Suffolk: Think local, buy local - get social

Realise Futures - Social Saturday

Realise Futures - Social Saturday - Credit: Archant

Social Saturday in Suffolk towns

Realise Futures - Social Saturday

Realise Futures - Social Saturday - Credit: Archant

Realise Futures, an award-winning social enterprise, is urging residents to support the UK’s first Social Saturday this Saturday, September 13.

The Suffolk social enterprise – which helps create opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people in work, learning and life - is taking part in the UK’s Social Saturday which is organised by Social Enterprise UK, the national body for social enterprise.

Social enterprises are businesses that exist for a social and or environmental purpose, reinvesting all their profits back into the organisation.

Realise Futures cafes across Suffolk will be open for business as usual, serving cakes and coffee at Nowton Park Café, Angles Café and Café Libra all in Bury St Edmunds, and at The Town Hall Tea Room and St Lawrence Café in Ipswich, at Café Libra at Felixstowe library and @The Rec in Stowmarket.

Internally, staff are holding a Bake-Off and Quiz Night at their offices in Ipswich to mark Social Saturday.

Realise Futures joins the likes of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, Divine Chocolate and The Big Issue – just a few well-known social enterprises that are supporting the day.

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Visit http://socialsaturday.org.uk/ for more information or follow twitter using hashtag #socialsaturday.

Realise Futures launched its own campaign in Suffolk in May to encourage people to ‘buy social’ to support their community called The Do a Great Deal campaign www.doagreatdeal.co.uk - getting people and businesses in Suffolk to do something good for someone else when they purchase a product or service.

That’s because all the profits generated by Realise Futures’ six social enterprises – based in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Woodbridge and Felixstowe - get ploughed back into the business to create more jobs and learning opportunities. 40% of Realise Futures’ workforce is disabled or disadvantaged.

Realise Futures chief executive Sarah Sharlott: “Our social enterprises are taking part in Social Saturday which aims to raise awareness of what social enterprises are and how they are helping people.

“For example, when people buy a coffee and cupcake from one of the seven cafes we run in Suffolk, or a business supports us by outsourcing their packaging to our Fulfilment division in Ipswich, they help us provide advice, training, skills development and paid employment for people who are disabled or disadvantaged.”

The campaign website www.doagreatdeal.co.uk shows how two cartoon characters - dad Mike and daughter Rebecca - do a good deal by buying social, making a difference in their community where jobs and being created.

Realise Futures was formed 18 months ago and is now one of the largest social enterprises in the East of England. Last year it created created 128 jobs, helped 7,000 people to access community learning across across Suffolk and gave 95,000 people careers advice throughout the Eastern region

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