The Roll of Honour was announced at Social Enterprise Futures which took place between 25-26th November and saw nearly 1000 attendees come together to celebrate the heroes of the last year.
Watershed has continued to present and share an amazing range of audience and artist facing work online, serve our audiences and support our creative community and our staff throughout this continuing period of challenge.
At the Social Enterprise Futures event Watershed was celebrated along with all the others on the Social Enterprise Roll of Honour, by a session hosted by actor, comedian and director, Chris Addison. The Roll of Honour acknowledges those individuals and businesses which, over the course of an extremely challenging year, have demonstrated the strength, passion and resilience which is so characteristic of the social enterprise sector. Over 400 nominations were received from those within the social enterprise sector as well as supporters of the sector.
Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social and/or environmental purpose and have been at the heart of community responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. They've been doing all they can to keep on serving the communities they are set up to support with many pivoting their business models to do so.
Commenting on being named as part of the Roll of Honour Clare Reddington, CEO of Watershed said:
"Being a social enterprise means putting our values at the forefront of everything we do and ensuring we are driven by purpose rather than profit. Covid has really challenged our financial resilience and caused us to dig deep and design new ways to deliver impact with staff, audiences and artists. To be recognised for this makes us very proud, and gives us a much needed boost!"
The event was organised by Social Enterprise UK, in partnership with social enterprise trade bodies across the home nations - Social Enterprise Northern Ireland, Social Enterprise Scotland and the Wales Co-operative Centre.
Commenting on the event and the Roll of Honour, Peter Holbrook CBE, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK said:
"The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed and exacerbated the deep inequalities within society. When the pandemic passes, we need to seriously rethink how the economy works and the role of business within it. To truly build back better we need a real step change in the uptake and adoption of social enterprise models, which show that successful businesses can put people and the planet first.
"The Roll of Honour, announced at Social Enterprise Futures, shows just how important social enterprises have been to communities' response to the pandemic. They've been pivoting their business models to create new goods and services, getting food and essential supplies to the vulnerable, manufacturing PPE and also working on the frontline of the pandemic delivering vital health and social care services. It is this spirit that needs to be harnessed when we eventually head out of lockdown, so we make sure we don't go back to business as usual."
About Social Enterprises
Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social purpose that reinvest or donate over half their profits to further this social or environmental mission. They are an increasingly important part of the UK economy contributing £60 billion and employing 2 million people. Estimates are there are 100,000 in the UK. Research carried out by Social Enterprise UK, the membership body for the sector, shows they are outperforming traditional businesses when it comes to start-up rates, turnover growth and innovation. They are also ahead of the pack when it comes to workforce diversity and pay. For more information and statistics see Social Enterprise UK's State of Social enterprise Report 2019 and the 'Hidden Revolution' report which showed the true scale and impact of the sector.