A visit to two award winning social enterprises

Field Trip
Lucy Findlay (RISE) | Clare Joy (Hornbeam Centre) | Mary Rayner (Co-operatives UK) | Marlene Barrett (Hornbeam Centre)

One of the roles of Defra’s Social Enterprise Strategic Partnership (SESP) is to raise awareness within Defra to the role social enterprises play in the delivery of Defra’s policy objectives. Our SESP do this in a variety of ways: through events; by working directly with policy leads on current issues;  through internal communications channels and  . . . . field trips.  This photo was taken during the first field trip the SESP has organised (12/10/09). We filled a minibus and two ‘green’ taxis with policy officials and headed for the Hornbeam Centre and then to Shoreditch Development Trust.

The Hornbeam Centre (www.hornbeam.org) provides a base for local food and environmental education projects and has strong links with Organic Lea (www.organiclea.org.uk), a local food growing co-operative. The Shoreditch Trust, a multi-purpose community organisation that also manages the award-winning eco-friendly Acorn restaurant (“The most important restaurant to open in London in the past 200 years” – Giles Coren, The Times) and Waterhouse Restaurant (“takes sustainability to a whole new level and is arguably the greenest urban restaurant in the world” – Caterer & Hotelkeeper).

Although the core theme of the field trip was ‘food’ the additional social and environmental benefits that are a feature of service delivery through social enterprises were demonstrated very powerfully.

Many thanks to our hosts at the Hornbeam Centre and Shoreditch Trust.

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