News and Events

Doing Well & Doing Good

Join Belfast City Council for a free breakfast event exploring opportunities in  social enterprise and hear from two leaders who have built businesses  that have changed the lives of many.


Work West are also delighted to be launching the new Social Enterprise and Cooperative Support Programme at this exciting event.


Josh Babarinde is founder of Cracked It, London's award-winning  social enterprise smartphone repair service, staffed by young  ex-offenders. Cracked It was named Social Enterprise of the Year by the  Evening Standard in 2019 and also by the Centre for Social Justice in  2019. 

Dave Linton, founder of Madlug, is passionate about using Madlug  to influence a new young generation of social entrepreneurs. He will  share the Madlug story and the business insights that have helped him  build the brand and grow an award-winning social business.

The event will be chaired by Professor Emeritus Ken O’Neill, Ulster  University and Chair of the School for Social Enterprises Ireland, who  will share his own insights on opportunities within social  business. 


If you’re starting a social business, supporting a social business as  a consultant or board member, or working to encourage entrepreneurial  activity within your community or network, then this event is for you.

For more information and to register visit Eventbrite.

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Seed Fund success for Social Innovators

Four Community Innovators Programme groups were awarded seed fund support at a special reception hosted at Queen’s University Belfast on 4 September 2019.


Having particiapted in the programme to develop innovative solutions to real world health and social care challenges, the successful projects were; 

  • IncredABLE aiming to design an innovative drop-in space for people  with learning disabilities and/or autism using a double-decker bus; 
  • Mid  & East Antrim Agewell Partnership aiming to explore and identify new  solutions to the challenge of supporting vulnerable older people; 
  • South  Eastern Regional College aiming to explore and develop a new  cross-college approach to addressing the challenge of supporting  students with complex social and health related problems; and 
  • Women’s  Aid Armagh Down aiming to explore and develop new approaches to  connecting and engaging with hard to reach service users. 


A fresh cycle of our unique Community Innovators Programme, delivered in partnership with  the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, is now open for applications.  The  Community Innovators programme is free to access and is for voluntary,  community or social enterprise organisations who would like support to  explore and develop new solutions to a real world social, economic or environmental challenge. 


Click for more information on the programme and our scheduled information sessions. 

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Celebrating 'Social in the City'

Work West recently celebrated the end of a successful three year delivery of the Belfast City Council ‘Go Social’ programme supporting new start social enterprises and cooperatives in Belfast, with a showcasing event. An enthusiastic audience filled the vault at the Catalyst Belfast Fintech Hub to hear about the programme achievements from Councillor Carole Howard from Belfast City Council and were inspired by three amazing speakers from Usel, Angel Eyes and Brewgooder (the world’s first clean water beer) outlining their own unique social enterprise journeys. 


We are incredibly proud of what we have delivered with a brilliant team of highly skilled and committed trainers and mentors. Four years ago the board at Work West started to invest in developing a model that would support third sector organisations to develop new solutions to long-standing challenges. Our thinc methodology combines design thinking and creative problem solving approaches and facilitates organisations to think creatively in terms of designing new products and services. With our third sector lagging behind in terms of digital transformation which is impacting upon our ability to be competitive and deliver services there is no time like the present to support organisations to shift their thinking patterns and reimagine new approaches to service delivery.

Work West Enterprise Agency
Work West Enterprise Agency

‘Thinc Schools’ celebrate graduation of 91 P7 imagineers

‘Thinc schools’ by Work West is a no tech, experiential programme underpinned by creative practice and theory which creates a safe space for critical self-reflection allowing for the development of transferrable life skills. The thinc schools team were delighted to have the opportunity to work with the P7 students from St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School during May 2019. 


As the P7 students are preparing for their move into secondary school, the thinc team focused on making this transition as seamless as possible. Over the course of the programme imaginations were stretched, confidence & resilience was built and inventions were created. The students worked diligently through a diverse range of exercises and activities which kept the energy and engagement levels elevated throughout. 


Highlighting the positive results from the programme, feedback from the imagineers included, ‘I learnt that working together can create something incredible’, ‘I loved that the programme helped me to work with other people and helped me to build my confidence’, and I learnt that going to big school is not that scary’.

Work West Enterprise Agency Thinc Schools
Work West Enterprise Agency Thinc Schools

Events

19th September

Community Innovators: Enniskillen information session

10am - 11:30am

Fermanagh House Broadmeadow Place Enniskillen BT74 7HR

+ Event Details

19th September

Community Innovators: Enniskillen information session

This information session in Enniskillen is for organisations considering  applying to the Community Foundation's Community Innovators Programme,  delivered in partnership with WorkWest.  

10am - 11:30am

Fermanagh House Broadmeadow Place Enniskillen BT74 7HR

19th September

Community Innovators: L'Derry information session

2pm - 4pm

Guildhall, Derry Guildhall Londonderry BT48 7BB

+ Event Details

19th September

Community Innovators: L'Derry information session

This information session in Enniskillen is for organisations considering  applying to the Community Foundation's Community Innovators Programme,  delivered in partnership with WorkWest.   

2pm - 4pm

Guildhall, Derry Guildhall Londonderry BT48 7BB

20th September

Community Innovators: Ballymena information session

9.30am - 11am

Braid Film Theatre 1-29 Bridge Street Ballymena BT43 5EJ

+ Event Details

20th September

Community Innovators: Ballymena information session

This information session in Ballymena is for organisations considering  applying to the Community Foundation's Community Innovators Programme,  delivered in partnership with WorkWest. 

9.30am - 11am

Braid Film Theatre 1-29 Bridge Street Ballymena BT43 5EJ

20th September

Community Innovators: Belfast information session

12pm - 1.30pm

NICVA 61 Duncairn Gardens Belfast BT15 2GB

+ Event Details

20th September

Community Innovators: Belfast information session

This information session in Belfast is for organisations considering  applying to the Community Foundation's Community Innovators Programme,  delivered in partnership with WorkWest.  

12pm - 1.30pm

NICVA 61 Duncairn Gardens Belfast BT15 2GB

26th September

Doing Well & Doing Good

8.30am - 10.30am

The Banqueting Hall at Belfast City Hall Donegall Square N Belfast BT1 5JD

+ Event Details

26th September

Doing Well & Doing Good

We invite you to a free breakfast event exploring opportunities in social enterprise  and hear from two leaders who have built businesses  that have changed  the lives of many.

We are delighted to be launching the new Social Enterprise and Cooperative Support Programme at this exciting event.

 

 For more information and to register visit Eventbrite

8.30am - 10.30am

The Banqueting Hall at Belfast City Hall Donegall Square N Belfast BT1 5JD