Escama Studio

Escama Studio is a social enterprise based in California and Brazil. Our mission is to create innovative on-trend fashion accessories while promoting sustainable development through trade.

The word ‘Escama’ means ‘fish scales’ in Portuguese; the name was chosen because their flagship product — crocheted accessories with post consumer pull tabs — appear as if they’re made from big metallic scales of a fish.

To achieve their unique aesthetic, the Escama Studio team adapted traditional Brazilian crochet work and imbued the handmade crafts with a modern design sense and new materials. With designs originating from both San Francisco and Brazil, the pop top bags are handmade in Brazil by artisan groups who are not just contract manufacturers, but an integral part of Escama Studio.

Kate Welch brought a bag back from the Social Enterprise World Forum in Rio in 2012 as it is such a great example of a social enterprise that increases its social impact with every bag sold.

Angel Eyes Enterprise CIC

Angel Eyes Enterprise is a community interest company that operates throughout the North East region. They are a service delivered for the visually impaired, by the visually impaired. Their vision is to deliver activities that help dramatically improve the lives of visually impaired people and giving them a sense of value and purpose, allowing them to be part of a more inclusive society. In addition, Angel Eyes Enterprise help to break down the perceptions and difficulties facing visually impaired people by raising awareness and providing information on how businesses can support visually impaired people in the workplace and beyond.


Angel Eyes Enterprise CIC services are tailored for their service users and include:

  • Assistance with job searches, applications and CV writing
  • Providing volunteering and social group opportunities
  • Delivering informal basic level courses on I.T. and technology
  • Delivering sessions on visual impairment awareness for employers
  • Promoting “Access to Work” and other support available for visually impaired employees and employers

The services are available to anyone with a visual impairment over the age of 18 and can cover the areas of Newcastle, Northumberland, Gateshead, Durham, North & South Tyneside and Teeside.

If you’re interested in using this unique service, please contact Jonathan Mears – Project Worker – on 0191 478 5959 or e-mail

Your Chance to Change the World – Craig Dearden-Phillips

Although this book was first published in 2008 it is probably the most useful book for anyone thinking about starting a social enterprise.

The blurb says “So you want to change the world? You know you have the drive and vision, but do you know how to turn your dreams into reality?”

This book offers you valuable, practical advice about how to set up and sustain your own social enterprise. It covers everything from writing your business plan and clarifying your social aims, to raising start-up funding and getting it all under way. With social enterprises now a leading driver of change in society, there’s never been a better time to get started. If you’re feeling the urge to take action don’t wait – seize the day.

This exciting book is for those with passion and ideas for changing the world, but who need a helpful leg-up to making their dreams happen. Yet even established social enterprises will find something new and inspiring in this book.

We have the pleasure of working with Craig on the Department for Culture Media and Sport Mutuals 2 Programme as part of the GoMutual consortium so I can testify to Craig’s expertise and heartily recommend this book.

Kate Welch OBE DL, Chief Executive Social Enterprise Acumen CIC

Community Arts Project North East CIC

Community Arts Project North East CIC is a social enterprise based in South Tyneside.  They work with schools and colleges; local authorities; other social enterprises and community groups to create stories about life in the North East that can be shared with the wider world through broadcasting via their internet based radio station, Hive Radio.

CAPNE are the North East Community Business Ambassadors for Gateshead and South Tyneside for Social Enterprise Acumen.  This role gives them the opportunity to support other community businesses and to create a wider business network within the area.  CAPNE host regular monthly meetings at their base in Bilton Hall Community Trust in Jarrow.  These are open to any community business and address support needs and cover topics suggested by participants.  As a social enterprise it is a useful way to meet with similar organisations and to share experience, ideas, advice and knowledge.

For further information check out:

The Moral Marketplace – Asheem Singh

Enter the world of the social entrepreneur. A global community of doers, thinkers and leaders who mix business with grass-roots activism to make social change possible.

Vinod Kapur created a new breed of chicken that feeds some of the world’s poorest villagers. Betty Makoni empowers young women across Africa through her Girl Child Network. Stephen Burks connects developing world artisans with high fashion brands. They are but three.

In this book, author and activist Asheem Singh explores how a movement of tiny ventures evolved into a global humanitarian and financial juggernaut, revealing new ways to fight privilege and inequality, rewire philanthropy, government and even capitalism itself.

This is a guide to an exhilarating and inspiring world where, through our giving, campaigning and even through our choices as consumers, we can all play a crucial role in taking on the biggest social challenges of our time

“The stories in this book show a way forward that really will change things.”

Kate Welch OBE DL, Chief Executive Social Enterprise Acumen CIC

Burn Night Ceilidh

Newcastle and North Tyneside Branch, YMCA Newcastle are hosting a Burns Night Ceilidh.
Put on your dancing shoes and a splash of tartan for a night of dancing and Burns themed canapes.

Friday 26th January at Walker Park Cafe

An ode’ and a knee’s up to the Scottish National Bard, who’s statute has been in the Park since 1901. Erected as a commemoration of his visit 1787.

A Burns inspired celebration of all things poetry and distilled. A blend of both Burns and locally inspired poetry.
The evening includes Burns themed canapes and cocktail on arrival.
A traditional ceilidh band, The Blind Stag will have us dancing the night away. Their caller will guide us through the steps, so don’t worry if you’ve never been to a ceilidh.
We will be showcasing local distilleries and brewers.
Raffle and prizes on the night.
Dress: Smart casual with a flash of tartan.
Full bar and catering available.


Book tickets

Gateshead Silent Film Festival



GLAS Performing Arts Academy in association with St Mary’s Heritage Centre are proud to present Gateshead Silent Film Festival 2018.

Following the success of last year, GLAS Performing Arts Academy return with two more nights of movies from an era when the liquor was cold and the piano hot! Join us as we take you back in time to the 1920s where CGI was not invented, actors performed their own stunts and the only sound came from the whirr of the reel and the tinkling of the ivories.

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
Friday 26, Doors open 7pm, show starts 7.30pm
The Gold Rush
Saturday 27, Door open 7pm, show starts 7.30pm, dancing until 11pm