On October 14 Social Saturday gives a chance for social enterprises across Britain to shout about the work they do, putting their profits back into people and planet to make the world a better place. As one of the biggest and longest-running social enterprises in the UK, The Big Issue is proud to play a leading role in this year’s event.
If you haven’t discovered it yet, Social Saturday, which is spearheaded by Social Enterprise UK, is a whole new way to think about shopping – and there’s more to it than you might imagine. To whet your appetite, here are some of this weekend’s most unusual and exciting events, from riding on solar buses to making shoes to ploughing. And don’t miss our exclusive Social Saturday Collection on sale at bigissueshop.com.
Brighton: Go on a solar bus tour
The Big Lemon are a sustainable community-based bus service and coach company. A decade on, they run 10 bus routes across Brighton and Hove and will be joining in the Social Saturday celebrations (though in this case on Friday), taking you on an exclusive tour on the UK’s very first Solar Bus to visit some other local social enterprises they champion – from hiSbe (the rebel supermarket) to Brighton Woodstore, and on to Brighton Energy Co-op’s solar farm roof installation.
London: Make your own shoes!
Juta Shoes, maker of handcrafted espadrilles from reclaimed leather, will lead a workshop where you can make your own pair at The Trampery, a creative neighbourhood housing a one-of-a-kind event to celebrate Social Saturday. Also in attendance will be Wyatt and Jack, who repurpose old bouncy castles and deck chairs into funky tote bags; Origin, who provide wardrobe essentials and Lemonaid, whose fair-trade cocktails and soft drinks support growing communities abroad.
Bath: Cheer on the Romans
Bath City FC (nicknamed the Romans after their toga-clad ancestors) is a community-owned football club playing in the Vanarama National League South. Available on Saturday alongside traditional footy fare and classy coffee is a menu of learning about a different way to run a football club – big leagues take note.
This is a different way to run a football club – big leagues take note
Plymouth: All rise for a really great British bakery
Developing an old mortuary space, Column Bakehouse are Plymouth’s only social enterprise bakery. Producing delicious organic bread, they support employment and community-based projects. Using locally sourced ingredients to produce their award-winning bakes, they reinvest all their profits into providing apprenticeships, jobs and experiences. To celebrate Social Saturday, the Real Ideas Organisation, the company behind the Bakehouse, are giving you free entry to the Devonport Column.
Somerset: Go ploughing!
Celebrate a little differently at the National Ploughing Championships in Somerset. Not only will you get a chance to see some of the country’s top ploughmen, you can pay a visit to the team behind Farmlink’s Health to Hearth programme, which educates children across the country about the future of biomass fuel.
London: Call for Change Please
Brought to you by Social Enterprise UK, Social Saturday at Borough Market will be popping up in New Market Hall. As well as getting the chance to hear from social enterprises, there’s also a cooking demonstration (conveniently timed around lunch…) as well as social enterprise stalls with products ranging from chocolate to clothing and crafts with coffee provided by Big Issue-backed Change Please.
Tipton: Beat it!
Beat It Percussion are a community interest company that work with groups of people to make music in the community. They focus on people living with dementia and their carers. To celebrate Social Saturday they’ll be offering a taster session, giving you the chance to learn about using drums to ‘talk’ in all new ways.
Dorset: Apples to (im)press
Sharing Social Saturday with their second birthday – Gullivers Farm Shop in West Moors provide work experience opportunities for adults with additional support needs. Pop along for stalls, street food, a shot of a tractor and apple pressing. You can also pick up some products from their shop, which supports local producers, and their art studio, which engages those in need with creating art and hand-crafted products.
Across the country: Fluffy Tails and Fairy Tales
Get down to your local library (Lincolnshire, Dudley, Wandsworth and Greenwich) for the fluffiest of tails and tallest of tales from social enterprise Better. Committed to delivering fitness, leisure, libraries and art facilities that are accessible to all, the not-for-profit group also invest heavily in the local communities they’re active in. Their Dog Reads programme runs this weekend, giving youngster the chance to read some doggy themed tales and enjoy a canine cuddle
Coventry: Makers Market
Learn about the logistics behind a social enterprise and pick up some handmade wares while you’re at it at the Priory Visitors Centre‘s Social Saturday celebration. Their pop up market includes vegan street food, African art and even drop-in jewellery making.