting of the space. Charities renting space in the hub, which will open in Spring 2018, will enjoy a collaborative environment with superb facilities, high-speed broadband/Wi-Fi, conference rooms and a spectacular roof terrace!


“CAN is delighted to be working in partnership with BWB on this exciting initiative of creating a unique hub right in the heart of the city. “CAN has seen a demand for charities to find space where they can work collaboratively with each other and be able to obtain business support from their peers. “The Charity Hub is ideal for all those charities that need to be located in central London and who could benefit from having a leading law firm literally on their doorstep. We envisage strong demand for a space with such an enviable location and facilities.”



CAN Mezzanine provides fully serviced office desk space, meeting and conference room hire and flexible office space exclusively to charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations in five locations across London.

The CAN³ programme, provided by CAN Invest, offers free business advice in subsidised office space; to accelerate impact, growth and sustainability.


“The programme is very comprehensive and has been key to our development over the last year. It has enabled us to increase links with similar organisations, secure extra investment and funding, provided us with a very useful operational base for our vans and office meetings, supported our CEO and Founder for organisational and personal development and enabled us to focus on key objectives and focus our efforts towards social impact.”

“The facilities are fantastic for us, for the programmes that we run. We use the meeting rooms for all our recruitment and interviews with young people. With the Leadership Programme that can be anything up to 80 interviews.The central location [Old Street] is great for us.” Karlene Mahoney, Operations Manager, Windsor Fellowship

CAN Invest supports voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSEs) to build sustainable businesses by providing capital and business support. Its services help social organisations access finance, understand their social impact and solve business challenges, enabling them to increase their social impact and improve operations and financial sustainability. can-invest.org.uk “The guidance and advisory provided by the CAN Invest team was really helpful, particularly with the development of the Theory of Change. The opportunity to test and bounce ideas was great and I felt that SSE received the constructive challenge we asked for as part of the project.”


Laurence Higgens, Chief Operating Officer, Change Please

CAN Finance offers bespoke financial support packages exclusive to our Mezzanine customers. can-mezzanine.org.uk/office-desk-space/canfinance “CAN’s help was invaluable. CAN Finance provided essential assistance to us during a time when we were short staffed. Their help was invaluable, making processes such as invoice entry and report running smooth and efficient. CAN were very flexible and all work was performed to a very high standard. I am extremely happy to recommend CAN Finance to others.” Ghazala Awan, Finance Manager, Women for Women International

Nicola Steuer, Managing Director of London School, School for Social Entrepreneurs


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CAN Blog highlights  

From LGBTI campaigners to support for the homeless, land management and animal welfare, charitable organisations at CAN Mezzanine represent...

CAN Blog highlights  

From LGBTI campaigners to support for the homeless, land management and animal welfare, charitable organisations at CAN Mezzanine represent...