It’s All About You Wellbeing

We aim to provide affirmative wellbeing services to LGBTQ+ people and their families, to provide professionals with bespoke quality training led by people with lived experience and to encourage people to live their best lives.

Sector Health and wellbeing

Company structure
CIC

ESSENCE member since
04/01/2021

How does being a member of ESSENCE benefit your organisation?
Links with other social enterprises in the Exeter area alongside accessing shared training and resources. We can also benefit from any help with running a new CIC and with how we can best support our volunteers.

What does your organisation have to offer to other ESSENCE members?
We can offer LGBTQ+ awareness raising and support with best practice in these areas

Wool on the Exe

We aim to support people to learn new skills, make new friends, and connect with their community through wool-based crafts and, in turn, improve their overall wellbeing. 

We run ‘The Knit-Stop’, our social knitting programme, as well as a retail shop that sells yarn, gifts, accessories and runs groups and workshops

Sector Retail

Company structure
Community Interest Company

ESSENCE member since
26/11/2020

How does being a member of ESSENCE benefit your organisation?
By allowing us to discover new ideas and projects as well as offering a space to collaborate with similar organisations.

What does your organisation have to offer to other ESSENCE members?
To share our own ideas with members alongside working with other local organisations in collaborative projects and events.

Website http://www.woolontheexe.com

Email debbie.judd@woolontheexe.com

SOS Global

We proactively educate young people on all social issues through workshops and interactive learning experiences in order to eradicate knife crime, ASB, misuse of alcohol and drugs and cyberbullying.

Sector Health and wellbeing

Company structure
Limited Company

ESSENCE member since
18/11/2020

How does being a member of ESSENCE benefit your organisation?
It gives us the chance to network with other like-minded organisations and explore new ways to get funding.

What does your organisation have to offer to other ESSENCE members?
Opportunities to work collaboratively with other ESSENCE members.  

Exeter Phoenix

Exeter Phoenix is a vibrant, world-class multi-artform venue in the heart of Exeter’s city centre, hosting hundreds of events and artistic activity every year.

Not only are they an outstanding venue, but Exeter Phoenix’s Creative Hub nurtures a thriving arts scene, supporting artists, musicians, theatre companies, filmmakers and creatives at every stage of their career and practice.

Sector Arts & culture

Company structure
Charity

ESSENCE member since
07/10/2020

How does being a member of ESSENCE benefit your organisation?
XX

What does your organisation have to offer to other ESSENCE members?
XX

Growing the social economy – the crucial role of networks

From relationships to collaborations to creating the conditions for innovation and positive change

We believe that for a social economy to flourish and shine even brighter, we need more collaboration and collective action – i.e. more network development and support.

We’re a group of six organisations: Exeter Co-Lab, Torbay Community Development Trust, POP+, Essence, Plymouth Social Enterprise Network and Local Spark Torbay. We formed our strong collaborative around a common purpose of growing a robust social economy across Devon (and beyond). Originally focussed on creating a healthy market for social investment, we quickly learned that the formal and informal networks that connect social economic actors creates the conditions for connection, collaboration, and innovations to emerge, and ultimately this creates the conditions for social investment. This is a system-based approach to catalysing the development of a resilient and robust social economy.

We have witnessed for many years, and particularly during the last six months, that collaboration is vital. Yet it does not emerge naturally; charities, social enterprises, grassroots organisations and other fellow travellers are time poor and operate on very tight margins. They often find it difficult to connect to others, to organise across boundaries of geography or interest and to campaign on wider issues. These and other actors often find themselves in silos, disconnected from information, new perspectives and, sometimes, unable to fully understand the common issues we collectively face. When networks and network weavers – the roles that each of us on our collaborative play – offer light touch, easy to engage, diverse, fluid and information-rich relationship, silo walls break down, learning becomes easy, new perspective become clear, and new possibilities are illuminated. 

This is where formal network organisations and network weavers can play an important role in creating the ground conditions for the social economy to know itself, connect and collaborate, grow and become more resilient.  Some of our shared activities include:

  • Networking: We connect individuals and organisations with similar social and ecological ambitions to one another, sometimes providing the key introductions that lead to new possibilities. As network conveners, we have greater visibility and network intelligence, allowing us to reach and create bridges between unconnected spaces, places, and people. This is fundamental for any convening, advocacy and brokering.
  • Convening and co-design: We support people to engage, to bring the context, to feel like equal partners and foster deep listening and observation to inform and shape solutions across sectors. Local businesses, academia, local government, citizens and more all need to be involved in the weaving of regenerative local economics. This convening capacity enables new connections, increased peer-to-peer learning, new collaborations, and innovations.
  • Advocacy and representation: We represent our members by having a direct relationship with those that don’t have the resource to make themselves heard by themselves. This way we are able to convey opportunities and needs of a diverse group of organisations and people to other parts of society that don’t have direct links into our communities.
  • Providing and/or supporting enterprise development: Networks – our formal and informal relationships – mobilise the knowhow for the business support and investment needed for social enterprise success, which drives sustainable development of the social economy. Networks are often a first point of contact for entrepreneurs and changemakers – those starting community projects, socially enterprising organisations, etc. 
  • Information and learning: Networks create the conditions for learning, capacity building, linking information, experts, institutions, toolkits – and crucially, unlocking the peer learning and support developed by network members themselves. Networks also play an important role in distributing news, updates and other information such as government support measures in times of crises. This significantly helps smaller organisations to keep up to date with relevant developments.

These activities are not always covered by one organisation but rather an ecosystem of network support. For example, one network support agency might focus on social enterprise, another on grassroots community organisations whilst yet another might focus on social entrepreneurship within Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic communities.

We need to value networks

Th time has come to understand and value the vital role that networks and network weavers play in creating the conditions for innovation and development of the social economy. We – as a society – need:

  • A new ‘social economy contract’ among the major financial and policy enablers of the social economy – the foundations, funding bodies and government policymakers.
  • A new understanding of how economic change happens ‘on the ground’ and the change dynamics that move through the medium of networks. Networks enable flow, connection, innovation, and change.
  • To recognise that the resultant value doesn’t just sit with those being connected: value is created for the statutory sector, for funders and social investors, communities and society.
  • Statutory sector partners, funders and social investors to work with us to create a future where a fairer, more sustainable economy is supported through a rich ecosystem of infrastructure and support.
  • A conversation with partners and stakeholders about how we create a healthy balance between long-term support, impact and accountability for networks.

Where network development and support is strong, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector is strong. Where this works well the social economy flourishes.

Budleigh Hub

We work at improving and maintaining health and wellbeing of the communities of Woodbury, Exmouth and Budleigh through offering a range of well-being services and activities. 

Sector Health and wellbeing

Company structure
Not-for-profit trading company

ESSENCE member since
04/12/2020

How does being a member of ESSENCE benefit your organisation?
To get the advice, guidance and support needed around running a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

What does your organisation have to offer to other ESSENCE members?
We can offer room space alongside our own experience from working with the NHS.

Action to Prevent Suicide

Action to Prevent Suicide believes that suicide is preventable and is working towards a world free from suicide.
They wish to prevent suicide by helping people recognise and support those at risk, whilst also raising awareness and breaking the stigma. This change is achieved  through training, advice, collaboration and guidance.

Sector Health & wellbeing

Company structure
Community Interest Company

ESSENCE member since
12/10/2020

How does being a member of ESSENCE benefit your organisation?
The opportunity to collaborate with the ESSENCE network

What does your organisation have to offer to other ESSENCE members?
Training and collaboration focused on suicide prevention.

CEDA

CEDA provides disability services to adults and young people surrounding social and learning opportunities. They are driven by their goal to enable disabled people to be seen as valuable and visable members of the community.

Sector Health & wellbeing

Company structure
Charity

ESSENCE member since
06/10/2020

How does being a member of ESSENCE benefit your organisation?
Connection with a new network of organisations who share similar values but have expertise in so many different areas.

What does your organisation have to offer to other ESSENCE members?
Disability Awareness, CSR opportunities, new networking opportunities.

Art Work Exeter

Art Work Exeter’s purpose is to widen access to, and participation in, the diverse forms of contemporary and traditional art in Exeter through running a year-round programme of activity. Bringing together professional and amateur, student and established artists, we seek to promote and support artists and organisations working together

 

Sector Arts & Culture

Company structure
Community Interest Company

ESSENCE member since
20/07/2020

How does being a member of ESSENCE benefit your organisation?
X

What does your organisation have to offer to other ESSENCE members?
X

 

The Boarding House

South West’s number one independent Bmx, Skateboard & Scooter specialists since 1984.

Aim to reach more deprived communities of Exeter and around to engage them, get them active, while supporting eco-friendly products to reach consumers.

Sector Retail

Company structure
Limited Company

ESSENCE member since
06/10/2020

How does being a member of ESSENCE benefit your organisation?
Networking and connecting to likeminded organisations

What does your organisation have to offer to other ESSENCE members?
Discount on products from The Boarding House