New Programme aims to foster culture of Social Innovation in NI

New Programme aims to foster culture of Social Innovation in NI

06 April 2017

Five projects are participating in the Building Change Trust’s new Social Innovation Skills Programme aimed at establishing a culture of Social Innovation in the VCSE sector.

Social Innovation NI is the Trust’s most ambitious project to date and it is funding the Social Innovation Skills Programme managed by WorkWest Enterprise Agency.

WorkWest and Enterprise North West are delivering an intensive training and mentoring programme which will equip the five organisations with the problem solving skills to develop an innovative project that will have a positive impact on society.

They have finished the first phase of the programme, the human-centred design course, which aims to create innovative and sustainable solutions for social change and have moved on to the mentoring stage of the programme to evaluate their ideas, and identify the next stage in the development of those ideas.

Once the programme is completed, all teams can apply for a Social Innovation NI seed fund worth up to £20K  to enable them to transform their ideas into reality.

Paul Braithwaite, who heads up the Trust’s Social Innovation work, said: ‘’We’re really excited by the quality of organisations taking part in our first Social Innovation Skills programme. It’s a great opportunity for them to develop the skills that will help embed Social Innovation in the VCSE sector and meet a vital need in their area of expertise.”

Claire Ferris of WorkWest said the programme will help organisations unleash the creativity to meet some of their most difficult challenges. ‘’The teams selected are very dynamic and diverse and we are excited about working with all of them to effect real change.’’

The five organisations are:

  • MACS Supporting Children and Young People, which aims to help provide housing for young people at risk due to abuse, homelessness, financial hardship, care history, exploitation, social isolation, self-harm, suicide, mental health issues and substance misuse.
  • NIACRO, which works to reduce the impact of crime on communities. It will look at the problems faced by many people from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities who encounter the criminal justice system, as victims of crime, as offenders or
  • The Northern Ireland Child Minding Association, which provides a range of services for registered child minders, parents, children and stakeholders. It will be trying to solve the problem of the lack of childcare services in Northern Ireland.
  • The Turnaround Project supports people leaving prison as they turn around their lives. Despite rates of reoffending among people who have a job when they leave prison being lower than those who do not, research has shown that as few as 27% of people leaving prison go into employment.

Kippie, which works with young people to help them manage issues such as social pressures, consent, bullying, family life, through designing and making mobile games or apps. It aims to help more young people have a positive future in Northern Ireland.

To find out more, follow Social Innovation NI on Twitter.