Social Saturday 2015 is coming on 10 October

Social Saturday is a nationwide day dedicated to promoting social enterprise.

Following the enormous success of the inaugural Social Saturday 2014, Social Enterprise UK, and more than 70,000 social enterprises across the country are preparing for this year’s event. 

Their activities will raise awareness of the significance of the social enterprise sector to individuals, communities and the economy as a whole.

A social enterprise is a business model that works to achieve a social mission. Profits are usually reinvested in social causes and sustaining the business.

When you buy from a social enterprise, you buy social. Buying social means you provide an unemployed person with a career opportunity, or provide a homeless person with a bed for the night, or help the environment, as well as saving money and challenging profit-driven only businesses through competition.

Social enterprises have been working hard to elevate communities since the nineteenth century when workers in Rochdale formed a co-operative in response to the exploitative working conditions. However, social enterprise as we know it today re-emerged in the mid-nineties.

When a new social enterprise emerges, entire communities reap the benefits. Varying in size, purpose and industry, they range from small social enterprises like Poached Creative to nationwide enterprises like the Big Issue. 
Being a social enterprise ourselves, specializing in writing and design we completely understand the importance of buying social. We are also pleased that in recent years social enterprises have become an integral part of everyday life in London. 

Over the years we have had many partnerships with social enterprises across the country, including Social Enterprise UK – who we proudly created the original Social Saturday marketing materials for. We buy social whenever we can. 

To mark the occasion, in the lead up to Social Saturday we will shed a light on different and unique social enterprise in our local area of Hackney. 

The Hackney Pirates

Part of the Hackney Pirates Ship of Adventures
Courtesy of The Big Issue Online Journalists

The Hackney Pirates is an enterprising charity working to develop the literacy, confidence and perseverance of young people in Hackney, so that they achieve both in school and in the world beyond.

The educational social enterprise was thought of by Catriona Maclay, who at the time was a teacher at a primary school based in north London. Through her experience as a primary school teacher she realised that a change in the learning environment could benefit pupils aged 9-12 and make them more receptive to learning.

The Hackney Pirates began as a pilot scheme supported by Bootstrap, now it is well established. They work together with local schools, volunteers and families providing local kids with the dream class room: a Ship of Adventures complete with secret passageways, an underwater cave and a ship’s cat. 

During the voyage participating pupils receive support in order to enhance their writing and reading. They are also encouraged to take part in a unique creative publishing project in which young people work with professionals to write their own books, CDs and websites, allowing them to practise their writing skills as well as see the whole project through to publication.

Catriona Maclay, Founder of The Hackney Pirates says:

"We believe that young people learn best when there's a little adventure involved, and when they can see that their work has consequences in the real world, so our publishing projects are a great way for young people to develop their literacy while also building up their confidence and perseverance.

 If you would like to spend your Social Saturday supporting The Hackney Pirates, then pop by our Ship of Adventures - a unique gift-shop, book-shop and cafe where you can see all the fantastic work of the Young Pirates on display."

Read our Social Saturday blog #2 on Circle Sports.

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