Work is still rolling in fast! So fast in fact that for the time being there is no chance of keeping the blog page up to date :( BUT... please take a look on FACEBOOK to see all the fabulous things that we have been up to and that our young people have created! Thank you :)
Team SpringBoard seems to really have life of its own at the moment and it is hard keeping on top of everything. But I guess that's the fun! As a Social Entrepreneur .. in fact I guess it's the same if you run any small business ... you need to become an expert in law, HR, recruitment, web design, procurement, marketing, finance, customer service pretty much overnight. You can pay other people to do these things but a/ you probably don't have any money and b/ what's the point in that when you can do it yourself and learn loads in the process! It's route b/ for me all the way, I'm learning lots fast and I need to learn to update this blog more often.
So, a quick (longer than usual) update..
I am really enjoying my time with The School for Social Entrepreneurs (Midlands). I am part of the East Midlands cohort comprising of about 15 fantastic, inspirational people, each with the most incredible idea to make the world a better place. We have some great learning days when we delve into a specific topic - finance, marketing etc. This week it was legal structures i.e. how on earth do you go about deciding what legal entity you need to be? I constituted SpringBoard back in November 2014 (as a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee) and the good news is that that is exactly right for us! The learning is good but the really powerful part of this course though is the interaction with other students, my peers - I just love it and a few of us are working up some brilliant collaborations. If you have an idea and are looking for support (including a tasty £4k start up grant) then definitely get in touch with them or get in touch with me if you want to know more.
Two really exciting projects have kicked off in the last week or two..
1. Paint and Succeed is a pilot collaboration between Team SpringBoard, SCCU, WhiteFriars HA and Cannon Enterprises. The objective is to support 5 Whitefriars tenants to decorate their properties so that they feel comfortable, secure and enjoy being in that space. We are going to help the tenants decorate one room (teach them some hints and tips so that they can help out other their friends and family in the future) and offer them the option of some work experience with us. SCCU Ltd are going to offer a leadership qualification and support the tenants to identify possible apprenticeships. This is a great opportunity for young people to learn new skills, gain some work experience and get a qualification! We are really excited to be part of this innovative pilot and can't wait to get started.
2. Community Roots - Stoke Aldermoor is our Community Garden Growing Project. The aim is to get the entire community of Stoke Aldermoor into the community garden to learn, grow and have fun! We will be putting in some raised beds, a wildflower garden, lots of insect habitats, a glass house and some other secret surprises. Folk can come in, grow what they enjoy and then take it home with them to eat! Community Roots will also be the base for the Team SpringBoard Traineeships which will be launching later in the Summer! The traineeships will offer opportunities for young people to complete either a Work Skills and/or a Horticulture qualification! Inner city horticulture is where it is at! The garden is based on The Vale in Stoke Aldermoor and if the gate is open come on in! It's all hands on deck because we need to get it cleared before we can start growing! Please drop by!
All of this is really exciting and as these projects have been developing we have been out and about doing what we do best - creating amazing garden transformations and helping with DIY projects. Here are just a few pictures...
If you would like to VOLUNTEER for any of our projects or if you have a skill you could share with our young people - please get in touch! I promise you won't regret it!
As usual there is loads going on at Team SpringBoard HQ - we have a number of really exciting projects that we are putting together as well as a full diary of work for domestic and business customers. A few highlights this week - Al turned 19 and we received some more fantastic feedback from one of our business customers...
I would just like to say how pleased we have been with the gardening maintenance work that yourself and your team have recently carried out on our premises.
If you have skills in horticulture, arts & crafts, marketing or engineering/building stuff and fancy some volunteering a few hours then please get in touch!
This week we spent a fantastic day with another great business - FWT - a centre for women a buddleia had taken over the children's outdoor play area so we removed it, jet washed the rubber floor tiles and gave the outdoor toys a clean for good measure! We loved the results!
Its been a very busy February so far - we started with a hedge trim, litter pick and tidy up for a corporate customer.
Out clearing an Autumn's worth of fallen leaves (mostly oak) today. Nothing unusual there apart from these leaves were frozen and really slippery! The leaf vacuum didn't like them at all so we pushed on the old fashioned way with a rake, a broom and bucket! It's mid/late January but definitely feels like Spring has sprung... it has been a beautiful day....are we going to miss Winter altogether?
Lovely feedback received in the post last week! The diary for January and February is filling up nicely... most frequently asked question from customers? "When can you start to mow my lawns?" .... not just yet! We can help clearing up soggy leaves and sorting out house and garden odd jobs though! Get in touch!
Today marks our 6 month anniversary!
I am very proud that over the last 6 months we have:
Huge thanks to all our supporters - UnLtd, School of Social Entrepreneurs - Midlands, Lloyds Bank, Big Lottery, Coventry City Council, Crow Recycling and MetaSwitch Networks. We couldn't have done it without you!
Specific thanks as well to Michelle Siddall, Michelle Pitchford and the rest of the Team SpringBoard board.
We are taking a few days well earned rest to re charge and be back bigger and better for 2016!
Merry Christmas everyone and remember we are open/taking job bookings from Tuesday January 5th!
Best wishes, Kirstie
This is one of first weeks since we started when we have had pretty much wall to wall rain, which isn't bad going in the big scheme of things. We are still busy putting the gardens of Coventry to bed for the winter although we could do with some good strong winds to finally bring down the bulk of those beautiful Autumnal leaves. In between rain showers we are to tackle a complicated border clearance - the border had been neglected for some years and the roots were deep and well established. The team stuck at it though and the new owners are excitedly looking forward to planting in the Spring. Great job!
We have also been doing some planning for a large job we have on next week which involves a LOT of clearance and fence fixing in order to get a garden ready to accept a guide dog! Let's hope the rain eases off for that! Also Kirstie is off to start the RHS L2 in Practical Horticulture next Friday at the beautiful Ryton Gardens. Safe to safe there is lots of excitement all round this week!
Finally, Team Tip for November: If you have pots on the ground then lift them up on some feet to prevent them getting waterlogged and of course don't forget to leave some food out for the birds - its getting tough out there!
The last fortnight has seen us spend a great day installing some artificial grass for a customer to reduce the maintenance of their garden and complete our garden restoration in Warwick.
Starting a new Social Enterprise… sometimes wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew.. but loving every minute!