Poached Creative - celebrating five years

It’s Monday. Deputy director Angela is putting the finishing touches on a quote for a client and our designer Khaleeda is advising a young illustrator about a job application. Our writer, Catriona, is interviewing someone from an NHS trust while our writing mentor, Grant, is penning a letter on behalf of someone at his hostel. Press office volunteer Billy is tweeting about our upcoming party. All this sounds like a normal, productive office.

Looking back five years, I’m amazed that we have an office at all. Then, we were squatting in someone else’s building with a couple of computers and a dictionary. I was the only person you could call ‘staff’ and I was unpaid. We had two trainees, one of whom was Angela.

Poached Creative was born out of my desire to put communications jobs within reach for long-term unemployed and disadvantaged people. As Editor at Shelter and the NHS Confederation I had hired many people into our editorial team but none of them had experienced homelessness or serious health conditions. This was what I wanted to change.

In five years we’ve built a solid client base of about 30 clients, more than 75 per cent of whom have come back to work with us again. We’ve settled into a permanent office in Hackney and opened a satellite office in the South West. We employ eight staff.

We’ve created an international campaign for Social Enteprise UK and partnered with The Big Issue and BBC Learning to deliver journalism training. Charity clients include Peabody and Plan UK and we continue to work with a range of smaller charities and social enterprises at discounted rates.

The RBS SE100 ranks us as No 1 marketing and communications social enterprise and among the top 10 in London. This year we’ve also become an accredited London Living Wage employer.

Many of our past trainees and volunteers still work with us and it’s this two-way street, of both learning with and contributing to Poached Creative, that I’m most proud of.

The people we’ve worked with over the last five years have not only benefitted from our work but shaped our future. Take a look at their case studies.

Surviving the first five years

If there's one thing we've learnt about surviving the first five years of social enterprise it's that we wouldn't be here without our friends.

Our partnership with Lucy Ferguson from Mediorite (formerly YH World) has been the difference between success and failure for Poached. Without our shared office space, staff, clients, ideas and plans, Poached Creative would not be here today.
Thanks to:
  • All our dedicated staff, freelancers, trainees and volunteers who've contributed so much to our development.
  • Our brilliant clients, who've supported us and with their business, enthusiasm and feedback.
  • Funders/in-kind supporters: Careers Development Group (CDG), UnLtd, arc/BITC, Future Jobs Fund, Social Enterprise UK, Cranfield Trust, Mediabox, Hackney Council, Hackney Libraries, Lighthouse (Poole).
  • Partners: Mediorite, MCR Print, Agile Collective, Pixel Parlour, Hackney Citizen, The Big Issue, St Giles Trust, Art Against Knives, Off Centre.
We’ve come a long way in five years and we couldn’t have done it without your support.
Special thanks to Dominic Rose and Michael Quinn for their unfailing support and superb catering skills.

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