Social Saturday 2015 is coming on 10 October

Social Saturday is a nationwide day dedicated to promoting social enterprise.

Following the enormous success of the inaugural Social Saturday 2014, Social Enterprise UK, and more than 70,000 social enterprises across the country are preparing for this year’s event. 

Their activities will raise awareness of the significance of the social enterprise sector to individuals, communities and the economy as a whole.

A social enterprise is a business model that works to achieve a social mission. Profits are usually reinvested in social causes and sustaining the business.

When you buy from a social enterprise, you buy social. Buying social means you provide an unemployed person with a career opportunity, or provide a homeless person with a bed for the night, or help the environment, as well as saving money and challenging profit-driven only businesses through competition.

Social enterprises have been working hard to elevate communities since the nineteenth century when workers in Rochdale formed a co-operative in response to the exploitative working conditions. However, social enterprise as we know it today re-emerged in the mid-nineties.

When a new social enterprise emerges, entire communities reap the benefits. Varying in size, purpose and industry, they range from small social enterprises like Poached Creative to nationwide enterprises like the Big Issue. 
Being a social enterprise ourselves, specializing in writing and design we completely understand the importance of buying social. We are also pleased that in recent years social enterprises have become an integral part of everyday life in London. 

Over the years we have had many partnerships with social enterprises across the country, including Social Enterprise UK – who we proudly created the original Social Saturday marketing materials for. We buy social whenever we can. 

To mark the occasion, in the lead up to Social Saturday we will shed a light on different and unique social enterprise in our local area of Hackney. 

The Hackney Pirates

Part of the Hackney Pirates Ship of Adventures
Courtesy of The Big Issue Online Journalists

The Hackney Pirates is an enterprising charity working to develop the literacy, confidence and perseverance of young people in Hackney, so that they achieve both in school and in the world beyond.

The educational social enterprise was thought of by Catriona Maclay, who at the time was a teacher at a primary school based in north London. Through her experience as a primary school teacher she realised that a change in the learning environment could benefit pupils aged 9-12 and make them more receptive to learning.

The Hackney Pirates began as a pilot scheme supported by Bootstrap, now it is well established. They work together with local schools, volunteers and families providing local kids with the dream class room: a Ship of Adventures complete with secret passageways, an underwater cave and a ship’s cat. 

During the voyage participating pupils receive support in order to enhance their writing and reading. They are also encouraged to take part in a unique creative publishing project in which young people work with professionals to write their own books, CDs and websites, allowing them to practise their writing skills as well as see the whole project through to publication.

Catriona Maclay, Founder of The Hackney Pirates says:

"We believe that young people learn best when there's a little adventure involved, and when they can see that their work has consequences in the real world, so our publishing projects are a great way for young people to develop their literacy while also building up their confidence and perseverance.

 If you would like to spend your Social Saturday supporting The Hackney Pirates, then pop by our Ship of Adventures - a unique gift-shop, book-shop and cafe where you can see all the fantastic work of the Young Pirates on display."

Read our Social Saturday blog #2 on Circle Sports.

The Pavement celebrates its tenth anniversary

The Pavement Magazine celebrated its tenth anniversary on 11 September with a star-studded comedy night at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington. 

The event was a real blast and featured renowned comedians Stewart Lee and Robin Ince, whose performances highlighted the support the small-format magazine has gathered during its first decade in print.
The Pavement Magazine is a homeless publication founded in 2004 and designed to fill a vacuum by producing content featuring essential practical information alongside hard-hitting and entertaining reportage primarily aimed at and tailored to a homeless readership. In the past ten years the Pavement has gradually established itself as not just a useful magazine but an entertaining publication with the magazine’s Word on the Street programme encouraging contributions from homeless writers.

Karin Goodwin, the magazine’s editor says  “The founder, Richard Burdett, saw a real need for a publication that put information straight into the hands of those who needed it most; homeless people themselves….We believe that our readers themselves are the experts on homelessness”.

The night was not just about celebrating The Pavement’s anniversary. It also aimed to raise awareness of the charity, boost the magazine’s profile and generate desperately needed funds.

Ince's strong support for the cause is the only reason for his performance, coming as it did six months into a five year sabbatical from the stand-up circuit. Indeed, all the performers talked about the need to support the Pavement with a genuine passion that fuelled the joyful and positive atmosphere of the celebration in the theatre on the night. Sandwiched between the two featured comedians were strong performances from the comedy duo Read-Wilson and Hughes Hughes and the singer Barb Jung whose distinctive voice has lost none of its soulful power.

Robin Ince rocked the house with the stand-out performance on the night. His wickedly clever style of of jumping from one story to another was delivered at brisk pace, developing themes that eventually found their way back home, all the while stabbing logic in the face with a dagger of razor sharp reason.

In contrast Stewart Lee’s act, delivered at slow pace, was all about deconstructing the art form of stand up comedy. Throughout his career he has chosen to tread his own path, pushing the boundaries set by the mainstream in order to continually develop his own routine.

The same could be said of The Pavement’s journey over the past ten years. In Karin’s words "The night itself was a great mix; there was caustic wit, warmth and laughter, political agitation and generally an outpouring of support and goodwill for The Pavement and all it stands for”. She adds "Not only does the money raised help us to keep printing copies of The Pavement, which are in constantly high demand; it also encourages us to keep working harder to make sure The Pavement goes from strength-to-strength."

All in all the night was a worthy celebration of the ten years in which the Pavement has struggled on a shoestring to establish itself as a publication that genuinely helps those on the street. Laughter maybe the best medicine for life but for some of the disenfranchised on the street there is no better tonic than The Pavement Magazine. To find out more, visit the Pavement Magazine website.

Comedy night marks ten years down the Pavement

By Yousif Farah

Pavement Magazine is celebrating its 10th birthday on Friday 11 September, a milestone that will be marked with a high-profile comedy fundraiser featuring the exceptionally hilarious Stewart Lee.

The event will be held at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington’s North Street, off Caledonian Road, and the all-star line-up will also include Robin Ince, winner of the Time Out Award for Outstanding Achievement in comedy and music from Barb Jungr whose album of Bob Dylan covers was once described by the Wall Street Journal as “the most significant vocal album of the 21st century”.   

Also joining them will be Tom Read Wilson and Gary Albert Hughes who are both known for performing satirical and political songs.
The Pavement hopes the event will raise much-needed funds to help them further pursue helping homeless people through their unique publication. 

Its sole purpose is to support people at times of crisis, aiming to make life that bit easier for homeless people through providing them with information that can both help reduce short-term hardship, as well as enable them to guide their own lives.

The publication is pocket-sized, concise, providing homeless readers with news from the streets relative to their situation and often neglected by the mainstream press. Alongside the news stories they run monthly updated lists of day centres, soup kitchens and places to gather advice and assistance regarding housing.  It also has features on health, legal advice and an insider’s view of life in hostels.  

The publication relies entirely on donations from the public and volunteers. However, these volunteers are highly skilled writers and cartoonists, some of whom work for reputable media outlets such as Private Eye. 

At Poached Creative we work closely with the Pavement magazine. Some of our own Big Issue online journalism trainees have contributed articles to The Pavement. We also recently ran a four week media training course for budding contributors. Furthermore, the writing panel meetings are held at our premises and are attended by our writing mentor Grant and I.

Grant says: “The listing section is a revelation especially when you first find yourself in that situation. The news story covers topics that you will never see in the mainstream media.”

The proceeds of the forthcoming event will help more homeless people through their ordeal.

For tickets, bookings and information on how to get to the venue visit The Pleasance Theatre website.

To donate visit The Pavement website.