Wates Brings Social Enterprise Tour to Hackney

Leading social housing maintenance provider Wates Living Space has demonstrated its commitment to the East London social enterprise (SE) sector with a unique tour designed to drive increased investment across Hackney and the surrounding areas.

Alongside SE development organisation iSE, Wates toured Hackney to showcase the positive local, social and economic impact of the sector and to encourage more businesses to work with SEs as part of their supply chain.

A mixture of local businesses and public bodies joined Wates staff and Sarah Crawley, the CEO of iSE, on the tour of social enterprises across Hackney.

This latest stop of the Wates ‘Seeing is Believing’ tour commenced at Hackney City Farm, which for over 20 years has provided the local community the opportunity to experience farming in the heart of the city.

Further stops included Clarity and the Soap Co., which has a focus on employing, training and supporting people with disabilities to create high quality toiletries, and Calverts, an SE and workers’ cooperative which specialises in branding and content.

The day continued with lunch at Canvas Café, an SE that boasts a simple, free-range and ethically sourced menu and supports the health and wellbeing of the local Hackney community through creative events.

Attendees enjoyed a presentation from Tariq Mahmood from Supply Ready, which offers tailored, practical and hands-on support for social enterprises and businesses in Tower Hamlets looking to access larger customers.

The tour formed part of Wates’ national commitment to support the social enterprise sector. This pledge saw the business spend £2.13m with SEs in 2016, in line with its target to spend £20m with the sector by 2020 as part of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge.

Social enterprises are an imperative part of the local economy. The work that they carry out not only makes them self-sufficient businesses that contribute to the economy, but their work also extensively benefits the communities in which they are based.
 
Our ‘Seeing is Believing’ tours are a fantastic opportunity for businesses and social enterprises to be introduced and to discover how they can benefit each other. The tour in Hackney was a great success and I hope it inspires businesses in the area to consider implementing social enterprises into their supply chains.”
 
David Morgan, Managing Director at Wates Living Space

We are delighted to be working with Wates on the ‘Seeing is Believing’ tour to raise awareness of social enterprises and the great work they do in London, and beyond. iSE is passionate about telling the story of not only the ‘good stuff’ achieved by social enterprises but the real goods and services traded by social enterprise that mean they are valuable partners in businesses’ supply chains.”
 
Sarah Crawley, Chief Executive, iSE