Social Saturday is a chance for social enterprises to shout out loud about the fantastic work they do. Social enterprises and the wider sector are encouraged to put on events, open their doors and invite their local politicians to find out more about their work. Social Saturday is 14th October 2017.
Ilford’s monthly community and environmental hub, market & cafe is leading on Redbridge celebrations of Social Saturday 2017. Sophia Hubs is a partner in this venture.
After our meeting last month on ‘The business of Greening Redbridge’ one of the outcomes was the need to have an environmental ‘hub’ in Redbridge. We need a place where ideas and businesses/projects about the environment can be shared, the circular economy and what it means, to be more aware on our environmental choices. So while Sophia Hubs and partners explore that idea, we will know that the market is a meeting place for green minded people so we build up the mini hub the market has already started.
As usual if you would like to get involved in any way, please contact Ros or Begonia. 07957 534908 / 07985 540786.
Things have gone a little quiet at Sophia Hubs now that Ros has left as Coordinator and the Board is drawing up the new business plan. But in the meantime our volunteer team are working on developing this little gem in the heart of Ilford. 🙂
We are delighted to promote an Erasmus international partnership-building course for organisations working with youth. This is being organised by Redbridge start-up social enterprise Act 4 Grants. Adrian Gheorghe had over 10 years experience of running such trainings before establishing his social enterprise.
The main goal of the project is to organize an international Partnership-building-Activity in which will be involved 45 youth leaders, youth workers and NGO representatives coming from 14 different countries across Europe. The countries are: UK, Malta, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey.
The international Partnership-building-Activity will ensure the professional and organizational development, and the fostering of new partnerships and projects.
The event will ensure the professional and organizational development, and the fostering of new partnerships and projects making a big impact in our communities.
The international event will be based on non formal education, learning-by-doing methods and inter cultural dialogue and communication that will be conducted by using an interactive and participatory approach.
As Chair of the Board, I am passing on the sad news and the good news. The sad news is that our wonderful Coordinator over the past 3 years is leaving. Ros has a new community development job in Newham starting in August.
We are indebted to Ros for her work in building up and embedding Sophia Hubs and our community development approach into Redbridge community and business life. Her tireless and inspiring networking and nurturing qualities have been outstanding.
The good news is that Sophia Hubs is moving into a new phase. We hope to recruit for new paid roles late Autumn but in the meantime are offering volunteer roles as Coordinator, social media, marketing and admin. And Ros will join the Board with responsibility for green economy development and the Timebank.
We are going to miss Ros’s drive and enthusiasm but lucky she has agreed to join the board and continue her good work. We hope she will play a pivotal roll in mentoring her successor.
In the interim, if any one would like to volunteer for the Coordinator role or other roles, please free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The main Sophia Hubs email will now be email@example.com
Ros is doing a final weekly email update on Friday and by this time we hope to have set the date for our next business and community networking event and this will double up as a leaving do and ‘thank you’ for Ros
“I have absolutely loved working for Sophia Hubs on my patch doing the things I like doing: tapping into the good will and skills of the (business) community to help start-ups, building up all sorts of cross sector collaborations and practical ideas/solutions. I have met the most wonderful people in Redbridge. I am pleased to know that I will stay in touch as I live here and will remain involved with Sophia Hubs, but in a different capacity.
My new job is in community development in Plaistow – supporting residents to come up with ideas and plans for green spaces. It’s part of a bigger community development programme and I’m looking forward to it. It should be a little easier and less pressured and give me new experience of things I can bring back to Redbridge.
Also, at long last, I may have time to build up my mini business! I’ve learnt so much at Sophia Hubs that I’ve got no excuse but to make it a roaring success! ;). I haven’t touched the website for 3 years – but it’s here if you’re interested.
Step by step guide to Indie Redbridge shops getting involved
Independent shops are not treasured and find it difficult to compete with chains and online sales.
Independent Retail Day and Month is an opportunity to help indie shops but it has not been celebrated in Redbridge recently
Barkingside’s lovely town square, the Ken Aston square by the library, has not been used for community events although that was part of the agreement to having it built
Only 2 shops turned up when council business liaison officer Daniel Moore called a meeting for Barkingside shop keepers earlier in the year.
The glimmers of hope:
Harvey Sharpe a Barkingside resident – tireless campaigner for Ken Aston Square to be used and he knows EVERY shop keeper on the High Street personally – he welcomes every new shop keeper and keeps in touch 🙂
Ana Amika Pindoria, owner of Hi-Juice tutoring and business coaching on the High Street, wants to help independent shops to develop their businesses to make them more successful. She’s up for helping with the event
Barkingside business hub set up in January in the friendly, indie Chequers pub and created energy and interest in Barkingside. They are up for it.
Vision are willing to work through the barriers to community groups running events on the Square
Barkingside has loads of independent shops
What we did:
Created our vision- shops on the square, food, activities, fun, entertainment, energy, networking, finding new customers, building community spirit
Engaged indie shops in our vision: walked, talked, encouraged, lots of positive energy, regular updates, keeping in touch
Publicity: Nice flyers, brochure for promotion (paid), great Recorder feature and photo
Pulled the event together: music, site services, electricity, involved partners, promotion
What the indie shops did!
They organised extra staff, came up with activities on the square, sold lovely food, gave away free food, ran demos, networked
They were: Arabella – House of Beautiful hair, Catwalk Pets and Aquatics, Chequers Pub, Coffee Time – coffees, pastries, cakes, smoothies, ice creams, Elite Vision – designer frames and expert eye care, Eye Candie –exclusive fashion boutique, Fully Floral – flowers for every occasion, Get Smart – we really care about student success, Hi-Juice – helping business owners find the right ingredients for their success, Patricija – Lithuanian delicatessen with speciality meats and cheeses, Sambal – Sri Lankan and South African cuisine. (will add links later)
Know other shop keepers – will go into each others shops now
Got information about reducing costs by recycling
The Police will have their cup of tea with residents in Coffee Time and not Costa!
Good chance of having found new customers and increased profile
Feel more part of Barkingisde life and Barkingside business community
Want to do it again.
See the video:
And the promotional brochure of 10 fabulous independent shops on Barkingside:
As the summer holidays are upon us and some of us are going away, we have decided to take a break in August from the Ilford Pop up market. Recycles will be there on Saturday 12th August 10-2pm to support you on your cycle requirements.
The market will be back in September bigger and better! We’ve come up with a few new ideas and we’d like to try them out. We’re re-branding and will be including environmental workshops, cooking demos and repairs on a regular basis.
Ilford Green Pop Up market, an environmental and community hub- Saturday 9th September 10-2pm
Repair cafe run by two guys that love to mend things: Hemen and Dilip
10.30 am: Green You-tube clip of the month: This month chosen by Sobia (tbc)
11.30 am: Cooking for health – demos and hands on: This month Julie on making Kombucha
12:30 pm: Timebank skills sharing: to be confirmed
After the meeting last month on ‘The business of Greening Redbridge’ one of the outcomes was the need to have an environmental ‘hub’ in Redbridge. We need a place where ideas and projects about the environment can be shared, the circular economy and what it means, to be more aware on our environmental choices.. So while Sophia Hubs and partners explore that idea, we will know that the market is a meeting place for green minded people so we build up the mini hub the market has already started.
As usual if you would like to get involved in any way, please contact Ros or Begonia.
We were pleased with a big cross-sector turnout for our Business of Greening Redbridge event and we reckon it could be the start of something significant. The feeling of the meeting was that The Time is Nigh for Redbridge to commit to, and benefit from, a vibrant, green and circular economy.
We found out from Joni Cunningham, CEO, that the Redbridge Institute have made sizeable cuts to their running costs by reducing energy consumption. Anagat of Archant thought this would be a message that businesses would want to hear
Sharon Strutt, Head of Regeneration at Redbridge Council promised that smaller businesses in Redbridge would get the opportunity to tender for Council contracts. This was well received by Rosie of Eco Cleaning Services.
Ross Alleway, McDonalds Manager gave an amazing speech on the environmental credentials of McDonalds – it was felt this good practice needs to be shared with businesses
Nnenna Anyanwu explained ‘cradle to cradle’ production and the ‘circular economy’ which was new to almost everyone there. She said that the environmental issues are an ‘inconvenient truth’ but that we have to make radical changes to how we do things. Chris Elliot of Recycles Ilford said that although this seems radical, it makes total economic sense for the Borough.
How can Redbridge benefit from the Green/Circular Economy? – Save money, save resources, lower Council expenditure, create jobs, re-use resources, learn skills (mending/repairing), educate future generations, pool resources, diversify supply chains, increase civic pride, clean environment, wildlife conservation
How might you use an environmental hub? – Central place of information/updates, network groups centre, starting point for businesses and how they can contribute ideas, promotion of green projects/good practice, showcase of excellence, place of education (business, home, schools), central point for community champions, act as a collective voice. To be both a real and an online hub with forums, Facebook, WhatsApp etc
What would it take for your business/group/organisation to make changes? – Showcase of successes, accessible engagement and education (simple), make it easier to do the right thing, commute results, incentives – reduce costs – e.g. what can be saved on lighting costs, creating champions, taking the first step then monitoring the impact
See the video…
The next steps…
Sophia Hubs will explore with Nnenna Anyanwu funding to pilot an environmental business and community hub. We are sharing ideas and comments from the attendees, and can add your name too. We will set up a 2nd meeting once we have secured Council support for bringing the green and circular economy into its economic strategy. Sophia Hubs is developing the Ilford Green Pop Up market to take on some suggestions from the event, starting from 9th September.
And here’s a comment from Sharon Strutt, Redbridge Council: It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet some of the borough’s green businesses and the passion for making more of the circular economy. The message about sustainability came across very strongly and will need to be reflected within the emerging strategy. I gained a wide range of perspectives on issues from eco homes, cycling networks and recycling right the way through to ensuring small, creative and co-operative businesses have the opportunity to find affordable co-working space.
Please message or email if you want to be included in the continuing discussions and ideas taking place between attendees of this event.
Ken Aston Square is now 3 years old and so far there have been very few events, which we see as a waste of resources and opportunities. Alongside Redbridge Green Fair and Redbridge Music Lounge, we have been identifying and working through the barriers to using the Square for local community and business events.
Please do support our event on Tuesday 4th July if you can. The shops are making their way to the Town Square to engage with the public and each other. There will be great selection of food from local shops and also stalls. 🙂
It’s London Tech week and once again Redbridge Central Library will become the centre of innovation on Saturday.
Saturday 17th June 2017
With the launch of Lab Central you can 3-d print, code your first animation, experience a virtual reality journey and much more. Of particular interest to start-ups and community groups, the Google Digital Garage is running from 11-1pm.
And the official launch of Hub Central (business support and co-working space), Lab Central and Redbridge Heritage Centre is on Monday 19th June 1-3 with food, drinks, info and networking. Sophia Hubs will be there.
Just sitting in Redbridge Institute cafe and up comes Amanda with a query….
I’d really like to move forward with my dream of selling my pottery. I can’t afford a kiln at this stage and wonder if there is one I could share/rent locally? Happy to contribute to running costs etc.
Happy to pass this request on. We are inspired by the potential of sharing resources in the Borough which of course includes skills. 🙂 The venue would have to have step free access.
Amanda has experimented with a blog which she will be improving but you could take a look at some of her pics and pottery. Amandabueartist.blogspot.com
Hope to hear some good news on this soon! If you could contact us rather than Amanda.