London borough of Hackney throws its weight behind social enterprise

The first London borough to announce its own social enterprise mark has revealed the first recipients of the award.

Fifteen social enterprises in the borough were awarded the “Pioneering Social Enterprise in Hackney Mark” on 20 October, including Pioneers Post

Other recipients included Hackney Pirates, which offers extra educational support to kids outside of school, and HCT Group, a Hackney-based social enterprise which provides transport in several locations throughout England and in Jersey. (The full list of recipients is below.)

The east London borough hopes that the mark will both help customers who want to spend their money in an ethical way and promote awareness of the significant benefits that social enterprises bring to Hackney.

Hackney Co-operative Developments (HCD), a community development agency, is behind the mark.

The announcement is also part of an attempt to have Hackney recognised as inner-London’s first “Social Enterprise Borough”. HCD has been working with Social Enterprise UK and Hackney Council towards this goal.

Dominic Ellison, CEO of HCD, said: “Hackney is a borough that leads the way in social enterprise, it is part of the fabric of our community resilience against many pressures of change and uncertainty. 

“People of Hackney really identify themselves with the borough and seek opportunities to contribute to its strength. Trading with local social enterprises is a powerful way to do this.”

The awards were launched by Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, at Swiss Bank UBS's London head office in Liverpool Street. UBS has been part funding both the Pioneering Social Enterprise in Hackney mark and programme.  

The full list of the award winners is as follows: ALPHA Actors, Black Cat Cafe, Bootstrap Company, Cass and Claredale Halls of Residence Association Limited, Hackney Pirates Ship of Adventures, Hackney Playbus, HCT Group, Healthwatch Hackney, Liberation Foods CIC, Peter Bedford Housing Association, Pioneers Post, Shoreditch Trust, STORE School & Projects CIC, Urban MBA and VLC Centre.

Photo credit: David Schap