Trust announce Social Innovation Skills Cohort

Trust announce Social Innovation Skills Cohort

02 February 2017

The Building Change Trust are pleased to announce five new projects that will benefit from mentoring and skills development as part of the Social Innovation NI Social Innovation Skills programme.

Social Innovation Skills programme, along with Techies in Residence, are just two of the exciting initiatives taking place under the banner of Social Innovation NI.

A wide ranging collaboration, Social Innovation NI is the Building Change Trust’s most ambitious project to date and is the one stop shop for social innovation in Northern Ireland.

The Social Innovation Skills Programme will be funded by the Trust, with the day to day management of the programme being handled by WorkWest.

The first stage of the Social Innovation Skills process is to identify a range of social problems. We did this by an open call, we then picked the following organisations and problems to receive help and support from WorkWest.

First up is MACS Supporting Children and Young People, who provide support services for young people aged 11-25 who are at risk due to abuse, homelessness, financial hardship, care history, exploitation, social isolation, self-harm, suicide, mental health issues and substance misuse.

They want to solve the problem of helping these children and young people access appropriate housing, once they have left the care system.

The second organisation selected is NIACRO, who have been working since 1972 to reduce crime and its impact on communities.

Their project will look at the fact many people in Northern Ireland from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities who have cause to navigate the criminal justice system, as victims of crime, as people who have offended or as witnesses, experience significant practical and social/emotional difficulties navigating the system resulting in poorer social and economic outcomes.

The Northern Ireland Child Minding Association is a voluntary organisation with charitable status providing a range of services which support registered child minders, parents, children and stakeholders within the child minding sector.

They will be trying to solve the problem of a lack of childcare services in Northern Ireland, as outlined in an OFMDFM Report in 2014.

Next up is the Turnaround Project, a new social enterprise organisation that aims to turn around the use of under-utilised public assets, and to turn around the wider community, to support people leaving prison as they turn around their lives.

Despite rates of reoffending among people who have a job to go to when they leave prison being demonstrably lower than those who do not, research has shown that as few as 27% of people leaving prison go into employment.

The Turnaround Project will be working on challenging these the high levels of recidivism in Northern Ireland.

Finally, we have Kippie, a recently formed Community Interest Company set up to work with groups of young people to help them discuss and manage issues that affect them, such as social pressures, consent, bullying, family life, through designing and making mobile games or apps, and to learn some programming and coding basics along the way.

They want to work with the Social Innovation Skills programme to develop their work and work to help more young people feel like they have a purpose and a positive future in Northern Ireland.

WorkWest’s Claire Ferris said: ‘’Work west are delighted to be delivering this programme on behalf of BCT. It fits well with our commitment to support organisations to address social challenges through design thinking.

‘’The teams selected are dynamic and diverse and we are excited about working with them at the start of their journey to affect real change across the North’’.

Paul Braithwaite, who heads up the Trust’s Social Innovation work, said: ‘’We’re really excited to announce the organisations that will be taking part in our first Social Innovation Skills programme.

‘’This will be a great opportunity for these organisations to develop skills that will last long beyond when the formal training is over.

‘’We hope this will lead to skills and experience being embedded in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector making a socially innovative approach the new normal’’.