Social economy evangelists appointed

The Social Enterprise Coalition has announced the names of 25 ambassadors who will work to promote social enterprise across the UK.

The list includes social economy champions such as Nigel Kershaw, chief executive of social finance provider Big Issue Invest, Dai Powell, chief executive of Hackney Community Transport, and Reed Paget, managing director of bottled water enterprise Belu (see the full list below). The ambassador concept was a central theme of the Government’s Social Enterprise Action Plan, which was published in November.

The ambassadors were selected in a recruitment process that began in August, and they are representative of all regions in the UK. They will be supported in their work by a group of celebrity social enterprise enthusiasts who include gardening guru Monty Don, Tim Campbell, winner of business gameshow The Apprentice, and Sophi Tranchell, managing director of Divine Chocolate.

“From publishers to IT providers and recyclers to GPs, social entrepreneurs are bringing a new approach to doing business to every sector,” said Jonathan Bland, chief executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition. “Our ambassadors represent the best of an extremely vibrant social enterprise movement in England.”

Phil Hope, the minister for the third sector, said the programme was a key part of the Government’s commitment to raising awareness of social enterprises’ potential. “One of the biggest challenges facing the social enterprise sector is to increase understanding of its value, and I hope this programme will go a long way to achieving that,” he said.

The ambassadors’ designated website,, goes live today.

Ambassadors: full list

Central England

Jean Jarvis, South Shropshire Furniture Scheme

East England

Craig Dearden-Phillips, Speaking Up

Karen Lowthrop, Hill Holt Wood

East midlands

Matt Stevenson-Dodd, Unique Social Enterprise

Martin Kinsella, P3

Greater London

Dai Powell, Hackney Community Transport

Matt Kepple, Wahblo

Trisha Lee, MakeBelieve Arts

Claudine Reid, PJ’s Community Service

Stephen Sears, ECT Group

Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, Catch 22

Dr Sam Everington, Bromley-by-Bow health centre

Maria Donoghue-Mills, Novas Group

Reed Paget, Belu Water

Nigel Kershaw, Big Issue Invest

Sam Conniff, Livity

Chris Allwood, Auction My Stuff

North west

Daniel Heery, Cybermoor

Claire Dove, Blackburne House Group

South coast

Kresse Wessling, EAKO

South east

Peter Holbrook, Sunlight Development Trust

South west

Julie Harris, Cosmic

Ken Orchard, Mid-Devon Community Recycling

Yorkshire and the Humber

Gill Coupland, Angels Housekeeping

Saeeda Ahmed, Trescom

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