Communicating an organisation’s social values and impact to its employees is a key priority for social enterprises with a large and growing workforce.

The Champions Programme is a way for organisations to embed an understanding and awareness of social enterprise amongst its employees. The programme involves teaching participants about social enterprise through interactive visits to a variety of different organisations and discussions about the values and impact of social enterprise. 

Partnership with HCT Group

HCT Group have been running a Social Enterprise Champions Programme since 2011 with huge success in increasing staff engagement with the organisation’s social value and impact. In 2017, HCT Group linked up with Social Enterprise UK to co-facilitate delivery of their annual programme, making use of our extensive network of social enterprise members.

Testimony from Tracey Vickers, Head of Social Impact, HCT Group:

‘Our aim is to engage and excite our front-line staff about social enterprise.  We take them around the country exploring different organisations, discussing why we believe social enterprise is the only way to do business and why social impact makes us different from other bus companies. The programme has the backing of our board and our aspiration is for 10% of staff to participate.

SEUK came on board as co-facilitators in 2017. With their unparalleled network, they are able to design an interesting, varied and thought-provoking programme. We typically have one SEUK facilitator and I co-lead with them, to provide context and highlight the parallels or links with HCT Group.

The programmes are fun. Most participants leave having made a few new friends.  They are also effective. We assess participants’ understanding of social enterprise at the start and end of the programme and for the cohort who completed in June 2018, we saw an average 40% increase in their comprehension. Their feedback comments were also very powerful, for example, one participant said, “This has been an eye-opener”, whilst another said, “it has changed the way I look at life”.

Previous Champion Programmes

In June 2018, the HCT Champions Programme involved 13 front-line employees from across the UK and Channel Islands. The four-day programme took place across Bristol and London, and had a significant impact on the participant’s understanding of social enterprise and the way they engaged with their organisation. Read Graham’s and Caroline’s blogs for their take on the HCT Champions Programme.

Further Information

The impact of the programme is greatest when tailored to support the specific needs of the employees participating. The itinerary is best developed in collaboration with the partnered organisation.

To inquire about the Champions Programme, please email Charlie Wigglesworth, Deputy CEO Social Enterprise UK at


We wouldn’t be able to deliver the Champions Programme without the support of the social enterprises we visit, who kindly give up their time to host the champions and passionately engage with them about social enterprise.

We’d like to thank the following organisations for hosting the Champions Programme in June 2018:

Bristol Wood Recycling Project

Bristol Ferry Service


Bristol Energy Hub

Acta Theatre

Help Bristol’s Homeless

The Park Centre

Good Hotel

Hackney Co-operative Developments CIC


BH Live


St. Joseph Hospice

Hackney City Farm



Waterhouse Resturant


Liberation Nuts