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

Bright Ideas Trust Business Mentors Required

Do you have a desire to help young people to set up their own business? Do you have the skills and empathy to support a disadvantaged young person fulfil their dreams? If the answer is YES then Bright Ideas Trust needs your help!

Bright Ideas Trust is a charity that provides bespoke, end-to-end support to help disadvantaged 16-30 year olds start their own business. We have recently launched our work in the North East and are looking for mentors to work with some of the region’s most marginalised young people through our unique, new programme “Building Bright Ideas” a, free weekly programme that will help young people build the skills and knowledge to run their own business.

Each young person involved in the programme is matched with a business mentor and that is where you can help. If you are interested in mentoring our client group, have empathy & understanding of young people from a disadvantaged background, have great communication skills & experience in business we would love for you to join our mentoring family.
We are holding a mentoring training event on 28th of September 3pm– 5pm, Business & IP Centre, City Library, Charles Avison Building, 33 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle, NE1 8AX.

Here, you will hear from one of BIT’s experienced mentors and will also learn more about our programme and the role you will play to support our beneficiaries.

For an informal chat and to register for the event please call Bev Brown on 07596 083 727 e:

Please note – An informal chat is required to discuss the role of the business mentor in more detail before you can register for the training.

The Social Enterprise Exchange Marketplace

The Social Enterprise Exchange Marketplace is taking place on Tuesday 21 March 2017 at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange.


This new event from Social Enterprise Scotland is a busy marketplace of social enterprises
from across the country – plus a unique programme of speakers. Buy and sell goods and services,
network and learn – with social enterprises, charities and public and private sector guests.
This dynamic and exciting one day event is a marketplace of over 80 exhibitors and a diverse
mix of hundreds of delegates helping take Scotland’s brilliant social enterprises forward.



Here are the highlights:

  • Tuesday 21st March 2017, Corn Exchange Edinburgh
  • The new national trade fair, networking and learning opportunity for social enterprises
  • Opening Plenary with Nicola Sturgeon, plus a raft of fantastic and unique sessions & speakers
  • Buy and sell goods and services, network and learn – with social enterprises, charities and public and private sector guests. 
  • Over 100 Exhibitors / hundreds of delegates
  • Scotland’s premier Social Enterprise Event!
  • Delegate Places start at £75 + vat and Exhibition Spaces £275 + vat


For full details and to book please visit:


Social Venture Weekend

Social Venture Weekend: September and November

·         Friday 30 September to Sunday 2 October

·         Friday 25 November to Sunday 27 November


 social ventures

The Social Venture Weekend at Cambridge Judge Business School is for anyone with an ambition to set up or grow a business that makes a positive social or environmental impact.


The workshop

The workshop is an inspiring introduction to the social venture sector and a valuable opportunity to focus intensely on your own business. In an inclusive, supportive and friendly atmosphere, you’ll have the opportunity to share and test your ideas with others and learn from the experience of successful social entrepreneurs.

·         For emerging social entrepreneurs, it’s a chance to explore new ideas and get started on your new business.

·         For established social ventures, you will be able to refine your business plan and cement your understanding of business fundamentals to help your business thrive.


Unlike other entrepreneurial training, ours is from a social perspective, with a strong focus on social impact within the context of creating and scaling a sustainable business. Over the weekend, faculty from Cambridge Judge Business School and other world-class experts in social enterprise will cover business planning, market research, legal structures, finance and pitching.


The course is for anyone with an ambition to start or grow a social venture. We welcome any business working to make positive social or environmental impact across all sectors, from employment to genomics, ageing to energy.

Social Venture Weekend is for you if:

·         you are starting, or already running, a business dedicated to making social impact

·         you’re ambitious to scale up rapidly, become investment ready, and secure finance


Get involved

The weekend costs £75 +VAT, with half-price tickets available for a co-founder or senior team member, and discounts available to those who are unwaged, living on benefits or facing other financial difficulty. Find out more, and apply to attend, at:

Social Enterprise in Vietnam Part 2: Meeting Some Inspirational People and Amazing Social Enterprises!

During my recent trip to Hanoi I had the joy and privilege of meeting some inspirational founders of social enterprises.

KOTO is a social enterprise that trains people in catering and hospitality in a real restaurant setting. The model is working well and is spreading to other parts of Vietnam. I visited KOTO and was warmly greeted by young people who demonstrated their skills in customer services and fluency in English.KOTO-bakery-counter It put my Vietnamese to shame but they did let me sample their exceptional dishes. I also met two Australian volunteers who were so moved by their experiences in working with young people at KOTO they have committed to giving support, ranging from teaching English to helping to write the next annual report.

Mrs-Vy-and-spring-rollsThere’s a bit of a food theme developing here! At the Hoa Sua Restaurant at the Museum of Ethnology I had lunch with Mrs Pham Thi Vy, the redoubtable 71 year old founder of the training school there. When I learnt that the current retirement rate for women in Vietnam is 55 her story is even more remarkable. She spoke passionately about her work; the children she takes as they leave the care of orphanages, providing them with accommodation, training and employment in her restaurants. She has a 100% success rate of progression into employment in catering and hospitality. Wow!

The most moving visit was to the 14th Floor of an apartment block in the suburbs of Hanoi where I found Ms Thao Van, the founder of The Will To Live Center. She is providing training, accommodation and routes to employment for young people from across Vietnam who live with disabilities. She runs a graphic design company and uses the money raised through trading to support and train young people. They learn graphic design and web design skills and she helps them find work with large companies.Will-to-Live

The transformation in the lives of these young people is truly inspiring and her only ask was for some wheelchairs. These will provide the young people with mobility support which will enable them to find employment. Hopefully we can help them with that from the UK! We’ve already sourced some refurbished wheelchairs through the Margaret Carey Foundation, who work with offenders at HMP Kirklevington and other prisons. Now we just need to find a way to deliver them to Van and the young people she supports. Come on, if there’s anyone out there who can help, please get in touch!



Social Enterprise in Vietnam: ‘Hanoi in October! The Best Time of Year to Visit!’

Welcome to ‘Part 1’ recounting my recent trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. The poignant quote above is the words of Tran Thi Hong Gam from the British Council. She was right! Not about the weather but about the enthusiasm and visible signs of growth in the social enterprise sector in Vietnam. Over four days of meetings, visits and lectures I was able to hear more about what was happening at a policy level. I also met some of the people involved in supporting social entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality and help social enterprises to grow their impact and become sustainable through trading.

The understanding that social enterprises are businesses was clear and the message that it was more than ‘corporate social responsibility‘ was being spread effectively. There are some great supporters of social enterprise such as Ms Pham Kieu Oanh and her team from The Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP) and it is apparent that the British Council has already invested effectively in development with the support of companies such as Diageo.

Even more importantly there are growing numbers of social enterprises, a huge potential for new social entrepreneurs and also help for existing organisations to develop into social enterprises. My lectures to University lecturers (and then to almost four hundred students!) showed that there is a real appetite for addressing social and environmental issues with sustainable business models.

The understanding of social enterprise as a means of bringing about change is becoming more and more understood!

In ‘Part 2‘ I’ll tell you about some of the amazing social enterprises I visited.


My Day at Carlshead Farm

Visited an amazing #socent @Carlsheadfarm last week. Giving opportunities to ex-offenders to learn new skills in forestry and farming and supporting them to find work in the local area. Great success stories of young men who have turned their lives around, been given confidence in their own value and equipped with the learning and qualifications they need to gain employment. This is exactly what is needed to deliver the transformation of rehabilitation.

The challenge is to find the sustainable business model to enable this work to continue and grow. The budget to pay for the qualifications is no longer available. Carlshead Farm is being asked to provide work experience for less or no money and although some work can be done commercially this needs equipment and supervision which has to be paid for in some way. They have the offer of a seconded member of staff but have to find additional funds from somewhere else if they want to continue and not lose money delivering this valuable service.

They don’t want to be a charity, they want to be a social enterprise being paid for the work they do. If a grant-maker  can help with some funding for capital equipment or the start up capital for a new part of the business that is fine as it enables the start up phase to be less risky but the ongoing revenue to sustain the business has to be enough to cover the costs of the commercial activity but also to pay for the additional training and supervision needed for working with people who may never have worked, may not have had any experience of a real work environment and are overcoming a lifestyle of criminality and all that goes with it.

Transforming Rehabilitation: A Strategy for Reform has some measures that should enable opportunities for Carlshead Care Farm and others to become subcontractors to large primes delivering probation contracts but it is a long and perilous journey before an actual contract might materialise and after that an ongoing risk to make sure that the targets are achieved.