It’s a privilege to be able to update members this month on some of the work that Social Enterprise UK has been up to in July. As the new Director of External Affairs, I have been blown away by the dynamism of members and the passion that you have for changing the world for the better.

As an example, I was delighted to attend HCT’s recent Social Impact Report launch, which is well worth reading. The work that they are doing is just one example of the difference that social enterprises are making.

A key part of my role will be ensuring that we raise the profile of social enterprise across every medium. So it was perfect timing when our CEO, Peter, appeared on Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd’s popular podcast Reasons to be Cheerful (“The Only Way is Ethics”).

SEUK colleagues have also been sifting through the nominations for the SEUK Awards. The quality of the entrants this year was very impressive and we had over 300 nominations, despite the pernicious impact of GDPR! Watch this space for more information and for tickets for the awards night, it is going to be a great event!

We are busily preparing for Social Saturday which will be taking place on the 13th October. We have lots of activities planned for the week leading up to Social Saturday and a big thank you to everyone that has given their support so far. Don’t forget to check the Social Saturday website to see how you can get involved.

Social Summer is still going strong, and will be running till the end of August. If you run a social enterprise which is open to the public this summer, tag yourself with the hashtag #socialsummer2018 to help the public find you online.

Our annual health conference, Fit for the Future, went very well and Simon Stevens has committed NHS England to including social enterprise within the upcoming Long Term Plan. I will be working with, Jo Pritchard, who leads on our health and social care work, to make sure that these words are converted into action. If you work in the health sector and want to be involved, please do get in touch.

The much-discussed Civil Society Strategy has now finally been launched. There are some positive announcements for social enterprise and confirmation of the government’s plans to improve the use of the Social Value Act. We will be following up with the government to ensure that this new strategy is not just considered “job done”.

That’s enough from me, but I hope to see more members over the coming months. Don’t be a stranger if you see me out and about!

All the best,