Whenever we travel across the UK, we know that we will stop for a drink along the way, or to get food, so we will always have a look to see what social enterprises are around that we can go to.
Liverpool for example, they have a cafe called The Brink which is a revolutionary venue that’s so much more than your usual café bar. They’ve taken alcohol out of the mix to provide a truly welcoming, creative and intelligent space where people from all backgrounds and walks of life can dine, hang out, socialise and relax.
Best of all, The Brink is a recovery social enterprise, which means that all their profits go directly back into the community to fund support for those who have suffered through alcoholism and addiction.
Another place in Liverpool is Homebaked, a community land trust and co-operative bakery situated on the boundary between the neighbourhoods of Everton and Anfield, just opposite Liverpool Football Club.
The project is co-owned and co-produced by people who live and work in the area. Starting from having saved an iconic neighbourhood bakery from demolition and developed it into a thriving community-run business, they are proposing to regenerate the high street ‘brick by brick and loaf by loaf’, using money that is spent in the neighbourhood to benefit their communities.
You see, I would much rather give my money to a social enterprise rather than to big corporate food or coffee chains, where all the profits go to senior staff or shareholders.
We should be supporting more of these enterprises and helping them to grow, I want to buy a coffee at a railway station from an enterprise that supports vulnerable people back into employment.
I want to stop in a layby with a sandwich from a shop that uses locally sourced ingredients and re-invests its profits in reducing food waste.
This is not pie in the sky thinking, it’s a pie in Homebaked thinking, it’s a butty in The Brink thinking, it’s the ‘We’re in this together’ thinking.
Next time you’re heading somewhere, check if there are any social enterprises you can call into on the way, you will help make a difference.
Chris Roberts is co-founder of the North Wales Dragons Community men’s and women’s Football Teams, helping to raise funds and awareness for good causes using recreational activity.
*See the Dragons in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBoU3UjNSag
*See how your business can use recreational activity to make a difference. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/change-chris-roberts-/
If you would like to know more about what Chris and the Dragons get up to, or how they can help you support your community projects, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org