News: South East

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John Charles named one of the most inspirational UK entrepreneurs

Catering2Order's John Charles has been named as one of the most inspirational UK entrepreneurs at Barclays Trading Places Awards in London on the 30th of November.

He was runner up in these national awards that recognise people who have overcome personal adversity to successfully establish their own company.

Charles didn't let blindness stop his ambition and he set up London catering company Catering2Order in 2007.

The overall winner was Richard John Cartwright of Newcastle Books and the Community Award winner was Andrew Kent, who set up a car repair shop after a near fatal stroke and employs disabled and disadvantaged people from his local community.

Dorking based Social Firm opens it's doors to minister

 Dorking-based Netherne Printing Services (NPS) was visited by Maria Miller, Minister for Disabled People, on Tuesday the 16th of November. Netherne is a commercial printing company and a Social Firm, as its primary purpose is to create meaningful employment for people with disabilities.

Staff talked to the Minister about their roles in the successful print company and the benefits of being in work.

The Department for Work and Pensions Minister’s visit was well-timed as Social Enterprise Day took place today (18th) during Global Entrepreneurship Week. This day is about encouraging people to use enterprising ideas for social and environmental change and is promoted by Enterprise UK and the Kauffman Foundation.

Ministry of Justice Funding Opps


The MoJ's National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has announced two new funding opportunities (each totalling £200k) for social enterprises in England to develop creative approaches to service delivery.

If you could deliver a supervision model incorporating skills and employability training in a work environment or could create training and work opportunities within the sustainable/green sector, then check out the full details and click here.


Social Firms of the Year

The European Social Firms of the Year Awards, which took place during the Social Firms UK and Social Firms Europe CEFEC annual conference, celebrated some of the fantastic work taking place across Europe was showcased and celebrated in style.  Those winners in full:-


Innovation Champ at Aldingbourne Trust

Peter Stanley, General Manager of the Aldingbourne Trust (which Social Firm wood@aldingbourne is part of) picked up the ‘Innovation Champion’ award at the business collaboration achievement awards at Brighton University last month.

The event marked the last 12 months of the Profitnet programme (a peer to peer business support programme) and acknowledged the achievements amongst the Profitnet groups in Sussex. The award criteria was based on practical application of the knowledge transfer and peer collaboration that had taken place amongst the network over the last year.

Schoolchildren from Bournemouth and Manchester win Social Firm competition

MYMClub logo.jpgSocial Firms UK recently ran a competition for schoolchildren to consider what would make a good Social Firm. Two groups of teenagers aged between 14 and 16 years old, one from Bournemouth and one from Manchester have been selected as the winners.

The competition, run to celebrate Social Enterprise Day, asked students to consider what type of Social Firm they would set up and why. Says Sally Reynolds, CEO of Social Firms UK, “Congratulations to all the students who took part. We were really impressed by everyone’s entries and delighted that young people, who are of course our future, are engaging with the idea of running a Social Firm.”

Frame of Mind listed on June analysis of RBS SE 100 Index

The RBS SE 100 Index is the first on-line tool to chart social businesses’ growth and impact measurement. The index enables the growth of key players and emerging markets to be monitored, the rising stars to be discovered and how effectively organisations measure their social impact to be revealed. The index looks at a new market each month and found the fastest growing companies to be in the employment and training market. South East Social Firm Frame of Mind has been listed as having a high impact measurement score of 4/5. For more information see: