Monday 8 December 2008

Social Enterprise and celebrations

Its the 10th anniversary of Social Enterprise London . The magnificent Allison Ogden Newton is their CEO and is a real inspiration to the organisation and to the wider .She has been a great support to me as Vice Chair of ACEVO and it was therefore a real pleasure to go to the Anniversary Celebrations at RBS on Thursday evening . The denizens of the social enterprise world and the Third Sector Minster in evidence enjoying the RBS celebratory champagne. It is important to attend events like this ; there is too much noise around social enterprise being somehow different or special . In fact it is a clear and important part of the third sector. Many top charities are strong advocates and practitioners . And the fact is that social enterprise has been a welcome boost to the case for professionalism and business approaches in our sector.

And a added bonus is that I walk home with no less than 2 boxes of gorgeous chocolate from the Divine chocolate company ; a social enterprise that exemplifies the notion that you can run an ethical and top quality business and be totally committed to a third sector approach in putting back profit into the company for the wider good.

It was a 2 lunch Friday . The first with Nick Hurd MP ( the Tory Third Sector spoke ) and a discussion on housing associations at the RSA and then onto our staff Christmas Lunch . The later a really relaxed and convivial occasion , which ended up with a bunch of the staff in a local pub till all hours , the younger lot as you can imagine . I was on the train back to Charlbury and my cocoa !

Its Christmas and the round of receptions has begun . DCMS at the Wallace Collection last week , and tonight the Cabinet Office at Admiralty House . Admiralty House is a very special place; redolent of the glorious maritime history of our Nation . The Cabinet Office Ministers were there and it was good to have a long talk with Liam Byrne MP on public service reform . I know from many years back that Liam is a strong believer in the importance of the reform process and the real value of the third sector in delivering citizen focused services. I think we can be clear that under Liam this agenda will be driven forward strongly . With Ministers like Liam , Hazel and James we can be clear the sector will be playing an increasing role in delivery and that this will grow , not diminish from next year , recession or no .

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