Pioneers Post
your blogs
Posted By Ed Mayo's blog
On 7 February 2015 - 10:11am

The first co-operatives formed around food and it is a source of new co-operation today. Later this year, Co-operatives UK will be starting a new programme of support for agricultural co-ops.
There are around 222,000 farm holdings in the UK. As a nation, we eat around half of what we produce, and if crisis hit, we could produce much, but not all of what we would need to get by.
While three quarters of agricultural land is farmed by the larger operations, the vast majority of farm holdings are small or relatively modest in scale. The south of Great Britain tends to have fertile soils, amenable climate and topography, while the north has something of the opposite. Scotland may be beautiful, but 85% of it is, according to European Union classifications, ‘less favoured area’. The south is therefore majority crops, while the north is majority livestock. Agriculture has always been devolved.
Agricultural co-operatives are farmer-controlled businesses, which offer the ...more

On 6 February 2015 - 5:00pm

rsz_unnamedYCore is a new model of millennial volunteering which empowers passionate young people to affect social change in their local communities. A philanthropy program created for millennials, by millennials, YCore makes it engaging and rewarding for millennials to give back in a way that creates real change in their local communities

Pamela Hawley is a mentor for this amazing group of young people, and today we’re sharing a message she recently sent to the team…

Dear YCore Team!

What a joy to know you exist. I am so very grateful to see this burgeoning group of millennials take the world by storm.

And that you will. Your ...more

On 5 February 2015 - 5:05pm

birch-588926_640A few years ago, my niece Lindsey gave me a great talking to. She was 5 or 6, and needed help in the restroom, so off we went. As we finished up, I pulled two paper towels to dry my hands.

“Shame on you, Aunt Pamela. That’s a tree! We can’t hurt the trees!”

I asked her where she learned that important lesson.

“In school. They teach us paper comes from trees, and we need to keep our trees.”

Anyone who doesn’t have hope for our future should rethink. What a wonderful opening our world is facing where we teach elementary kids the connection between paper and our living trees…to be conscious of conserving, so that Lindsey and ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 5 February 2015 - 11:48am

Well today’s been good for drawing attention to charities’ work in A&E. We’ve announced a new programme with Red Cross, Age UK and RVS, funded by the Cabinet Office. 700 charity volunteers to work in the 29 most under-pressure A&E departments around the country, and help reduce demand on A&E over the next 12 weeks. See today’s Telegraph for an excellent roundup by Chris Hope.
Naturally, this is the precursor to bigger things. I’m making sure that government collect evidence of how charities can reduce the load on A&E. It’ll be a good evidence base for a wider national intervention in future years. Charities need to be integral to A&E strategic planning in future. This programme will help make that happen.
But what of the parties’ thoughts on the third sector’s role across social care + health? At election time ...more

On 5 February 2015 - 9:47am

As social entrepreneurs, what are we to make of the current UK politicians' spat about whether the various parties are pro- or anti- 'business'?

I've always been an entrepreneur.  While still at school I started a disco with 3 friends – we owned the equipment between us, equal shares – and on going away to university I set up a little business selling pocket calculators (then new and like gold dust).  I recognise in myself nearly all the qualities normally associated with entrepreneurs (good and bad!).  I am, in one party's jargon. 'a wealth creator'.  But in my 20s I discovered social enterprise.  The idea that you can use business models and methods to make everyone's lives richer is to me much more powerful than making yourself rich in merely material things.  And I'm not a-typical.  Let's be clear:

read more ...more

Posted By Addictions UK
On 5 February 2015 - 9:00am

Thought: 'When climbing out of depression seems impossible, settle down and let it float away.' ...more

Posted By Addictions UK
On 5 February 2015 - 9:00am

This week's video ...more

Posted By Social Edge
On 4 February 2015 - 8:58pm

The Yale Philanthropy Conference (February 13, 2015) sits at a unique crossroads of business and philanthropy, where best practices from one sector are integrated with the other. At the 2015 conference, the Increasing Impact Through Collaboration panel will discuss the theoretical and practical importance of coordination for impact. Here Heather Grady writes about collaboration not only across organizations, but also countries.

I recently returned from a workshop in Kenya attended by leaders from philanthropy, NGOs, the government, United Nations and business. Together we launched a pathway for Kenya to be a global model for high-impact collaboration between different sectors supporting ...more

Posted By Social Edge
On 4 February 2015 - 8:19pm

The biggest mistakes I made as an entrepreneur all lead back to a combination of underestimating the urgency of a situation and making myself feel smaller and less powerful than I should have felt.

As an entrepreneur one is used to taking risks, to making mistakes, to constantly trying to improve your concept, and also to defying many odds. These challenges are what drive us to continue; they make us work harder every day.

But one must not forget that the environment an entrepreneur works in can be a lonely one, too, with very real, non-glamorous problems that you often have to solve on your own. In my case, these problems directly affected the survival of my business – re-negotiating rent, hiring and firing staff, complex legal issues, etc. – so it was crucial to work them out.

A specific example is that of a ...more

Posted By Social Edge
On 4 February 2015 - 8:00pm

When my co-founder Jackie Stenson and I began building Essmart in the fall of 2011, we had no idea that by 2015 we’d both be in India, managing a growing team of 43 people. Our team is one of our biggest successes. My colleagues are the most dedicated, caring, and fun people I’ve ever worked with. However, we went through our share of HR headaches and hiccups along the way.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to align expectations before hiring. Working with a social enterprise is not as glamorous as many people think it is. Yes, our work is making a real impact, but making that impact involves tiring day-in, day-out operations.

We work in environments that face challenges like power cuts, language barriers, and dealing with corrupt government officials. Prospective employees need to be aware of ...more