Tag Archives: social enterprise

How social entreprenuers are keeping the hostelling movement alive

I’m a life member of the Youth Hostels Association (YHA) and have followed the fate of the hostels sold off by the organisation for some years now. Back in 2006 I wrote about how charities and development trusts had stepped in to save hostels following a devastating round of closures, which saw one seventh of the network sold off by the YHA.

Almost five years on and another round of sell-offs has been proposed. So I revisited one of the hostels I covered in 2006 to see how it was doing under new ownership. I found Wooler youth hostel in Northumberland to be thriving under the management of Glendale Gateway Trust, a social enterprise. In the article for the Guardian’s Social Enterprise Network, I also covered how the success of Wooler has inspired other social enterprises in Northumberland to open brand new hostels. Continue reading

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Stop, collaborate and listen…

Alex Wood of the Berlin Project

Originally uploaded by berlinproject.

Last week I blogged about the launch of a journalism cooperative by the team behind The Berlin Project. There’s been a lot of talk about new business models for journalism, but the idea of cooperatives has barely been mentioned. So it’s refreshing to see someone breaking new ground in that respect.

Another model deserving more attention is social enterprise. At News:Rewired earlier this month, Philip John, one of the brains behind hyperlocal site The Lichfield Blog, outlined his plans to turn it into a social enterprise. In an excellent post on the JournalLocal site, John suggests that to save journalism, local media could go down the social enterprise route and fund its work through grants and subsidies.

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No jumpers for goalposts here

There’s no shortages of free things to do in Melbourne, which is good news if you are out of work! Last week was a perfect example – this year’s Homeless World Cup kicked off last Monday and all games were held smack bang in the heart of the central business district, with free entry to boot.

I managed to get media accreditation for the Homeless World Cup and was surprised at the lack of a British media presence at the games. I got an interview with the games founder Mel Young who gave me an exclusive about the tournament’s future, which appeared in Social Enterprise magazine.

The Homeless World Cup is a tournament where all the players have either been homeless, refugees or asylum seekers. They make up four-a-side teams, with one player having to stay in their own half. This makes for high scoring games. Nigeria put 15 past one unlucky team the other day, while England’s striker got a hat-trick in a minute against Ireland (a match refereed by Kim Milton Nielson who sent David Beckham off in the 1998 World Cup).

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