36 Pounds and 95 pence exhibition - 30 October

Sample of the work exhibited- Red War by Saed (Afghanistan)
By Yousif Farah

36 Pounds and 95 Pence is the first exhibition of The New Art Studio, which uses art as a vehicle for recovery and integration for victims of human cruelty and abuse. It opens on Friday 30 October at the Islington Arts Factory at 6pm.

Raging Calm inspires recovery through its dramatic workshops

John Watts, at the Young Vic
By  Mat Amp

Raging Calm’s second 'Flight' 'workshop as part of the Scorched Earth project, unearthed raw personal and inspiring stories, at the St Mungo's Recovery College, on Sept 9th.

Social Saturday 2015 continues to inspire people to BUY Social!

By Sana Amos

Social Saturday marked another huge success on 10 October, with well over 50 events nationwide showcasing the contribution of over 70,000 social enterprises to the UK.

The momentum of the awareness day campaign received widespread coverage across local and national press, as well as on social media. With high profile twitter support including the Prime Minister and Jamie Oliver it was no surprise that #SocialSaturday2015 was trending across social media platforms.

Enterprises across the UK got in the spirit of Social Saturday by running events to showcase and promote their services to the public and highlight how every day they make a positive social and environmental impact.

One good example that truly demonstrated how social organisations can bring the community together was Divine Chocolate, the award winning chocolatier and social enterprise. They celebrated the day in style by hosting a free fair, that brought London’s social businesses in fashion, food and drinks sector together at the Lexi Cinema, itself a social enterprise.

Speaking of the significance of the day Peter Holbrook CBE and CEO of Social Enterprise UK, said: “Social enterprises are redefining how business gets done. When you buy from them, society profits. Social Saturday is all about celebrating and raising awareness about our growing movement. This year we want to really put social enterprise on the map through a range of events across the country.”

At Poached Creative we are proud to be working with Social Enterprise UK to produce the branding and campaign materials for the Buy Social campaign, that helps to support and promote social enterprises like ourselves across the UK.

Rosie Spinks to co-host next #COMMSKNOWHOW seminar

Pic: Courtesy of Rosie Spinks
By Sana Amos
For the second of our #COMMSKNOWHOW monthly seminars Jessica Smith will be joined by Rosie Spinks, co-founder of JosephineJane, to host a seminar on Social Media Marketing at Bootstrap, on 5 November.
The series kicked off last month with the successful seminar on Getting to Grips with Google Analytics and speaking about the event Tobias Priscott, Poached Creative’s training and volunteer co-ordinator, said:
“It was fantastic to kick off our new comms seminars with Chandeep Khosa of Image Creativity. Website analytics have become an intricate part of understanding how we communicate online and we are really pleased that Rosie Spinks will be continuing this theme, by co-hosting our next seminar on Social Media Marketing.”
Rosie has vast experience of social media marketing, as freelance journalist and as co-director of JosephineJane, a web-based business that enhances online presence for a global client base.
Social media is now one of the main platforms of communication across the globe and according to Mediabistro 73% of small businesses are now using social media. This indicates the importance of promoting business through online networks. However having an online platform and using it effectively are two different things.
At its best social media marketing allows you to increase brand awareness, by engaging with your audience and getting them involved in promoting an organisation or product they are passionate about. This seminar will focus on highlighting ways that social enterprises, SMEs, freelancers and charity communicators can put a strategic social media strategy in place.
To find out more about the event, or to book tickets visit our eventbrite page
#COMMSKNOWHOW seminars are offered at a discounted rate of £5 for Bootstrap tenants and Echo members can attend for 2 Echos. Bootstrap campus and Poached Creative’s past trainees and volunteers can attend for free.

How Social Enterprises reshaped how we view Disability

The Young Royals join the celebrations on World Mental Health Day, Photo Courtesy of Getty

This is our final blog in a series of blogs celebrating Social Saturday, and since this year’s Social Saturday coincided with World Mental Health Day we will also pay tribute to mental health patients in the UK who had to go through an awful lot, through a trip to 19th century England.

World Mental Health Day is the annual global celebration of mental health education, awareness and advocacy. It is held annually on October 10, and each year the day focuses on a new topic which is affecting mental health patients in the UK, and this year the focal point of the day was “Dignity In Mental Health”.

The 19th century saw the Industrial Revolution which impacted on the attitude of society toward those who suffered from a physical or mental impairment, an attitude lacking in compassion and sound judgment.

People who suffered from any form of physical disability were regarded as a burden on society, it was believed that keeping them in their own homes would encourage laziness.Therefore, they were kept in workhouses in grim and uninhabitable conditions.

On the other hand, people who suffered from a mental impairment faced a fate which was by no means a lesser evil, they were segregated in purpose built Asylums in dire and inhumane conditions with no prospect of curability or discharge.

The 19th century saw an expansion in the building of asylums accompanied by the introduction of Psychiatry. However, it wasn’t practiced in a proper or ethical manner.

During this century (also known as the Asylum Era) more than 120 county pauper asylums were built hosting 100,000 idiots and lunatics compared to a few hundred people living nine small charitable asylums at the beginning of the century.

There was an urgent need for some form of intervention to relieve the disabled community. Efforts were made by charities, also social enterprises to help in improving the work and living conditions of disabled people.
The social enterprise we are about to discuss today is a branch of one of these charities first to intervene, it is also the first social enterprise in the UK.

Clarity is a registered charity and a social enterprise which has been employing, training and supporting blind people and people with other disabilities since 1854.

Clarity was founded by a blind lady, Elizabeth Gilbert, who realised that amid these worsening conditions, it was virtually impossible for a blind person to earn their own living. In response she set up a workshop to train blind people to make products to sell with the money reinvested into the business to pay the staff and create more jobs.

The Soap Co

The Soap Co became a member of the Clarity family four years ago. It is a social enterprise working with disabled people to provide the consumer with a quality product and the opportunity to provide a disadvantaged person with a career opportunity.

70% of their workforce is blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged and all the company profits go back into the business creating even more jobs.

The Soap Co. started as a small shop in the Lake District creating handmade soaps to provide employment for people with disabilities.Today they supply 50,000 customers and businesses with products, ranging from cruise ships to local councils and boutique hotels.

Last month Poached Creative paid a visit to The Soap Co. We also interviewed the manager and some of the workers, who all seemed in agreement that being part of soap co is impacting their lives and well-being positively.

One of those who we met is Darren Sapsford, before joining The Soap Co. Darren had lost both his parents and home, which led to a breakdown in his relationship and understandably a blow to his self-esteem.

He was looking for a way to rebuild his life when he was referred to The Soap Co. through the Job Centre.
Now he is Product Line Operative, his self-esteem is restored and now he is planning to carry on working with The Soap Co. while trying to become a support worker.

Denis is one of the many people who were helped by Soap Co and Clarity, who are transforming lives by the day.
The Soap Co. celebrated Social Saturday by encouraging everyone to make a positive social impact through promoting their new line which was released last month and is comprised of new range of soaps and lotions including Black Poppy & Wild Fig, White Tea & Citrus, using formulations which have outperformed other luxury brands in consumer testing.
Moreover, to mark Social Saturday the two heads of The Soap Co, Jason Norris, and Jeremy Robinson of Clarity took a long distance bike ride, visiting many social enterprises en route.

“Even though, I am 360 of miles away from Clarity whenever I go down there I always feel that I am part of Clarity, part of a bigger thing, a bigger vision- part of something that is achieving and moving forward. So yes, that is why I enjoyed it, enjoyed being part of clarity, definitely.”

Jason Peter Norris, manager at The Soap Co.- Keswick

My journey with The Camden Youth Hub Project Board

Catherine and Amaan at the Poached Creative offices

By Catherine Capaldi

A new youth space is about to open in the centre of Camden designed by young people for young people, on 12 November.

As one of the young people involved I am excited and nervous about the space being open to the public. On one side I’m excited because its finally going to be open and on the other side nervous because I’m scarred that people will not want to go to the place I and my fellow Camden Youth Hub Project Board members helped create.

We designed the hub for young people to go and chill out, meet new people and make friends.

I have now been involved in the development of the hub for 18 months, during this time I have learnt to not judge a book by its cover and have developed more of an open mind.

The Camden Youth Hub Project Board has worked alongside Camden Council to design the look of the space and the services it provides. Highlights have included working on the design and colour scheme, working as part of a team, making a documentary with Poached Creative and Mediorite, working with Maria, Lizzie and Dionne from Camden and making new friends.

Part of my role as a board member has been to promote the needs of disabled people. As a wheelchair user I find it is important to show people the importance of access at the beginning of the design process. This has been really important to me as I want disabled people to be able to ask for help, feel part of something and not an outcast for having a disability.

I have met allot of new people through this project and made some close friends, like Chris. When we first met he was very quiet but being part of the board has helped him come out of his shell and show more of his great personality.

This is a great example of what the hub will achieve when it opens.

Social Saturday 2015 almost upon us

By Yousif Farah

One in a series of blogs celebrating Social Saturday

In the build up to Social Saturday 2015  Poached Creative is profiling social enterprises that trade with the public in East London.

In our previous blog dedicated to celebrating Social Saturday 2015, we went through the concept of social enterprises, its history  and development, and how in a short space of time they have become an integral part of everyday life, impacting individuals, societies and the economy.

We also embarked on a voyage aboard the Hackney Pirate’s ship of adventures, but this week we will focus on a sports social enterprise which we are immensely proud to have in our local area of Dalston, East London.

Circle Sports

Photos by Stephen Archer
 (Big Issue Online Journalism trainee).

Circle Sports is a social enterprise trading in sport’s clothing and equipment. They provide practical customer service work experience, training and mentoring to young people aged 18-24, in their trendy Circle Collective shop on Kingsland High Street,

In their four short years of existence they have helped many people progress through their lives, pulling them out of hardships and into a stable life and promising future.

Denis is truly a shining example and testament to the outstanding work Circle Sports is providing to young people. He arrived from Lithuania and managed to teach himself English in less than seven months, after which he was referred to Circle Sports via the Job Centre. It took Denis no time to prove himself as an asset to the company; he shone as a diligent young man. However, he then suddenly disappeared.

Staff tried hard to track him down until they managed to find him and found out that he had been made homeless. They provided him with help and assistance and helped him get back on his feet and find accommodation. Eventually - with some help from Circle - he secured a trainee role in construction with their sponsor Land Securities.

Inspirationally, since starting work at Land Securities Denis has won their Employment Strategy Award in the 18-24-year-old category.

Denis is just one of the countless people guided and assisted by Circle Sports, who will be joining in the celebrations of Social Saturday 2015 on the 10th of October.

Turly Humphreys, Founder and Managing Director at Circle Sports says:

“Since we started in 2011 Circle has helped many young people discover their true potential and secure full-time employment, alongside improving workplace skills, confidence and a positive mind-set.”

“My advice to new and emerging social enterprises is to have a commercial aspect to help them cover the cost of running a social enterprise."