Press releases

2014 Local Social Enterprise winners of the SE-Assist programme announced.

02 September 2014

SE-Assist is a pioneering approach to social investment, which brings together large businesses and social enterprises and was founded by the Charities Aid Foundation, (CAF) and Legal & General, with support from NESTA.

Following the launch of the second year of the SE-Assist awards , announced earlier this year (, the 2014  winners have now been chosen. They are;

In Sussex:

Ecological Land Co-operative

The Ecological Land Co-operative, (ELC) provides affordable sites for ecological land based initiatives to help support livelihoods in the UK. The sites are for those keen to develop and promote organic horticulture who would otherwise not be able to have access to land to set up their projects. The scheme will help to support individuals who have worked and studied organic, biodynamic farming, those who wish to manage their own holding but don’t have the money to access a farm on the open market, as well as, low-income ecological farmers, community gardens and rural educational charities.


Engage & Create

Offers cognitive stimulation sessions for people living with dementia, delivering effective personal centred care and training to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and increase the skills of carers. The service being available tocare homes, housing providers, local authority services, NHS, hospices, charities and arts organisations.


The Bevy - The Bevendean Community

The Bevy will be opening  as the first co-operative pub on a housing estate in the UK this summer.  More than just a pub, it will be a community hub offering a wide range of activities, in an area where otherwise there would be nowhere decent to meet, eat or drink. The Bevy, will help trainee chefs from gain experience including those from a local secondary school,  as well as training for groups such as the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership. Local groups from the estate will use the space for their events, to hold local health clinics, and updates and meeting for the local community with the Council, NHS Trusts and Sussex Police.

The Purple Playhouse

Provides theatre space for use by the local community as well as helping to promote and support marginalised arts and drama for those with learning disabilities. Main users of the theatre will be local people and organisations such as drama groups and schools across Sussex but also attracting other drama companies from further afield during the Fringe and other festivals plus encouraging more local people to become theatre goers.


In Croydon:
Mum’s The Chef

Mum’s The Chef provides training and employment opportunities for long term unemployed ethnic minority women, who lack work experience and qualifications as well as language barriers. The local social enterprise has helped over forty women to date. They are trained in Food Preparation and Cooking up to NVQ1 and Professional Cookery up to NVQ 2 level.

Recently a catering service called “Mum’s The Chef” has been launched, aimed at providing food for corporate and consumer clients, which offers women wider employment, training and critical work experience.


The Croydon Citizen

Is a citizen-led, not-for-profit community newspaper that provides a platform for people in Croydon, who are not professional journalists, to air their views, investigate issues and potentially hold local officials accountable for things that are happening in the Croydon area. The paper is both online and in print and is supported by the sales of advertising space to local businesses. The Croydon Citizen was started to challenge negative stereotypes about Croydon, the founders home town and to create a space where ordinary citizens could propose solutions to the genuine issues they face.


The 6 successful social enterprise winners, in addition to the interest free business loan of between £10.000 and £30,000 to help them grow their business also receive a support package which includes a Legal & General employee as an on-going mentor for the business, plus access to a bank of experts.

Debbie Greenway, who is one of the Legal & General mentors involved with the scheme, attended the first meeting of all the social enterprise winners and the other 8 mentor volunteers from across,      Legal & General business, at an event held in the Hove office on Thursday 28th August. Debbie said: “I did have a sense of trepidation but also excitement, meeting the contacts from the winning social enterprise that I would be helping. All the entrepreneurs have such a sense of drive, passion and commitment to their ideas, which is incredible. Not only are they starting out on a journey to build their own business, they have ideas that will create such a fundamental difference to the lives of the people they touch. I hope to be able to match their enthusiasm and feel very privileged to be part of such an amazing programme.” 

Frances Borrer, Head of Corporate Social engagement for Legal& General’s Sussex and Surrey offices said: “SE-Assist, our pioneering approach to supporting local social enterprises has now selected six new business to start supporting for 2014. There are four social enterprises from Sussex, which join the three that gained support last year, and two from Croydon. The six businesses which have been successful in securing the valuable supportive package of an interest free loan, mentoring support and access to one to one expert consultancy, all have very diverse business ideas.

I know that our mentors are very excited about having the opportunity to work with them and we congratulate all the winners and wish them great success with their future plans.”

Notes to editors

The information contained in this release is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.
Legal & General Assurance Society Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
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For more information please contact:

Berni Ryan

Berni Ryan
PR Manager

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