Sunshine, a Leeds canal-side location and the new Ruby Slipper Pop-up café from Friends of Dorothy were the perfect ingredients for our Solutions for An Ageing Society Celebration Event on Wednesday evening.
In partnership with UnLtd and with support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, we are delighted to have selected 11 emerging local social entrepreneurs for a ‘Do-It’ award. This special event applauded their efforts and vision and also connected them with other key players in making Leeds the best city to age in.
Our award winners bring a real breadth of experience and expertise, but all have a passion for giving older people in Leeds opportunities to thrive and be well.
Setting up a social enterprise – a venture that is sustainable and has real social impact – is a challenge. It requires self-driven people with skills, determination and resilience. Many of our award winners are developing their venture alongside their day job, which can be very demanding, but when you talk to them, it is always the stories of an older person who they came to know and saw benefit from their venture that makes their faces light up and keeps the wind in those sails.
So we were delighted to raise glasses on Wednesday evening with colleagues from UnLtd who have been instrumental in helping the Foundation to deliver this important programme, bringing a support network and many additional opportunities for our award winners.
Great work is being done across the city to enable older people to thrive, not just through statutory bodies but also our Neighbourhood Networks and other Third Sector Organisations and so we were very pleased to have representatives there to connect with our emerging entrepreneurs, including See Ahead and Leeds City Council who work on our other social enterprise fund Ideas That Change Lives.
UnLtd’s strapline is ‘We want to create a future where enterprising people are transforming our world for good’ and our fantastic award winners are clearly part of that journey!