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InTouch SOCIAL ENTERPRISE EAST OF ENGLAND

March/April 2005 • Issue 9

Inside: Editorial

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David Lloyd looks at large “savvy” organisations – and asks how social enterprises can compete

Strengthening the Social Firms 4 sector in the Eastern Region SFER proposes that franchising and replication are a way forward

Feeding the local economy

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Norfolk’s Eostre cooperative is organic, local and very popular

Luton social enterprise 6 delivers the goods in Georgia Computers that would get trashed here are filling a big demand elsewhere

Websites – SEEE on the Internet

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A special 4-page pull-out. Try it

Focus on ...

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Andrew Saul and Sarah Charters talk to a surprising range of social enterprises in manufacturing

Networks unlimited

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News and upcoming events in the region. Tell us what you’re doing

Insurance with a difference

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A social enterprise providing affordable insurance to other social enterprises

Fit 4 Finance

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Need investment or want to know about the ins and outs? This is a funded programme with a difference

Royston Time Bank members celebrate their first year of trading time

Exciting things are happening in the East of England... and it’s about time! Chris Lee reports on an exchange scheme which has 4,000 participants across the UK trading a most precious commodity – their time

I Internet: SEEE’s Web partner services are at: http://www.seee.co.uk http://www.seee.co.uk/interactive http://www.nearbuyou.co.uk

n early 2004, as Gordon Brown declared 2005 the ‘ The Year of the Volunteer’, an evaluation of a mutual volunteering initiative in north Hertfordshire was confirming what participants knew already – community time banking can reach the people and parts that others don’t. Royston Time Bank, on the Hertfordshire/Cambridgeshire border, celebrated its first birthday in September 2004 and now has over 30 members – a wonderfully diverse group with a rich mix of ages and abilities. Georgina, a new time bank member, sums up what time banking means for her:

“It’s truly superb. How it works is that if you want something done for you that you cannot do yourself, they [other time bank members] help you. Then you think of something, anything you can do to help others... I feel I belong in Royston – that’s what the time bank has done for me. I no longer feel I am alone.”

One of 70 Timebanks

Royston Time Bank is one of 70 active time banks across the UK, with an equal number in development. Time banking (not to be confused with the Timebank initiative supported by the BBC) uses time as a currency for connecting people i n t h e i r c o m m u n i t i e s. ➜ page 2


Time Banks

“There is much talk of a return to civil society, time banking is walking that talk”

Membership of local time banks is free and open to everyone (including organisations) subject to a registration process. Everyone’s time is valued equally and time credits (1 hour = 1 credit) are earnt and spent by members according to need. Time bank members get and give practical help, with anything from dog walking and companionship to computer repairs and transport. Importantly, members who might otherwise feel isolated and lacking in self-confidence, benefit dramatically from being involved, being valued, and from the social interaction. GPs in south London, at a health centre attached to a time bank, even prescribe time bank membership as part of the recovery programme for their patients!

Not just traditional volunteering

In the East of England, Arbury Time Bank in Cambridge is the oldest with over 40 members. Based in a library in the north of the city, it has a strong emphasis on health improvement and community information. Colchester Time Bank has 21 members, some specifically attracted by its ‘Time to Garden’ scheme. Gardening is also popular in Sudbury Time Bank which covers the Sudbury and Great Cornard district. All four time banks work alongside their local volunteer centres which works well and allays fears that time banking might attract people away from traditional volunteering. In Royston, in fact, time bank members have even got involved in more conventional volunteering alongside their time banking.

The ‘new kid on the block’ in the East of England is Saffireweb which supports community networking schemes (goods, services and information) in the Uttlesford District of Essex. As the name suggests, the scheme is web-based; an innovation for time banking both regionally and nationally. Interestingly, Saffireweb is looking at ways to embrace individuals who do not have internet access. Time banking is part of a worldwide movement that started in the USA in the late 1980s and came to the UK a decade later. In summer 2004, at an international conference in Canada, Martin Simon, Executive Director of Time Banks UK summed up the massive potential of a simple concept like trading time: “There is much talk of a return to civil society, time banking is walking that talk.”

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Chris Lee Time Bank UK regional mentor, East of England leeinroyston@aol.com Tel:01763 245413 Time Bank nationally www.timebanks.co.uk

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No 9 March/April 2005


Editorial

InTouch

Social Enterprise East of England March/April 2005 Issue 9 The SEEE network is co-ordinated by Business Link Hertfordshire

InTouch is financed by SEEE (funded by the European Social Fund ) and published in its support by Business for People in partnership with Creative Touch, both of which are social enterprises

Tel. email:

4 Archers Court Stukeley Road Huntingdon PE29 6XG 01480 455200 davidflloyd@titandial.net

SEEE Staff: Social sector manager: Jo Ransom Project manager: Elaine McCorriston Project executive: Donna Sanger Development manager: Peter See Web managers: Lin Evens Michael Waring Editorial Staff: Editor: David Lloyd Content editor: Peter Durrant Contributing editors: Sarah Charters Andrew Saul Advertising Sales: Joseph Law Layout: Lorraine Peacock Michele Smith Creative/production editor: Austin Bambrook Please send PR and other information items to: Peter Durrant, e-mail: humberstone@pop3.poptel.org.uk Tel. 01223 262759

From the Editor

Is small really beautiful?

David Lloyd is joint managing director of Business for People in Huntingdon. He is editor and contributor to various publications

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ne website at the cusp of where the Internet might ultimately take us, points out that the percentage of sales taken by the corporates has been a steadily climbing line on the graph since the early 80s.

Benefits of scale magnified by IT

“Once a big seller has effectively harnessed the full might of IT they can steamroller through a sector. The technology involved is largely invisible to customers but it is a constant presence driving websites, retail operations, logistics, employment patterns, mailshots and call centres making buying enticing and ultra-convenient” (www. nationalmarkets.com emphasis theirs). The New Economics Foundation measured the decline of genuinely local businesses since 1979. They labeled their findings “ghost town Britain” (www.neweconomics.org/ gen/m1_1_i4_renewal.aspx)

How to compete?

So a vital question for businesses in the social sector, which are usually small and local by their very nature, is how to compete when the big players seem to hold all the cards. For example, witness the report in 4th February newspapers about Homebase, which has just 19% of the DIY market. Yet their commercial director wrote with impunity demanding that suppliers provide all initial stock to fill 20 new stores in the next calendar year free of charge. Apparently all Homebase was doing was bringing its policies into line with its main competitors. How do small manufacturers survive in an environment where big retailers seem to be calling all the shots? Yet some of the case studies featured in this issue of InTouch – focusing on manufacturing – are not only surviving but thriving. The reasons are varied. Delta–T Systems have developed their international niche-market over several decades. Ludun Industries is possibly the UK’s oldest surviving social firm, having recently changed its product range to reflect changing market conditions (see page 7). And then there are those organisations that have discovered ways of working collectively and co-operatively to give mutual advantage: witness, for instance, the way groups of farmers and brewers are working together in Norfolk (see “Mine’s a Pint!” on page 9).

Professional Help Increasingly Focused

There’s also some increasingly finely-tuned and tailored assistance for business development. In this issue there is information about subsidised business planning, raising finance and insurance services tailored for social enterprises (see back page). And if you thought you couldn’t afford a website, see EEDA’s offer to host one for you free of charge (see networks unlimited, page 14).

Hearts and minds?

The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers or of Business Link Hertfordshire, Business for People Ltd or Creative Touch. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in an information retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the publishers. This publication has been prepared using information provided by contributors and, while we make every effort, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. SSEER is unable to accept any liability for the consequences of any inaccuracies, errors or omissions in this publication. No representations, warranties or endorsements of any kind are intended.

© SEEE 2005

There’s another more “hearts and minds” reason why social enterprises have their own special advantages. I find it interesting to compare social enterprises with those large organisations endeavouring to gain a market advantage by being “ethical”. I read in a post-Christmas Daily Telegraph business section article that research indicates that consumer purchasing is not influenced by suppliers’ positive ethical policies at all! Shoppers only tend to react in the negative if a really bad story hits the news, otherwise they simply buy what they want regardless. Most social enterprises are by nature “ethical”. But they are often so much more than that, for instance providing employment opportunities for the disadvantaged. Or, like the Eostre Organics farmers' market in Norwich (see page 6), which is well-supported by local people who like the idea of getting traceable organic food and supporting their local farmers at the same time. Maybe “social” is a more effective “label” than “ethical”. I’m quite encouraged that there is a definite place for social enterprises in the scheme of things. Yes, small can be beautiful.

InTouch

No 9 March/April 2005

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Feature

Strengthening the Social Firms sector in the Eastern Region S

ocial Firms are creating real job opportunities for disabled people following three core values: • Employment, means to create real jobs paying proper wages for all employees; • Empowerment, means support, workers participation and career opportunities for everybody; • Enterprise, means the set-up of real business delivering good quality goods and service.

Social firms – the SFER view

The development of the social firm sector in the UK started around 1994. Social Firms Eastern Region was set up in 2003 to support the sector on a regional level (see: A brief history of SFER). The concept of social firms is still often confused with training or day care for disabled people. As the Regional Development Manager I am asked daily to explain the concept and to clarify the role of Social Firms within the wider Social Enterprise Sector. The driving factor for those who set up successful social firms is to improve job and career opportunities for disabled people with real wages in order to support independence. They have an understanding that worker participation is not only a matter of the legal structure, but of a wider range of activities within the production and management of the business, and an investment in a healthy workplace. Sustainability can only be created based on a clear and strong business idea, which is brought into action by somebody or a group who have the vision and the knowledge. Therefore the three core values are not only the distinctive indicators to identify a social firm, but also important measures in order to run a sustainable enterprise, being able to create new jobs for and with disabled people. Social Firms Eastern Region was able to secure European Funding to strengthen the Social Firm Sector in the Region. The project started in January 2004 and the aims are to support the existing network and expand the sector in the next three years.

But what does the Social Firm sector needs to grow? Franchising & Replication

During the past years, a lot of resources were spent on supporting start-ups in the form of funding feasibility studies, business planning and training without a significant responding increase in numbers of social firms. Out of this experience Social Firms UK developed the Franchising & Replication project, which started in April 2004. In co-operation with existing Social Firms, like Recycle-IT in Luton, successful business concepts are developed into Franchise & Replication licences. The idea is to offer the sector a range of business ventures and the knowledge of how the business works, in order to avoid the long search for the right business idea and to speed up the initial start up period of the business. On offer is, for example, the Licence to Replicate Recycle-IT, the first licence was granted in August

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No 9 March/April 2005

SoapCo retail outlet, Edinburgh

2004 and the new business in Kettering was officially launched in November. The SoapCo Franchise is a soap production and retail brand, based on the experience of the Shetland Soap Company. T h e f i r s t f ra n c h i s e w a s granted to Fourth Sector in Scotland and the first SoapCo Retail outlet opened on 5th November 2004 in Edinburgh. The first developments are promising and the project is definitely improving the knowledge of sustainable business development within the sector. Partners, members and future social firms will gain from these experiences. In co-operation with Social Firms Eastern Region, Social Firms UK currently develops the prospectus of a whole food warehouse bases on the experience of Daily Bread Northampton and Cambridge. And there are more licences, like the franchise of Sunderland Homecare and Aquamacs, aquarium rental and maintenance, that are available. For the Eastern Region a second launch of the Franchising & Replication project is planed for March 2005 to open the experience of the project to the sector, to promote business opportunities and generate more interest in Social Firms from the Eastern Region. Further information can be found under www.socialfirms.co.uk - events.

Strategic Development

Currently there are many activities addressing important issues for the development of the social enterprise sector. A public


Feature procurement toolkit, work on financial models and quality measurement tools for social enterprises, just to mention a few of these activities. Yes, all these activities help to develop more understanding about a social economy and improve business support to the sector. But is this enough to develop a thriving social economy? Let’s have a look across the channel to countries that have enjoyed a strong social firm sector for many years, Germany and Italy. Two aspects seem to be important in studying the history of the movement in both countries. The first one is that the social firm sector grew rapidly in times of crisis. By the end of the 1970s, Germany had a high unemployment rate especially in academic professions. The first successful (and still existing) social firms were set up by social workers and psychologists facing unemployment to create employment for themselves and one of the main disadvantaged groups, people with mental health problems. In Italy it was a similar story, public authorities were financially unable to continue the provision of social services. Psychiatric hospitals were closed down and new approaches had to be found. Voluntary organisation started to deliver services on behalf of local authorities – and these had to be, and were, more flexible and effective. The first social firms were founded to create employment for former patients. The second aspect is that in both countries specific strategies are in place to support social firms in their social mission. In Germany the creation of new jobs for disabled people is rewarded. Financial support is given to adapt the workplace according to the needs of the disabled worker and to support the employer. Since 2001 special legislation has supported social firms in three key areas: • visibility studies & business planning during the start-up phase, • capital investments to set up workplaces for disabled people, • business consultancy in times of modernisation and

adaptation to a fast changing market. In Italy special laws were put in place in the late 1970s that exempt social enterprise from paying National Insurance contributions for their disabled employees, provided the workforce is more than 30% from disadvantaged groups. This is a very superficial description owing to limitations of space, but it is based on years of work in the sector with German and Italian partners. The main points I would like to emphasise are: • Changes often happen through crisis. We might be on the brink of a cultural shift – which probably has to happen in order to develop a more entrepreneurial approach in the sector – with the end of funding through the European Social Fund and the cut on spending from local and national government. Taking up a more entrepreneurial approach could be the key to manage this crisis. • The strategy has to address the social firms direct. It is not enough to develop more instruments to support the sector, it is equally important to allocate resources in order to support the individual company in their social mission, with the aim of achieving long-term effects.

A summary of recent progress

EEDA supported consultation activity by SEEE within the sector as a direct result of what social enterprises emphasised was needed in the Eastern Region, and we hope that the resulting strategy offers some of these instruments and direct support to create a vibrant Social Economy in the Region. The Social Firm sector itself has to develop and guarantee the quality of its work. It has to make sure that new work opportunities include career development for all and that the quality of goods and services is high. The Franchise & Replication program has an element of quality insurance in the way new licensees are surveyed before the licence is granted, and the licences are reviewed regularly. Other instruments, like an accreditation scheme for social firms, are under discussion. Social Firms Eastern Region is committed to support interested parties, partners and member in their development. At the last AGM in July 2004 members identified a Social Firms Eastern Region (SFER) is: range of subjects they need to address • the local support organisation to the enterprises either as practitioners or in a in their social firms and organisations. A social firm movement in the Eastern support capacity. The company employs primary need is for more knowledge and Region of England; a full-time Regional Development expertise. Manager. As a result, network meeting and • committed to the creation of SFER is a company limited by guarantee s e m i n a r s w i l l f o l l o w o n w o r k e r employment opportunities for independent of Social Firms UK and participation, financial management and people with disabilities through the affiliation to each other through control and – as mentioned – on business development and support of social Memorandum and Articles and venture, Franchising & Replication. firms in its area. membership. The first seminar was held on the 18th A Brief History of SFER SFER serves approximately 30 members November 2004 on “how to minimise the The social firm movement in the UK is of Social Firms UK; a number that is disincentives of the benefit system”, led by relatively young. Social Firms UK, the steadily increasing as momentum and Judy Scott, a leading expert. The day was a national support agency for Social Firms, interest in the potential of social firms success, both as a learning opportunity and recognised early in its development that grows. for the networking opportunity afforded to it should introduce a regional/national Members are encouraged to participate participants. network and infrastructure to provide in SFER’s regional networking events and By Petra Dreyer social firm members with the local meetings tailored to the specific needs Karen Anderson support and practical assistance needed of the social firm sector. Regional Development Manager, SFER to make a difference in the sector. To become a member or for up to date 01473 272237 SFER (constituted in 2003) was set up information on SFER, its programme info@sfer.org.uk by and for the members of Social Firms of network events and current practical www.socialfirms.co.uk UK working in the area covered by the business support services to members Next year’s SFUK conference is from Government Office Eastern Region. It contact the SFER Regional Development 27th to 29th of June 2005 – watch is managed by a board of voluntary Manager Karen Anderson on 01473 out for news on when and how to directors who are all involved in social 272237 or at info@sfer.org.uk register on www.socialfirms.co.uk

A Brief History of SFER

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InTouch

No 9 March/April 2005

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News

Feeding the Local Economy

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he UK government and policy makers need to stop seeing organic as ‘alternative’ and must encourage the public sector to look at sourcing more locally produced, environmentally friendly and healthier food products, for example in schools and hospitals, says UEA researcher Dr Gill Seyfang of the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment.

Study of award-winning East Anglia organic food initiative

Dr Seyfang has undertaken a study of award-winning East Anglia organic food initiative Eostre, and assessed the basis of their success and customer appeal. It seems that local people are more than willing to buy good quality local produce outside the conventional supermarket environment. Eostre is a cooperative of small organic farmers in Norfolk, supplying market stalls, shops and restaurants with fresh fruit and vegetables. They also have a permanent market stall in Norwich Provisions Market and supply direct to customers through a number of weekly ‘box schemes’. Whilst the mainstream model of agricultural production favours mass production, with global markets taking produce on the basis of price, volume and quality, Eostre enjoys a loyal following of customers who value the quality of the product and the fact that in purchasing locally they are supporting the local farmer and immediate economy of their region.

Locally grown makes community and environmental sense

Dr Seyfang said: ‘organic’ is just a production technique and

does not necessarily entail any change in the structures of food provision – but a local organic food market introduces a greater commitment to the environment and directly supports the local economy whilst reducing the ‘food miles’ or distance travelled by the produce”. It would appear that this already appeals to a particularly environmentally aware section of the community. It is Dr Seyfang’s proposition that if this benefit was more widely known then the concept of local organic produce cooperatives would receive patronage from a wider sector of the community. Dr Seyfang added: “When the food miles and other environmental costs are added in, plus the benefits of really knowing and trusting where our food comes from, the argument Grahame Hughes and Dot Bane Eostre Organics for such Tel:01953 789000/ 789639 local organic http://www.eostreorganics.co.uk/ index.htm cooperatives Cathy Young b e c o m e s University of East Anglia Tel:01603 593007 compelling.”

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Luton social enterprise delivers the goods in Georgia

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uton based social enterprise Recycle IT! recently returned from a successful market visit to Georgia to celebrate the delivery of the company’s first container of computer equipment. Recycle IT!, which specialises in IT equipment recycling, received the order following direct contact with Georgia’s first minister, Mikheil Chachkunashvili. The 20ft container load of computers is destined for local schools and prospects are good for much bigger business in future.

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No 9 March/April 2005

Co-founder George Ruddock, who travelled to Georgia to celebrate the arrival of the first shipment, was absolutely delighted with the level of support and assistance provided by UK Trade & Investment through the commercial staff at the British Embassy in Tbilisi. George’s visit included a full programme of meetings with high-ranking and influential government ministers and local officials including the Mayor of Tbilisi, the Head of Education Service of Tbilisi and the Deputy Minister of Education. The visit was a great success, with an order secured for a further container load of computers from the Badri Patarkatsishvili Foundation, worth approx. US$15-20k. Prospects for further substantial business from Georgia are very good, with opportunities existing for schools, universities, prisons and even some government departments. George estimates long-term prospects in Georgia could well be on a par with Ky rg y z s t a n w h e re Re c yc l e - I T ! h a s won contracts to supply some 20,000 computers over a three-year period. Further follow-up visits to the market are planned in the next 12 months.

Sales and Marketing Director George Ruddock said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been able to visit Georgia for the delivery of our first consignment of computers. It’s been an excellent trip that has opened a number of doors for Recycle IT! “The staff at the Embassy have been particularly helpful, and provided a list of British companies currently working in Georgia that are also potential donors of redundant computer equipment – something we are always looking for.” Set up in April 1995 by Michele Rigby and George Ruddock, Recycle–IT! provides computers to those unable to afford them by converting redundant but reusable equipment from companies across the UK. The firm also set out to create real jobs for unemployed people. Recycle–IT! provides low cost computers to a variety of sectors, including voluntary groups, charities, worship centres, schools and disabled people. George enrolled on UK Trade and Investment’s Passport to Export programme to develop a structured, proactive export strategy and to develop strategic alliances with appropriate agencies and government authorities abroad.


March/April 2005 • Issue 9

Websites SEEE ON THE INTERNET www.seee.co.uk

An introduction and guide O ne of the key concepts of SEEE is to provide networks to support Social Enterprise right across the six Counties of the East of England. Alongside the new SEEE network, and critical to its success, will be a new “virtual” network, in the form of the SEEE website (http://www.seee.co.uk). Web designer John Evens of Eurosytes explained that the new site had been designed with a range of users in mind – “There are two distinct site sections, the first being ‘SEEE Central’ which provides a comprehensive set of Information and Resources,

and the second known as ‘SEEE Interactive’, which allows site users and SEEE members to communicate and interact across the region without having to travel”.

Who's it for?

Well who are these sites for? The web design group had four groups of end users in mind: members of SEEE and its networks ; Support organisations such as Business Links and Economic Development Units supporting Social Enterprise; Social Enterprises themselves; and casual visitors interested in the Social Economy. The site also provides direct access to “Nearbuyou” the online national trading network for social enterprises and those that wish to trade with them, and of course “In Touch”, including back issues and an online subscription facility. If you know of anybody either in your organisation or others that would like to sign up here is the means to do it quickly and easily! Also to be added soon is an “accessibility” site, which will be designed in line with the WAI ( Web Accessibility Initiative) guidelines. “SEEE Central” has a scroll bar capable of alerting users to key contemporary news; contact information for users wanting to submit content to the site; regional information including what’s going on with the subregional networks; sections for Finance, Business Support, Procurement , Learning and Strategy. Content editors hope that any organisation with interesting information to share about what they are doing will contact them via the ‘about us’ area of the website to share good practice and key documents. “SEEE Interactive” has a wealth of interactive features all of which are intended to build an exciting and rich interactive experience. From discussion forums and chat rooms to courses and classifieds, SEEE Interactive has it all! The key features of the sites are explained in this central pull out and ‘Rough Guide’ on pages ii-iiii. So is this just another website or will it be any use to the Social Enterprise sector in the East of England? Lin Evens

of SEEE explains. “ It is obviously early days in terms of content for the site. We have built a very sophisticated tool with huge potential to support the networks and encourage communication between interested parties both for now, and into the future. The technology is here; all we need to do is to use it! We are hoping that organisations will submit reports and research, advertise courses and vacancies, alert members to changes in the sector, share sub-regional network information and news and share access to all types of news and items of interest. This will enable t h e s i t e t o p r ov i d e a virtual catalyst for Social Enterprise across the East of England.” If anybody needs further information or support please contact l i n . e v e n s @ e p a s . c o. u k . Subject to funds being available it is hoped that it may be possible to produce a simple user guide to the SEEE website to keep on people’s desks – this will be particularly useful for SEEE interactive but for now this pullout, particularly pages ii-iii, will provide users with basic guidelines.

More reasons to use the website

A classic example of how users can take advantage of some of the interactive features has already been demonstrated. The EQUAL project, SSEER as featured in Issues 5 and 8 of InTouch, has worked with Transnational partners from Portugal and Italy. Using the Chat Rooms feature of “SEEE Interactive”, online meetings were held enabling a record to be kept of discussions without the expense and time requirements of face to face meetings. The SEEE chat rooms will be accessible to all SEEE registered users – so next time you want to liaise with another Social Enterprise in another County or indeed Country, consider the online approach. The Online interactive calendar will also be crucial to sharing

information about events including event locations and start times. How many times have you prepared to leave to attend an event and realised you have not got the papers with you outlining basic instructions on location? The calendar feature can provide contact information and hyperlinks to more detailed instructions including agendas and maps etc. Your feedback would be much appreciated by the designers, and of course your content contributions. Please log on today and let us know what you think. This is your online communication tool. We can use it as individuals or for our network. It will take us further forward in terms of communicating information and good practice – enjoy!

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No 9 March/April 2005

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SEEE on the internet

Surfing SEEE – A rough guide to “SEEE Central” & “SEEE Interactive”

This guide is intended as a useful companion when using either of the two web sites which comprise SEEE online. It is not a comprehensive user guide with full user instructions – such a guide may become available online in the future.

SEEE Central

http://www.seee.co.uk

W

hen you first enter the SEEE Central web site you will notice that the site layout has a nice professional feel and easy to understand layout with a common menu system employed on all pages, so no matter where you find yourself within SEEE Central, you always know where you are and how to get around without needing a degree in computer science! The layout of the home page shown above is typical of most pages. At the top left is the SEEE Central logo and at the top right are the links to the common features within SEEE Interactive and also a set of useful actions such as “print this page” and “add to favourites”. Just below this is the main menu line with direct links to the main areas of SEEE Central. If a menu item has been selected then the menu item is highlighted with a

black background. Below the menu line on the left is a column which contains the sub-menu topic links (The selected menu topic link has an orange arrow to the right of it). Below this is the InTouch subscription links, and finally the quick SEEE Search feature. All of the above features are common to all pages within SEEE Central. The central column which occupies the major part of each page is where the main information content can be found. On the home page this includes at the top of the page a scrolling news service providing the latest news from SEEE (click on the news headline to view the news detail), whereas on most other pages there is a ‘page rating’ and ‘page feedback’ feature at the top of each page (see “Providing Feedback” later in this article). Some pages (including the home page

shown above) have a right hand column which may include useful links and features which may be relevant to the page content being displayed.

Getting Around SEEE Central

First, click on the main menu link which contains the main section information you are interested in. In normal circumstances this will load the “home” page for this section, and will also load the sub-menu topics for this main section which will show all the available sub-sections. Now you can click on any of the sub-menu topic links to display alternative pages within the section. Most pages also have hyperlinks embedded in the central column text which will link to other pages – some within this section, and some within other sections of SEEE Central. Some of these hyperlinks may also display pages on other web sites, in which case these web sites will open in another web-browser window, leaving the SEEE Central page still available to you in the background.

Searching SEEE Central

One very useful way of finding the information you are looking for is to use the powerful search feature. On the left hand column

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SEEE on the internet SEEE Interactive

http://www.seee.co.uk/interactive

T

he first thing you notice about SEEE-I is that it is a very different experience from SEEE Central. Firstly, the layout of the site is quite different, and the experience is altogether more ‘intense’. However, like SEEE Central, SEEE-I also has a common menu system which is displayed wherever you happen to be. The site is crammed full of various features and you should allow yourself some time to get acquainted with the most useful features that the site has to offer. Don’t expect to understand all that SEEE-I has to offer within your first visit! Have a look around at all the features on offer, and try things out so you understand how they work.

Getting Around

of all pages you will find the ‘quick’ Search facility. Just enter the search word (or words) in the box, and click on the “search” button – this will display a set of pages which contain the words you are looking for (similar to the search results from search engines such as Google and Lycos etc). Just click on the found page title to see the full page. If you want to get more sophisticated in your searching, then click on the “Advanced Search” link (located under the quick search button) which will load the advanced search page.

Providing Feedback about SEEE Central

We strongly encourage all users of SEEE Central to provide feedback to the SEEE Content editors about any content on the site..... To provide feedback on any specific page then click on the link entitled “Add your Rating here” at the top of each page (see below). This will allow you to rate the content of this page and to provide comments about your rating. This information will be read by the content editors and can also be seen by other users of the site if they wish (click on “View ratings” to see all ratings for this page). If you wish to make more general comments about site content, or wish to submit your own content for consideration then go to the “SEEE Content” page which can be found on the main “Home” menu or the main “About” menu (or go to this link.... http://www.seee.co.uk/default. asp?id=238 ).

The main menu within SEEE-I is displayed right at the top of each page. To see the sub-menu items all you need to do is to move your mouse over the main menu item and the sub-menu items will automatically drop-down. Then just move you mouse over the sub-menu item you require and left-click you mouse once. This will then load the required page.

SEEE Interactive Home Page

When you first enter SEEE-I you will arrive at the home page (partial view of home page is displayed below). The home page provides a quick view of many of the features found within SEEE-i. For example it gives you a quick view of the up and coming events in the Events Calendar, and a quick view of what has recently been added to the file library, along with the latest topics submitted by members to the discussion forums. The rest of the home page features should be self-explanatory.

Membership

SEEE-I is a membership site. This

means that to fully use all the features and to be able to contribute, site visitors will need to Register for membership. This process of registration is very quick and simple and only needs to be done once. To Register, just click on the “Register” link at the top right of the page. This will load a terms and conditions page, and at the foot of this page you need to provide your first name and surname and then click on the “Agree” button. In turn this will load the registration form. The only bits of information that are essential for registration are those marked with a red asterisk in front of them, the others are optional (Note: If you are part of a social enterprise organisation or a support organisation then please give your organisation name, otherwise enter “None”). (Important! Make sure that you make a separate note of your username (should be your firstname plus a dot plus your surname – please do not change this) and your password, and the email address you have provided in the form. Keep this information in a safe and secure place). Once the form is completed, then click on “submit” at the bottom of the form, and you should be automatically registered. You will then see the “welcome” page. You can now “Login” to SEEE-Interactive by entering your username and password at the top right of the page, and then click on the “Login” button. Once you have done this then you will be able to fully use all the features of the site. On future visits to the site you will automatically be logged in to the site (unless you change your PC – in which case you must re-enter your username and password on the new PC to gain entry).

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SEEE on the internet Seee interactive:

Site Features (menu by menu) Home Menu:

The home menu contains three items. The first returns you to the SEEE Interactive home page; the second takes you to the SEEE Central site; and the third adds this page to your favourites list in your web browser.

Forum Menu:

Contains six Discussion forum links. Forums – displays all the forums available. On the forums page each forum has a title which you should click to view the forum topics. Active Topics – will display only those forum topics which have had activity since you last visit. Recent Topics – displays the latest 10 topics submitted. Search – allows you to search all forum topics. Statistics – displays useful statistics about forum topics. Active Polls – will display any user polls which are active.

Personal Menu:

Contains seven personal links relating just to you. My Area – contains sub-menu items of its own (>>). Profile – will display your personal data which you created during registration. You will be asked to re-enter your password before you can update your profile details. Private Messages – contains any private messages you have received from other members and allows you to create private messages of your own. Subscriptions – shows you which forums and/or topics you are subscribed to. Picture Gallery – shows your gallery of uploaded pictures. Bookmarks – show your bookmarks to topics you have created. Favoutrites – shows you any web links you have added to your favourites list (not the same as your web browser favourites).

Members Menu:

Contains four links regarding members of SEEE Interactive. Live Chat – will load the chat room feature where you can chat live to other members. All Members – will display a list of all members of SEEE-i. Active Members – will display a list of all members who are currently actively logged on to SEEE-i. New Members – will display a list of new members who have registered today.

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No 9 March/April 2005

Events Calendar Menu:

Contains five links for the events calendar. Daily – displays all events today (or for any day you specify). Weekly – displays all events this week (or for any week you specify). Monthly – displays all events this month (or for any month you specify). Yearly – displays all events this year (or for any year you specify). Events List – displays all future (or past) events in the calendar.

Resources Menu:

Contains 9 links to various resources within SEEE-i. Web Links – display the web links directory where you can view important web links relevant to Social Enterprise. These links are grouped into categories. Live Chat – will load the chat room feature where you can chat live to other members. News – will display all the active SEEE news items and will allow you to submit your own news items for inclusion. File Library – displays a very useful categorised library of files which you can download. You can also submit your own files for inclusion within the file library. Classifieds – displays the Classified section of SEEE which contains items for sale and items wanted. You can submit your own items free of charge! Articles – contains a list of categorised articles which members have written on topics of interest to SEEE members. You can create and submit your own articles for inclusion. What’s New – displays any resources recently added. Job Opportunities – displays all Job opportunities (relevant to Social Enterprise) which have been submitted. You can submit your own Job opportunities. Flash Games – includes a number of great online games to play when you feel the need to have some fun.

Get Surfing So....go on !..... get surfing now and contribute to SEEE – and find out everything you ever needed to know about Social Enterprise in the East of England. We all look forward to sharing the experience with you.

www.seee.co.uk


Focus on: Manufacturing by Andrew Saul

Scientific approach to social enterprise D

elta-T Devices is a thriving co-operative with a market-leading niche in the design and manufacture of scientific instruments for use in agricultural science and environmental monitoring. Founded in 1971, the business employs 30 people and exports its products around the world. The company manufactures devices which measure sunlight, soil moisture, sap flow and other instruments useful in soil science and environmental monitoring. Most of these instruments are designed and made at its base in Burwell near Cambridge. The best-selling product, with 2,000 units sold a year, is the Theta Probe. This device is used to measure soil moisture, providing critical information for farmers and scientists.

A leader in a small but healthy market

Ma n a g e m e n t c o m m i t t e e c h a i r m a n Pe t e r Cockerton gave us some impressive statistics. Delta-T exports 80% of its products through distribution networks in 40 countries. Much of the business is from Europe and USA, but China has been the main growth market for the last five years. The company operates in a niche market and sometimes competes with only one other organisation, and for one of its products, the automatic porometer, there is no other comparable product. Most manufacturers can only dream of such attractive market opportunities. The total market is, however, very small in global manufacturing terms. Filling this distinct niche allows Delta-T to retain the family-like atmosphere enjoyed by its 30 employees. The company’s annual turnover is £2 million, with a healthy £500,000 in reserves.

Roots in 70s co-operative idealism

The company developed from the collaboration of a few Cambridge science graduates with Nottingham University. It was initially linked with the nearby Parsonage Farm Community, though none of the current workforce still live there. The business started in one of the barns, and as the business grew, it bought, extended and renovated the buildings. The company’s founder, Cambridge chemical engineering graduate Edmund Potter, is still an active member of the co-operative, managing the technical support team. Working as members of a co-operative gives the workforce a high degree of involvement in decision-making and wide flexibility regarding their working hours. Yet this is still very much a business and everyone pulls together to make the company work. In true co-operative fashion, profits are distributed to the members.

Ethical, environmental and social ideals maintained

The company expresses its social purpose in a number of other ways. It aims to manufacture and sell instruments which are beneficial to the environment and directly related to human and animal welfare. It will not sell its products to people involved in military work, tobacco research, environmentally destructive practices or factory farming. The co-operative also operates a “socially useful fund” which gives money to causes such as the victims of the recent tsunami. Edmund Potter wondered if the company ought to be regarded as a social enterprise. We think it should.

Peter Cockerton: low tech this social enterprise isn't

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Delta-T Devices Ltd 128 Low Road, Burwell, Cambridge. CB5 0EJ Tel: 01638 742922 www.delta-t.coop

Toys aren’t us I

s LuDun Industries the UK’s longest-lasting social firm? If not, it must be one of the frontrunners for the title. The firm, which derived its name from combining Luton and Dunstable, has been working at its present site since 1956. Workshop manager Martin Neale thinks it may have been trading for longer than that. It provides employment for people with physical disabilities, visual impairments, or those recovering from mental health problems. LuDon industries built its reputation as a manufacturer of wooden toys. However, about four years ago it was forced to abandon toys because they were no longer commercially viable. Contract wood-machining is the current mainstay of the business, with contracts to make kitchen and bathroom cabinets for a major retailer. Other work includes picture framing, packing and light assembly work. The company is partially supported through sales of £150,000 per year, and provides full-time supported employment for more than 30 people.

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LuDun Industries 01582 660 261 Liscombe Road, Dunstable, Bedfordshire. LU5 4PL

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Focus on: Manufacturing by Andrew Saul

Path to success

R

eaders of our first issue may remember Silver Fern Concrete, which provides training and employment opportunities in concrete paving manufacture for people with lear ning difficulties. When InTouch first visited Silver Fern over a year ago, managing director Kelly Bouthcer was hoping to establish the organisation as a charity. That transformation is now complete, and Silver Fern Concrete is now the trading arm of Silver Fern Trust. This Some of the Silver Fern team with the new concrete mixer has allowed a series of improvements Waterbeach, and Kelly hopes to find and renovations to the machinery and sponsorship for its cement. buildings. Training Supervisor Richard Newman Grant-funded improvements told me that the enhanced safety of the The organisation has been able to new cement mixer means that Silver replace its concrete mixer, and is about Fern can now offer construction courses to renovate its kitchen and office to NVQ level 3. One student is already buildings; a larger learning these new skills. portion of its Silver Fern is looking for plant will be retail outlets to sell its under cover, range of concrete garden “so we won’t products. Also, the charity be at the mercy of the is in search of more trustees. If elements,” as Kelly put it. The any readers of InTouch can help, please improvements have been made possible contact Kelly. by a series of grants; £35,000 from the Kelly Boutcher Learning and Skills Council and £10,000 Silver Fern Concrete 01223 420669 from Global Grants, among others. Milton Trading Estate, Cambridge Road, Also, all of the organisation’s aggregates Milton, Cambridge. CB4 6AZ are being sponsored by Vickersons of www.silverfernconcrete.co.uk

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John Smith on a bench made for and to be donated to the Hollesley Group, part of the national charitable organisation Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)

M

anufacturing quality furniture is a competitive business. However, this didn’t deter the charity and social firm Genesis from setting up as a carpentry workshop in 1994. It is now a thriving business with sales last year reaching £65,500; that’s 26.5% of its annual turnover of £245,000.

“Standing alone” after five years

Genesis began in Ipswich when Graham Bailey partnered up with Social Services. With funding from the European Social Fund, the idea was to provide structured work-based training for people with learning disabilities. Winning a National Lottery Fund Grant in 1996, Genesis was able to turn a derelict distribution centre into a purpose-built training centre and mixed-disability day-care centre. In 1998, Genesis became independent of Social Services as a ‘stand alone’ enterprise and charity affiliated to the national charity Mencap. Officially known as Orwell Patterns for Living Mencap Genesis, it is in the process of setting up as a company

Mine’s a pint! A

nyone fancy a beer? The East Anglian Brewers Limited is a cooperative made up of some of the region’s small, independent brewers. Started as a loose association of brewers buying supplies together, their common understanding of each other’s products led them to a more formal structure. “Being limited by guarantee gives us a structure the members can trust,” said owner and chairman Brendan Moore.

What goes around comes around

Members of East Anglian Brewers promote their products together

8 InTouch

The company’s buying power means it can guarantee that ingredients come from traceable sources, ensuring a completely local product. Members also pay less for their supplies and promote their products together. In future years the co-operative hopes to offer a dividend to member

No 9 March/April 2005

brewers based on their size and level of participation. The company is establishing links with the region’s barley farmers. One farmer who has already benefited is Teddy Maufe of Branthil Farm. He sells his barley to the co-operative, and sells real ale brewed by members of the co-operative in his farm shop. At a time when farmers are struggling financially, this type of initiative will helps them to diversify and explore new markets.

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East Anglian Brewers Limited 3 Foulden Road, Ickburgh, Norfolk. IP26 5BJ Tel: 01842 878922 email: info@eastanglian brewers.com


Focus on: Manufacturing

Quality by design

By Sarah Charters

limited by guarantee. The project officially opened in 1999. Although no longer partners, Social Services funds workshop placements with a block grant of £60,000 a year, and refers people into the project. The grant supports two qualified and experienced instructors, Norris Beckstead and Chris Hawes. With the help of one volunteer, they train and supervise a group of up to 16 people. Most clients have a mildto-moderate learning disability, although some are more severely disabled. Each client has a suitability assessment and appropriate levels of supervision are applied.

Sustainable employment and raw materials

Clients are not salaried, but to simulate the working environment, they receive a pay packet each week, which reimburses their expenses. Feeling secure and supported at Genesis, their confidence

develops and is sustained as they realise what they can achieve. Although the majority either return or choose not to leave at all, some clients do find outside employment. Tina Perry oversees the workshop and manages the day to day running of the centre. The fully-equipped workshop occupies a spacious 341 square metres warehouse. This ensures that the highest standards of both manufacturing and health and safety can be maintained. The instructors design a range of garden and indoor furniture and work with the clients to make each piece. Clients learn to operate machinery and assemble by hand using traditional methods. Most of the furniture is made from West African Iroko, a very durable and strong hardwood sourced entirely from forests operating sustained yield management programmes. The customer can choose from a range styles and finishes. One-off

pieces can also be made to a customer’s specification.

Achieving the balance

Furniture is sold from the on-site showroom or through a brochure. “Although we advertise through wordof-mouth and the Yellow Pages,” Tina explains, “many social workers and parents of clients don’t actually know we exist. We did consider selling through large garden centres but they wanted to put so much profit on top of our price, the difference would be ridiculous”. Genesis seems to have got the balance right. By keeping a stock at all times it can supply customers on demand. As well as selling from the showroom and brochure, Genesis trades at events such as the Suffolk, Hadleigh and South Suffolk Shows. Customers include churches and local councils. These sales pay for the running costs of the workshop, and the workshop provides work for the clients.

Genesis 01473 723888 Fax: 01473 278327 info@genesisdaycare.org.uk www.genesisdaycare.org.uk

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CAD/CAM SE W

orkwise is an emerging social firm established in 1986 to cater for individuals suffering the effects of long term mental health problems. The company offers a range of training and work opportunities at its two sites in Bury St. Edmunds. From a basic initial woodworking course using hand tools, trainees progress to learning furniture making with power tools. They can then progress to learning the CNC technology (see on). Initially, computer aided design (CAD) is used to generate drawings on computer. Trainees then learn to generate a computer aided manufacture (CAM) code which will instruct a machine with computer numeric control (CNC) to manufacture objects. A range of furniture is available, all made

by trainees in CNC, including two people who are on work placements. The range includes magazine racks, decorative bookshelves and bookcases. The furniture is sold on Workwise market stall in Bury St. Edmunds, but General Manager Valerie Beresford tells me they are looking for a larger retail outlet for it. CNC is also used in the embroidery department to put the embroidered logos of companies onto sweatshirts, caps or anything else they might require. Workwise also offers a variety of packaging and light assembly work, engraving making badges and door p l a q u e s , a n d a c ra f t a n d d e s i g n department making textiles and hand finished greeting cards. Office and administrative experience is also available.

Training is provided in all departments with NVQ or National Open College Network qualifications available, as well as help into work through the Worklink project. In the past year 102 trainees completed courses, 19 people have moved into paid employment, 25 into voluntary work and 12 into mainstream employment. The Workwise website is currently setting up an online shopping facility, which should be running by the time you read this.

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Workwise Hospital Road: 01284 755261 Chamberlayne Road: 01284 762298 www.workwise.org.uk

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Networks unlimited This section of InTouch is for you to promote and report on the activities of your organisation. Send news of staff changes, business developments and examples of smart thinking to Peter Durrant on 01223 262759 or send an email to humberstone@pop3.poptel.org.uk Investing in Communities The second edition of EEDA’s IiC newsletter has just been published, with up to date information on the progress so far and a revised list of contacts within the EEDA team. Go to: www.eeda.org.uk

Suffolk project to help poor rural communities Suffolk Regeneration Trust has received £70,000 from the Esme Fairbairn Foundation for a project which will focus on two Sure Start areas in East Suffolk. The programme is designed to tackle the particular hardships suffered by poorer people living in rural areas. Support will include loans for cars and nursery fees, and the initiative will help people to open basic bank accounts and promote credit unions. Belinda Bell, chief executive of the trust said “This project will enable us to get to the heart of some of the money issues that prevent people in rural areas, particularly those with young families, from achieving their ambitions.” She added “Lack of access to a car is a real barrier to inclusion in rural areas.” The project will run for two years and the trust hopes it will eventually be able to roll it out to cover other deprived areas. For more information visit: www. suffolkregenerationtrust.org. uk

Looking to buy your own premises? The Rent to scheme from Bank provides membership

10 InTouch

Buy funding Unity Trust banking and services to

trade unions, voluntary and community organisations, credit unions and membership organisations. For more information email rent2buy@unitygroup.co.uk, or go to their website at http:// w w w. u n i t y. u k . c o m / i n d e x . cfm?itemid=975

Would your organisation benefit from a free website hosted by EEDA? Getting a website designed can be an expensive and confusing task. Once a website has been produced it can be difficult and expensive to keep updated. Perhaps this is why so many people and organisations still do not have websites and those that do often carry out-of-date or inaccurate information in their websites. All that has changed. The Eastspace initiative offers you a website that is under your control, which means you can add or change its content as often as you wish. Not only do you get a professionally d e s i g n e d b a s i c w e b s i t e, you can make it even more useful by adding a number of additional functions such as forums, newsletters, even an innovative public contribution system. Although your Eastspace website will be your own, you will in fact be part of an ever growing community of individuals and organisations forming a regional portal. This will bring more traffic to your site as more and more users find Eastspace a valuable source of information for the region. For further information go

No 9 March/April 2005

to: http://www.eastspace. net/initiative/DisplayArticle. asp?ID=591 There is an application form http://www.eastspace. net/initiative/documents/ Application_form.pdf

operatives-uk.coop or via www.cooperatives-uk.coop/ provide. Alternatively, write to Provide Project, Co-operatives UK, Holyoake House, Hanover Street, Manchester M60 0AS.

The Community Interest Company (CIC)

I D e A Pr o c u re m e n t h a s expanded its free procurement advisory service and developed a range of new services. Over the coming months, I De A K n ow l e d g e we b s i t e will publish comprehensive good practice guidance on all aspects of procurement together with a wide range of resources. Go to: http://www. idea.gov.uk/procurement/ And for local government, there’s a PDF downloadable publication from the office of the Deputy Prime Minister entitled National Procurement Strategy for Local Government. Go to: http://www.odpm. g o v. u k / s t e l l e n t / g r o u p s / odpm_localgov/documents/ downloadable/odpm_locgov_ 024923.pdf

From summer 2005, there will be a new type of company structure. For details of The Companies (Audit, Investigation and Community Enterprise) Bill go to www.dti. gov.uk/cld/companies_audit_ etc_bill/. For more general information on CICs go to www.socialenterprise.org.uk/ Page.aspx?SP=1626

Inspire East is launched Inspire East, is the new title for the Regional Centre of Excellence and will support and promote best practice in the development of sustainable communities. Launched by Richard Ellis, Chair of EEDA, in December, it is funded by EEDA and the ODPM. Numerous agencies including Community Renewal Network East (CRNE) have been involved in deciding its role, including EEDA, EERA, GO East and English Heritage. I n i t i a l l y m a n a g e d by EEDA, it is envisaged that it would have a greater level of independence from any one agency in the medium term. More information at: www. eeda.org.uk

New Social Enterprise Procurement Guide for Local Authorities P r o a c t i v e P r o c u re m e n t is a new practical guidance d i re c t i v e, c o m m i s s i o n e d by Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE) and Cooperatives UK. It considers the opportunities that exist for local authorities to procure quality services from social enterprises, while meeting their wider policy and strategic objectives. Copies of the document may be obtained from the Co-operatives UK Provide project. They may be contacted at provide@co-

Procurement IDeA

‘A Shared Vision’ - Regional Economic Strategy review complete The RES consultation review is now complete and EEDA has produced an electronic ve r s i o n o f t h e e x e c u t i ve summary of the new strategy. This is available on the East of England Observatory website and the EEDA website www. eeda.org.uk. In addition, a report on the consultation responses to the ‘Progressing a Shared Vision – the draft regional economic strategy for the East of England’ is also available on the Observatory website www. eastofenglandobservatory.org. uk/RES_Review.asp. The full version of the strategy was launched on 20 December.

Phoenix Bursaries The Phoenix Bursar ies, launched in April 2004, help fund development activities in organisations which provide business support in disadvantaged areas and/or to under-represented groups.


Networks unlimited These activities might d e ve l o p t h e s k i l l s o f a n individual member of staff, or the professionalism and capabilities of the organisation as a whole. What all the activities have in common is that they enhance the breadth and/or quality of enterprise s u p p o r t p r ov i d e d by a n organisation to its clients. Bursaries are awarded at the discretion of the Small Business Ser vice and are provided as a grant on the basis of need. To find out more, or to d isc uss t h e e l i g i b i l i t y o f yo u r o rg a n i s a t i o n , e m a i l phoenix@mci-group.com or call the Bursaries Team on 0870 458 4161. Alternatively, visit www.sbs.gov.uk/phoenix/ bursaries

Standards for social enterprise advisors and managers The Social Enterprise Pa r t n e r s h i p ( S E P G B ) i s working in conjunction with SFEDI who work to raise standards in enterprise development have released official standards for advisors and managers of social enterprises. The standards are recommended for organisational development or support providers developing training. Go to: www.sepgb. co.uk/centralprojects/ 0000009485103710d/index. html

Norfolk Police open premises to other organisations The Wayland Partnership, w h i c h r u n s re g e n e ra t i o n schemes in and around Watton, is planning to open a community and enterprise centre in the town’s police station. The Police station is set to be turned into a centre to support businesses, learning and local voluntary organisations. The building will offer meeting space for local companies, while local organisations including Breckland Council and the Citizens Advice Bureau have been invited to open

presence points. This is not the first example of innovative partnership working from Norfolk Police. In September 2004 they joined ranks with the Post Office. Launched in Watton, the scheme allows the public to use the Post Office to report incidents, leave messages for local officers, hand in lost property and get crime reduction information. B y c o u r t e s y w w w. ourpartnership.org.uk

Regional Economic Strategy now published The RES document – A Shared Vision: the regional economic strategy for the East of England, has now been published and is available to download from EEDA’s website www.eeda.org.uk. You can also get a printed copy of the whole report or the executive summary with a CD-ROM by contacting EEDA on 0845 456 9200 or emailing: knowledge@eeda.org.uk. Accompanying the strategy are four leaflets which explain how the RES applies to: business growth; growth areas; rural areas; and the voluntary and community sector. Download from the EEDA website or ask for a hard copy.

Appointments The SSEER / SEEE Project welcomes Donna (Dee) Sanger as Project Executive and welcomes back Elaine McCorriston from maternity leave as Project Manager. Kirsty Tanner has moved on to become Project Manager – Diversity, within the Business Link Herts Social Sector team. Congratulations to Kirsty. Jamie Conway has recently been appointed as Social E n t e r p r i s e M a n a g e r, t o enable COVER to support the engagement of voluntary and community organisations in developing a strategic analysis o f VC S s o c i a l e n t e r p r i s e activities. Jamie leads COVER’s promotion of VCS uptake of social enterprise support services across the region and seeks to increase recognition

a n d a w a re n e s s o f s o c i a l enterprise models and their applicability to the VCS. Jamie seeks to work closely with SEEE to collectively increase the range, extent and diversity of VCS enterprise activity across the East of England. Jamie can been contacted on 01799 532888 or jamie.

conway@cover-east.org Debbie Akehurst has been appointed community liaison and development manager for Hertfordshire Prosperity’s Investing in Communities programme. She has joined on secondment from Stevenage Council. Emily Butterworth has become the IiC co-ordinator.

Events Cambridgeshire

Next Steps to earning success A two-day residential course at Hinxton Hall, South Cambridgeshire to help organisations turn their ideas for earning income into reality will now be happening between 10-14 May. Details from chris.dcvs@classmail.co.uk or jamie-conway@cover-east.org

Hertfordshire

Looking good in print Producing effective newsletters, publicity leaflets and annual reports will take place in Hertsmere (probably in Elstree) on 7th April. Priority will be given to organisations booking places for two representatives. Details and booking through Anne Frisch at Hertsmere CVS annef@hertsmerecvs.org Tel 0208 207 4504.

Suffolk & Essex

Suffolk & Essex Civic Champions Commencing April 2005 in Suffolk, the Civic Champions training programme will offer a unique opportunity to people volunteering their time and energy to projects that make their local community a better place to live. The organisers are looking for ordinary people from all walks of life who live in Suffolk and Essex, and who have the motivation and enthusiasm to want to improve their skills and confidence and make a real difference to their local community. If you have a project or an idea for one that you want to develop, why not phone for an information pack? Elaine Otway, The Guild: 01603 615200. e-mail: elaine@the-guild.co.uk

Regional

Yvonne Evens of EPAS, the family organisation that have built the SEEE website (see 4-page insert in this issue), is running the marathon in April to raise money for the vitalise charity and has set up an online fundraising mechanism with details at http://www.justgiving.com/yvonnes adventure Vitalise, formerly known as Winged Fellowship Trust, is a national disability charity providing breaks for disabled adults, children and their carers at five accessible UK centres in Cornwall, Nottingham, Southport, Essex and Southampton. If you are able to either sponsor her or be there to lend support (or oxygen) on the day that would be great – every pound adds up! Please send details of your upcoming events to Peter Durrant on 01223 262759 or send an email to humberstone@pop3.poptel.org.uk

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Membership Services

Insurance with a difference Finance ReDirect Ltd Insurance Services Publicity & raising awareness

Managing Director Tanya Richardson

F

inance ReDirect Limited is an innovative not for profit financial services company. This thriving social enterprise primarily offers insurance products to organisations in the non-profit sector and has recently received funding from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and Small Business Service (SBS) to develop and extend its range of insurance products. The concept of ‘redirect to create’ has grown steadily since the company was launched 5 years ago. By using postcodes, Finance ReDirect attributes its net profits to geographical areas. These profits are then donated to the registered charity

Net Profits postcoded to geographical areas

Create (UK) Charitable Trust

Geographical Funds for community profects

Reg. No 1078672

Postcoded profits redistributed to corresponding geographical areas

CREATE, who distribute the profits as grants to local charitable/community projects based on the geographical origin of the profits. Managing Director, Tanya Richardson, said: “We now have a range of products aimed at small and medium businesses, social enterprises and organisations in the voluntary sector. Our aim is to combat the recent problems faced by small businesses, charities and particularly social enterprises in gaining access

to affordable insurance. In addition, by insuring through Finance ReDirect, local organisations can support each other as part of their insurance costs are redirected back into grants for their local community”.

i

Finance ReDirect Tel 0800 652 1211 www.financeredirect.co.uk

Fit 4 Finance

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inance4Social Enterprise is an investment readiness programme that is funded by the ESF EQUAL programme and SSEER and is delivered by Business Link. The programme is designed for both existing and potential social enterprises and charities in the East of England. A series of half-day seminars are taking place throughout the region, at the British Racing Centre in Newmarket on 7th March, and the South Green Park Enterprise Centre, Mattishall near Dereham on 11th March.

Tailored to social enterprises

Places on Finance4Social Enterprise are fully subsidised by EQUAL but numbers are strictly limited. The programme will help social enterprises and charities considering developing trading activity as a means of generating income. This is an option increasingly undertaken by social enterprises as they try to increase funding opportunities and becoming less reliant on harder-to-come-by grant funding. The seminars are designed specifically

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for organisations in the social economy and will provide information to help maximise the funding that businesses h a ve a l ready. How to improve the chances of success in accessing new sources of funding, help to ensure that a company’s business plan and proposal documents are ready to be presented to funders will be included in the seminar. Enterprises will also be able to identify the best ways to fund capital expenditure and understand the priorities of potential funds.

Opportunity to polish strategy for finance

The second stage of the programme is a session with a business adviser, who will help determine a strategy for the

Are you fit 4 finance? A series of half-day seminars are taking place throughout the region to help social enterprises and charities considering developing trading activity as a means of generating income

organisation. The third, and final, stage is a finance panel in which the business applying for finance is given time to present that strategy to a panel typically comprising finance industry specialists, lenders and grant advisers. To find out more about, or to book a place on one of the seminars, please call the Events Booking Service on 01727 813613.


InTouch Issue 9