Case studies

Case studies

Homebaked Bakery – The power of communities to ‘level up’ for themselves

The area around Anfield has a proud sense of community and at its heart was Mitchells Bakery, selling pies to locals and to football fans on match-days. However a lack of investment in Liverpool coupled with what has been described as the controlled decline of the city resulted in people moving out of the area, rising unemployment and boarded up housing. Mitchell’s Bakery was forced to close. In 2002 the area was identified as a ‘market-failure’ with properties designated to be demolished and rebuilt under the Housing Market Renewal Initiative. When this scheme was pulled in 2010, the area was effectively abandoned. Taking regeneration into their own hands What followed was an ambitious attempt by members of the local community to save the bakery and take ownership of the local area to steer development to benefit residents. It all started with an arts project, 2 up 2 down, which worked with local people to rent out the bakery space and use it as a site for public discussion on planning the future of the area. It was decided by residents that the bakery should be re-opened as a community led business and in June 2012 Homebaked Bakery Co-operative was formed. The following year a community land trust (CLT) was formed to take on responsibility for the development of the bakery building and future community assets. A bakery at the heart of the community In October 2013, Homebaked Bakery was opened as a social enterprise dedicated to feed, employ and train the local community with an absolute commitment to improve the local area. The bakery’s strapline is ‘more than a pie’ with the shop employing local people, running training courses and using the space as a community hub. What started as a small business has now grown into a thriving social enterprise turning over £500,000, employing 16 people and supporting many more through its training programmes. Pre-COVID-19, 90% of the business’s income came directly through trading. Football income from matchdays is used to subsidies affordable prices and the business’s pies have attracted national fame and recognition Despite taking a hit during the pandemic the bakery continued to be a constant source of support for the Anfield community– providing freshly baked loaves and rolls to local foodbanks and organising the delivery of free school meals. The bakery is emerging out of the pandemic with ambitious plans for the future, looking to increase pie production beyond 3,000 a week, build up stronger links with both Liverpool FC and Everton and to continue to find more ways to feed, employ and support the local community.

23 Jun

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2 min

Case studies

Butterfly Books – children’s books tackling gender stereotypes

Whilst at school Kerrine Bryan excelled at maths and science, enjoying the problem-solving aspect of these subjects. However, when it came to choosing a career, she felt that the subjects she loved did not give her many options beyond the expected accountancy qualifications. When she was 17 her maths teacher recommended she attend an engineering course which led to her having a successful career in the traditionally male dominated industry of engineering. Her experiences as an engineer and her initial lack of understanding as to what career opportunities were available to her, led Kerrine to set up a social enterprise dedicated to challenging the gender stereotypes which hold back the dreams and aspirations of so many children. Changing perceptions from a young age Butterfly Books is a business which creates playful and thought-provoking stories that aim to transform the lives and minds of children and families. Set up by Kerrine with the help of her brother Jason, the educational books challenge stereotypes and perceptions encouraging an open-minded world for future generations. “Remembering the misconceptions and lack of knowledge about engineering as a profession when I was at school, I decided to volunteer doing talks about my job across the country to children. It was then that I got the idea to develop a range of children’s books that could tackle some of these inherent misconceptions. I saw it as a good way of communicating to children a positive message about all kinds of professions, especially STEM careers that are suffering skill gaps and diversity issues.“ – Kerrine Bryan Butterfly Books is built on the premise that representation matters. Key to the social enterprise’s philosophy is the importance of challenging gender stereotypes at a young age, changing perceptions around what jobs are for girls and which jobs are for boys. Through changing this one small aspect of a child’s education they look to inspire the next generation to look beyond gender stereotypes. Their first published book was based on Kerrine’s own experiences and was called ‘My Mummy is an Engineer’. Subsequent publications have included ‘My Mummy is a Firefighter’, ‘My Mummy is a Footballer’ ‘My Mummy is a Plumber’ and ‘My Daddy is a Nurse’ which was the first of their books to focus on young boys, challenging entrenched attitudes on masculinity. Taking the message to schools and businesses Kerrine takes her stories into schools and so far around 7,000 copies of the books have been sold with the stories reaching approximately 15,000 children, addressing negative misconceptions and biases through colourful illustrations and rhyme. Butterfly Books collaborates with major organisations, working with them to ensure that content is relevant and grounded in the lived experience of the people whose jobs are being written about. These have included the British Army, Nursing Now England, London Fire Brigade and Lewes Football Club (which was the first football club to pay men and women players equal salaries). Organisations are also using the books in their own outreach, with ‘My Mummy is a Firefighter being used by fire stations across the country. Butterfly Book’s desire to break down stereotypes and promote a world of diversity and representation is an example of the ambitions of many social enterprises to build an economy based on principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and justice. butterflybooks.co.uk @butterflybooks You can buy Butterfly Books through their website and also on the eBay for Change Platform

13 Jun

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3 min

Case studies

Real Ideas Organisation – Growing the social economy in the Southwest

At the heart of the Plymouth social economy is Real Ideas Organisation – a social enterprise based in the city which works across the Southwest and beyond. Its mission is to solve problems and create opportunity for individuals, organisations and communities. It does this through a variety of programmes centred on helping young people into careers and employment, supporting the growth and development of social enterprises and acting as a hub for community, business, and cultural activity. Turning a cherished local asset into the heart of Plymouth’s social enterprise sector Real Ideas is based in the Guildhall in Devonport, a part of the city that, following decades of deindustrialisation, became one of the poorest parts of the country.  Devonport Guildhall, a magnificent Regency era building, became symbolic of this decline gradually falling into disrepair. Real Ideas took ownership of the building in 2007 in a community asset transfer from Plymouth City Council, securing £1.8 million to refurbish the hall from the Community Assets Fund. This was no ordinary building restoration - the social enterprise took ownership of the Grade I listed Guildhall to turn it into a space that gives back to the local community. Devonport Guildhall reopened in 2010 as a space for social innovation – a place which brings people and businesses together to help build a sustainable and inclusive economy in the city. It has incubated a number of local community sector organisations, is home to a few established ones too, and has helped new food businesses to set up and grow during the pandemic by sharing access to the commercial kitchens and bakery facilities there. Most recently, Real Ideas renovated the Grade II listed Market Hall in Devonport, a £7.6million project which opened in the summer of 2021 as a new space for immersive technologies, complete with contemporary co-work and a 360-dome environment.  As well as Devonport Guildhall, Real Ideas also runs Ocean Studios – a space for arts, culture and making, with resident artists, shared making spaces and creative co-work. Real Ideas is also the Arts Council’s Bridge Organisation for the Southwest of England and works with schools, youth and cultural organisations to connect young people with art and culture. Growing the local social economy A core part of Real Ideas’ work is growing the local social economy through the development of community business. Its Empowering Places Programme, funded by Power to Change, has supported over 15 community businesses to start-up and thrive through a mixture of hands-on business support, training, tailored expert support and seed funding.  The programme has developed a focus on renewing high streets as well as in protecting parks and green spaces. Real Ideas has also supported thousands of young people take the next steps towards their future career, delivering employability projects in Cornwall funded by ESF, ERDF, National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Work and Pensions. Environmental sustainability is woven into the business’ operations, underpinned Real Ideas’ One Planet Living’ approach. It runs a range of programmes with this focus. For example, the Enrich programme, part of the Plymouth Green Estates Management Solutions Project (GEMS), specifically looks at how social enterprises and community businesses can be used to find positive solutions to sustaining the city’s parks. realideas.org

13 Jun

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3 min

Case studies

NAViGO – Transforming mental health care

NAViGO are an award-winning social enterprise that provides mental health services across North East Lincolnshire in the south of the Yorkshire and Humber region, covering acute and community facilities as well as specialist services such as an older adult’s inpatients services, rehabilitation and recovery services, perinatal mental health support and a specialist eating disorder facility. A social enterprise driving innovation NAViGO runs a huge range of services, coming up with creative new ways of delivering care resulting in more responsive, available and effective services. Here are just a few of the innovations the social enterprise has created: Open access mental health crisis service NAViGO runs a 24/7 open access walk in mental health crisis service where people in a mental health crisis are brought by the ambulance or police services meaning specialist care is given and that lengthy waits at stretched A&E services are avoided. Joint response vehicle NAViGO are trialling a new mental health response vehicle to reduce pressure on emergency services. The Joint Response Vehicle is crewed by trained clinicians and support workers and is deployed when there is an urgent mental health related call-out. In the first month since launch the vehicle attended 16 incidents. Nine of these call outs would have normally resulted in the person being detained but only one of the calls resulted in this outcome. Through providing a mental health focused rapid response service, the social enterprise is delivering better support for vulnerable people and saving the time and resources. Safespace An out-of-hours, open door crisis café where people can get instant and practical mental health support without the need for calling ahead, Safespace provides a judgement-free space for people to speak to fully-trained mental health professionals either in person or via Zoom. Doing things differently Being an independent social enterprise working for the NHS family has allowed NAViGO to do things differently. This includes creating commercially viable businesses which help fund services and which provide training, education and employment opportunities for people that NAViGO supports. One of these is Grimsby Garden Centre, which now employs over 30 people from the local area, some of whom have mental health difficulties or are in rehab or recovery. It has also supported over 100 service users gain valuable training, increasing confidence and supporting them back into the world of work. The garden centre is a big part of the local community, promoting the health benefits of gardening with all profits made being reinvested back into NAViGO’s services. NAViGO’s cleaning, catering, horticulture and maintenance services are all run by Tukes – the social enterprise’s own employment service. Tukes offers training, education services and employment to people throughout their recovery and rehabilitation journey. Bringing these services ‘in-house’ means that money that would otherwise have been spent on external contractors is spent on service users. Since setting up 18 years ago, over 280 people have been supporting into work through Tukes and over 2,000 qualifications gained by service users. navigocare.co.uk

13 Jun

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2 min

Case studies

Turning a cafe into a supermarket – Social adVentures

If you were asked to picture our health system you’d probably think of hospitals, GP practices, ambulances and care homes. What you probably wouldn’t think about are gyms, childcare, woodland adventures and supermarkets. In Salford, Greater Manchester, one social enterprise is radically changing how a community can address health inequalities through redefining what is possible when it comes to the delivery of care. It is doing this through genuinely placing communities at the heart of their work, thinking outside the box, setting up businesses to create a sustainable source of income and genuine employee ownership. Getting closer to the issues Social adVentures was set up in 2011, part of a wave of organisations which ‘spun-out’ of the public sector following the Government’s Right to Request programme which encouraged the creation of public sector mutuals. Founder Scott Darraugh and the rest of the team believed that moving out of formal NHS structure would allow them to be more innovative and closer to the issues faced by the people they are set up to support. Since taking these first steps they’ve not looked back. Social adVentures is a social enterprise embedded in the local community being co-owned by staff and local people. This has allowed for the co-design and co-production of services, allowing service users to have a voice in decision making and giving staff more autonomy to make decisions and come up with their own solutions. Its core mission is to enable people to live healthy lives and it started off as part of NHS Salford in the public health unit running community programmes including learning disabilities and mental health services. Since setting up as an independent social enterprise they’ve expanded on this to win a series of contracts including a partnership delivering social prescribing services in Salford. This involves working closely with partners in the public sector and the VCSE community to sign-post individuals to the most relevant services with an emphasis on preventative care. Funding services through setting up social enterprises “anybody that comes through that front door of this place is made welcome, dealt with in a sympathetic manner, made to feel human again” – Garden Needs participant Alongside public health and social care contracts Social adVentures runs a series of social enterprises, the surpluses from which not only fund services but which are themselves a vital part of increasing community health and wellbeing. These include day nurseries, a community garden, a community gym, forest school training and a social supermarket based at the organisation’s HQ, the Angel Centre – a complex which runs a series of programmes, classes and events from work placements, counselling and coaching to services around quitting smoking and drinking. Every individual business is dedicated to making a difference to help enable people to live healthy lives. An example is Garden Needs, a mental health contract delivered by Social adVentures from their community garden which provides around 2028 hours of support to adults with mental health conditions every year – bringing people together, building confidence and helping people manage their own mental health. The delivery of early years care fits into the social enterprises’ ethos of looking at the causes of ill health and coming up with solutions to deal with them. Joining the dots between the prohibitive costs of childcare, unemployment and mental health – the nurseries offer free childcare for those who need it and also provide opportunities for work though Social adVentures apprenticeship programme. Currently the social enterprise runs four childcare settings under the brand Kids adVentures. They also run forest schools, allowing children to build a connection with nature and improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Transforming a café into a supermarket “It has been fantastic to be given the opportunity to grow the Food Collective from scratch and to implement my own ideas. There’s no barrier to making changes that you think will work in your area of the business and that means you feel trusted and valued - Dale Finney Retail Assistant at the Food Collective A major part of their work tackling health inequalities revolves around the addressing food poverty and during the pandemic the Social adVentures team created a food club with the support of food poverty charity, Fareshare, working with their school to provide food parcels to vulnerable people in their community and those who were shielding. Prior to the pandemic, one of Social adVentures most popular ventures was a community café run out of the Angel Centre but this had to close when the country went into lockdown. Staff decided that this space could be transformed into a social supermarket to act as a permanent hub to provide affordable, fresh food for the local community and to support the food club. Social adVentures shows how a social enterprises embedded in its communitycan work across sectors to link up care and join up the dots when it comes to recognising and dealing with cause of ill health. What’s more they are showing how the freedom that comes with being an independent social enterprise can allow both staff and members of the community to come up with genuinely innovative ideas, such as turning a café into a supermarket. Through setting up social enterprises under the Social adVentures umbrella such as the nurseries, community garden and a gym, they have created a degree of financial stability rare in the public sector. Remarkably nearly half of all the money coming into the business is through trading income. socialadventures.org.uk

30 May

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4 min