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Good Deeds

Grass roots businesses with a mission. Loved by The Ozone Family.

Illustrations: Rachel Gale

COMPANION AND CO

New Zealanders William and Kareen Durbin (founders of Companion & Co.) met through engagement with former refugees. By coincidence, they both have Masters Degrees for which they researched social enterprise. So in response to the overwhelming refugee crisis, they created Companion & Co, a social enterprise and a co-design company, collaborating with migrants and former refugees to create wooden stools and silk scarves. They believe diversity is a very good thing and their aim is to provide meaningful and sustainable employment. They achieve this by intertwining technology and traditional craftsmanship to create unique objects that celebrate our increasingly multicultural communities.

BREAD & ROSES

Bread & Roses, a Hackney-based social enterprise, was set up to tackle the social and financial isolation faced by women from refugee backgrounds living in London. Although we often hear about the dangerous journeys people embark on to reach the UK, many of us don’t know much about the life awaiting refugees when they arrive. People who come to Britain are often made to wait for excruciatingly long periods before being granted refugee status – during this time, they are legally forbidden from working and are given less than £5 a day to live on.
Bread & Roses gives these women the opportunity to be part of a community which values them and understands the difficulties they face. They run floristry workshops all over London, inviting refugee women to come along to get creative, whilst developing their conversational skills and building a support network as they go. By working with socially-minded small businesses around the city, they are able to sell the beautiful bouquets and posies made in their workshops, and keep providing a lifeline to some of London’s most marginalised women.

GROWTH RINGS

Many businesses will not invest in people with a criminal record, a history of addiction or low skill levels. Growth Rings CIC, on the other hand, is motivated by precisely those challenges. It is a social enterprise which offers a road away from criminality and drugs through work and meaningful spare time by teaching ex-offenders, offenders and/or the long term unemployed the art of outstanding oak wood production.
At Growth Rings, neither the service nor the product can ever be compromised. In fact, they know the quality of product is one of the main drivers behind increasing the confidence of participants. Working with Growth Rings helps participants reconnect with themselves and develop a larger understanding of their relationship to the world around them, providing practical woodworking skills along the way.

OFF THE GROUND

Off the Ground is a social enterprise in the heart of Middlesbrough, a North-Eastern town proud of its industrial past and ability to overcome adversity. Over the past six months, they’ve been working with local charities and NGOs to try to forge a new path for those struggling with the effects of homelessness. Off the Ground has big dreams for the future, with ambitious education and training projects on the horizon. In the meantime, they are starting small. Their first project is creating an ‘eat and meet’. Once a week, representatives from accommodation services, rehabilitation centres, food banks, support groups and the local council will be put within touching distance of those living on the streets or in shelters and in need of real, tangible support.