As the pink hearts begin to adorn the city and the shops become awash with (more expensive than usual) flowers and heart shaped chocolates, we’re taking a moment to stop and think about what we love. The life of a social enterprise is hard, so what is it that keeps us going? What is it about our work that we love?
It must be said that we love the fact that we’re still here! After what has been such a turbulent time for businesses, we turn 40 this year and are extremely proud of the impact that we’ve had on the lives of thousands of women from across the city. Happy Birthday to us and a massive thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey!
So what else do we love? We love this city and how it opens its arms to make people feel welcome and included. This year we saw women from approximately 115 countries study with us. We were humbled by each one of them who battled and juggled so many things to succeed with their learning. If you’d like to study in a supportive learning environment, check out our courses.
We love working in partnership; we couldn’t do what we do on our own. We have longstanding partnerships with organisations such as The Smallwood Trust to offer financial support to women, MSB solicitors to improve access to family law support and The Progress Group to improve early years development. Another longstanding partnership is with The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) which has enabled us to support Social Entrepreneurs and Community Business Leaders from across the Northwest. SSE backed social enterprises show a 2-year survival rate of 81% and see an increase in traded income of 41% over the course of the programme. Their latest impact report is now available.
We love our location, smack bang in the middle of Hope Street, opposite the Hope Street Suitcases, with our entrance facing the famous ‘Toxteth Riviera’. We’ve loved seeing the amazing transformation of this area and are excited to be a part of Hope Street CIC Ltd and the Liverpool Bid Company to help further improve the Georgian Quarter.
Finally, we love the fact that we’re able to provide a holistic service that enables women to succeed with their studies. Many of the women who choose to study with us have been out of education for a number of years and many need support to overcome life barriers and challenges which are holding them back from realising their full potential.
83% of our learners live in the top 30% most deprived areas in the country and 25% identify as having a learning difficulty or disability. Each year we respond to hundreds of requests for additional support which ranges from access to Counselling and Therapy services, to financial support to help pay household bills and access to childcare to enable them to study. Our women need more than just a fully funded place on a course to succeed in learning.
So, when the daily grind feels a lot, it’s important to take a few minutes to stop and reflect upon what’s your why, what motivates you? What is it you love, what fills your cup and provides food for your soul?
If you love Blackburne House and the many things that we do, check out all the different ways in which you can show us some love.
Other notable things we love: ·