Recruiting for next Sophia course – from vague community or business idea to first test – 3 winter Saturday mornings

Sophia Hubs helping  you to work on a vague idea, make it bite-sized and test  it out

idea lightbulbThis course is participatory not academic.  It’s about being active citizens or entrepreneurs by helping you to actually do something with your idea- to take step one and learn from it. We will be looking at community resources you can tap into and find people to collaborate with.  You may ditch your idea and work with someone else on theirs!

All ideas are welcome!  Over 3 Saturday mornings, we’ll take a journey together.

Course aim: to build confidence in yourself as an active citizen or entrepreneur

Learning outcome:  to create a very mini project that can be carried out by 31st January

  • Dates: Saturday 19 Nov, Saturday 26 Nov, Saturday 3 December
  • Time: 10-12.30
  •  Venue – room C, Redbridge Institute, Gants Hill
  • Facilitators: Ros Southern, Kalpna Patel
  • Cost – £15 for the course

More info to follow but here’s what other graduates have done:SH logo final 2014

My first street event was just a St Georges day cup of tea on the street for one hour. It got 75 Ros photoneighbours! Since then I have organised (with help from others) 5 St Georges day events, 3 street parties, 3 street festivals, a front garden bonfire and a food festival. It really is important to start small and just test something out whether its a business or community idea. Ros  Southern


Found a nice cafe for next Redbridge Timebank skills swap – Weds 9 November 6.30

By popular demand we’re running another Redbridge Timebank community skills swap event🙂

Redbridge Timebank logo

  • Wednesday 9th November
  • Fold cafe, Cranbrook Baptist Church, Wellesley Road,  Ilford, IG1 4JT.
  • 6.00-9.30 –  food and drink for sale by Ilford Transition Town
  • 1st hour skills swap 6.45-7.45
  • 2nd hour skills  swap 8-9

There will be two cooking sessions on offer – cup cakes / chick pea curry

Richard on Ebay

Help on buying and selling on ebay at a skills swap

We are expecting a range  of  computer/IT/social media  help – Ebay, coding, Facebook, Linked In etc and all sorts of interesting things – crafts, making  solar lights, health/wellbeing….

Please put the date in your diary and TELL  US WHAT YOU CAN OFFER!!  or TELL  US  WHAT HELP YOU WANT!! and we’ll try to add that to the programme.

This is open to non members who can sign up on the night if they like it.

A Timebank helps people in Redbridge to connect and get the help they need.  This includes residents, start-ups, community groups and businesses.  People and organisations join because they have a skill to offer or need some help. At our skills swap events we set aside  2  hours where up to 10 skills are shared at a time!

Corine convo low res

French conversation at a skills swap

Want to come ? Please let us know by clicking here.

For more info on Sophia Hubs’ Redbridge Timebank click here

Thanks so much to  Cranbrook Baptist Church  for letting us hire the cafe on the Timebank.


Next Redbridge Chamber breakfast 25 Oct 7.30 Speaker Olive Hamilton Andrews

Redbridge Chamber banner

Hope to see you at this month’s networking breakfast run by the Redbridge  Chamber.

  • 7.30am @ Rouge  Restaurant, Redbridge College
  • Tuesday 25th  October
  • Cost of cooked breakfast  £10
  • Open to non members – you are welcome

The speaker is  local micro business owner Olive Hamilton Andrews  of  Hamiland  Ltd– virtual office management

Topic: is  your business  future proof?

Olive Hamilton AndrewsHamiland is perhaps no longer a start up business,  as it’s been established for a couple of years but Olive is still involved  with Sophia Hubs entrepreneur’s club both  as speaker and participant. She has also recently joined the Sophia Hubs board.


Launch of Redbridge social enterprise directory to celebrate Social Saturday 2016

So here  it  is… our first edition of a  Redbridge Social enterprise directory

It’s Social Saturday on 15th October 2016.  social-saturday-2016

Please help us to promote it and the social enterprises that we have found in Redbridge (and some nearby). Do tell us about more, make comments/suggestions,  or contact us if  you want  support to set one up or change your business into a not for profit one.

All the info is online and produced over the last month by volunteer Adrian McLeod.  Thanks  so much  Adrian.  Here’s the  inital blog we  wrote 6  weeks ago setting  our intention to  do a little research alongside all those GCSE business students in the borough.  And here’s a blog by Somaiya of Wanstead High  School on her research and recommendations for social enterprises in the borough.🙂

Here is the link to see the Directory🙂


Wanstead High guest blogger Somaiya on social enterprise ideas to meet Redbridge social needs

wanstead-high-school-signDuring my investigation into the social enterprises within Redbridge and whether they are fulfilling the needs of their target markets, I found that there are many major social needs that aren’t being fulfilled to the highest of standards. For example, many of the residents within Redbridge who suffer from mental health problems feel as though their mental health issues are not being tackled effectively with 100% of those questioned saying that their mental health needs were not being met. There are also vital needs that need to be met for the youth of the borough. From youth crime and deviance, to the scarceness in after school activities, there are many youth needs not being met in the area.

We therefore identified gaps in the market for social enterprises that tackled youth and mental health needs.

youth club image.jpgFor example, a youth led social enterprise or youth club was one of the possible enterprises that could be set up to tackle with many of the issues. By establishing an enterprise like this, the youth of Redbridge could be given and taught many skills and opportunities which could later assist them in their lives and increase the
chances of getting a job with their skills and work experience.
It is also possible that formerly misbehaved youth could help run the enterprise as a way to put their troubled pasts behind them and redeem themselves by getting a job and work experience. The formerly misbehaved youth could also speak to the current deviants allowing them to see the negative impact their previous actions had on their lives. This will allow the current deviants to see the impact their bad behaviour could have on their future and gives them an opportunity to enforce positive changes into their lifestyle. Also by spending less time on the streets the youth crime rates will decrease reducing the number of complaints made by the community. We saw that many people felt that the youth intimidated them and that they felt uncomfortable amongst their presence therefore such an enterprise will be able to build a strong relationship between the community and the youth as they’ll be able to remove the stigmas attached to them.

This possible youth club could also lower the rates of youth obesity in Redbridge by providing them with many health and fitness activities. We saw that 37.2% of Year 6 children were obese or overweight which is 3.8% over the national average showing that child obesity is a major problem in Redbridge. Also, there are approximately 68 fast food shops in Redbridge excluding popular food chains such as McDonald’s showing that the youth have easy access to fast food. Therefore, we think that it would be effective for children’s nutrition classes to be held for parents in order to implement a healthy eating diet into their children’s lives and so that they can have an awareness about their children’s health and diets. These classes could help lower the rates of child obesity in Redbridge as well as educate parents on the nutrition and diet of their children. The parents could also enforce these habits into their lives reducing adult obesity levels and increasing life expectancy of those in the area. It is also possible that a reasonably priced healthy eating restaurant can be opened as an alternative to cheap fast food as we see manyhealthy-food-restaurant parents opt for fast food due to the affordable pricing. Therefore, if a cheap healthy eating restaurant is opened in Redbridge parents will be able to provide their children will healthier food for similar prices to that of fast food restaurants. The establishment of such a restaurant will also benefit the rest of the community who will also have easy access to a cheap healthy eating restaurant and have a healthier diet.

Mental health could also be tackled with by introducing a social enterprise that tackles
with mental health sufferers and allows them to overcome their problems. 7113 people access NHS specialist mental health services across Redbridge showing us that it is a major problem in our society. In fact, many people conceal their mental health problems in fear of being treated differently by their peers and those in their lives. Many of those who suffer from mental health problems state that a major thing that improve their problems is being able to talk to someone about it. Therefore, I believe a focus group where people can discuss their feelings can be introduced to provoke a sense of comfort and empathy within this community to remind our mental health time-to-talk-about-mental-healthsufferers that they are not alone. This social enterprise does not only have to be for mental health sufferers and it is possible that classes could be held for members of the community to learn about mental health effectively. Mental health affects us all and by being taught about the effects it can have on us and those whom suffer from it we can learn how to assist those around us who have mental health issues effectively. The enterprise can be established to help sufferers as well as to educate those who do not suffer from mental health issues about the consequences as well as how to tackle the issue amongst their families or friends. It is also possible that places of employment could hold mental health workshops to help and educate their employees on mental health. The community will benefit from such an enterprise as they’ll have more knowledge on the issue and will be able to assist and advise their fellow citizens regarding mental health. Those whom currently suffer from mental health can also be assisted in overcoming their issues and the enterprise could also prevent mental health issues from worsening amongst people.

Redbridge needs a social enterprise that is able to effectively promote and create a wide awareness of the issues it tackles with. The community needs to be able to have easy access and the opportunity to be involved in the enterprise with ease. Redbridge as a community must learn how to work together in order to overcome any issues and needs within our area. By volunteering or assisting with future projects that fulfil the needs of the area we will be able to make our community a whole.

Somaiya Firdows, Wanstead High School

social-saturday-2016This blog is to celebrate 15th October, Social Saturday 2016 in Redbridge and the contribution of youth and schools in solving community problems. Thanks Somaiya and Wanstead High!  To see  the first edition  of the social enterprise directory that Sophia Hubs has produced (in response to the call  for  help  with the business GCSE social enterprise module) click here🙂

Entrepreneurs club – mindfulness for small business with Pippa Moye Thurs 26 Oct 6pm

We are delighted to welcome Pippa Moye of Silver Ray Healing Therapies as our speaker
as part of our personal development month.silver-ray-healing-therapies

This session is designed for freelancers and small business owners who juggle many responsibilities, often work long hours and still need to keep a clear head while making decisions.

Mindfulness reduces stress and illness while improving productivity and profitability. Find outpippa-moye what has worked for Google, Toyota and Facebook and how you can use this in your own small business or freelance enterprise.

In this workshop we will look at what mindfulness is and is not. You will learn practical ways to apply it in your work and personal life.

You will find out how mindfulness provides greater self-awareness, leading to more control of your mindset, responses and stress levels. This in turn makes you more productive while improving relationships at work and home.

Looking at your own situation, you will be able to take away some ideas to implement straight away.

Usually the sessions end with the all important networking, but this time the networking will be from 5.30 as we need to leave the library by 7.45.   For more info on the Sophia Hubs entrepreneurs’ club click here.


Wellbeing as a business owner with Ruth Pearson. Entrepreneurs’ club Thurs 20 October 1pm

Entrepreneurs’ club theme this month is personal development which  it can  be  easy to  neglect when it’s so full-on and time consuming running a start-up business.

workplace-wellbeing-charterRuth Pearson is a Redbridge start up business focussing on the wellbeing of individuals as well as organisations and businesses. She offers training and coaching sessions using the main themes from the ‘London Healthy Workplace Charter’ which is working in collaboration with the Mayor of London and the GLA.  This new business is based  on 25 years experience in teaching and leadership and on Ruth’s personal and professional journey.

Ruth will  facilitate a 1.5  hour session for start-ups, followed  by networking

  • Well-being for the business  owner- the  5 steps
  • Thursday 20 October 1-3pm
  • Redbridge Institute, Room C (portacabin by car park entrance)
  • Parking limited, you must get a ticket from machine,   just  60pruth-pearson

Please book  for  the session here.

To see a previous guest blog by Ruth click here.

Our final session this month  is on mindfulness in business with  Pippa Moye on Wednesday 26th March 5.30 for 6pm – info will be here shortly.

For dates of entrepreneurs club October  to December click here. (available shortly!)