HCD Annual Report 2012


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Annual Report 2012


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Executive Summary We empower the people of Hackney to transform their lives for the better. We are independent and trusted. We are leading the way in community-led economic regeneration in Hackney. We are delighted to introduce Hackney Co-operative Developments CIC’s Annual Report in what is both our 30th year and the International Year of Co-operatives. 2012 is a year in which the organisation has continued to strive through great challenges, as we have faced the ongoing turmoil of the global recession side-by-side with our clients, tenants and partners, but also a year of great opportunity as new partnerships have enabled us to innovate and to develop new projects which support our community. When HCD talk about ‘our community’, we refer first and foremost to the local community of Hackney and particularly of Dalston. HCD has for 30 years been building resilience in the local community by supporting people to develop locally-rooted enterprise, by holding assets in community ownership and by enriching the cultural offer of the local area through the provision of a world-class events programme in the liberated community space of Gillett Square. This year we have continued to innovate to tackle social needs. Working as an intermediary, we have been able to foster, develop and grow more co-operatives, social enterprises and locally-owned profitable businesses. We have even brought the Olympics to Dalston by hosting the official handover of the Games to Rio in Gillett Square! When we talk about ‘our community’ we also refer to the co-operative movement, from which HCD grew, and to a worldwide network of social enterprises and community activists who are committed to working for the benefit of people before profit, to strengthening communities and to ensuring an equitable society for all. HCD looks proudly back at 30 years of service to our community. Through a period of boom and bust for the national economy, HCD has worked tirelessly to ensure that our local economy is strengthened through local and community enterprise and that our local area is enriched for the benefit of all and we have proudly played a major role in the physical, economic and cultural regeneration of the local area through this time. Dalston has become a showcase for London’s cultural scene with visitors coming from all over the world to experience events at the award-winning Gillett Square and the internationally-reputed Vortex Jazz Club, as well as famous names such as the Arcola Theatre and Cafe Oto which enrich the area’s cultural offer. Major initiatives such as East London Tech City are bringing big business into the area. However, with Dalston still ranked in the 10% most deprived wards in the UK and with Hackney’s average household income at £16,886, just over half of the national average of £28,000, HCD recognises the continuing challenges that our community faces. We continue to work hard for the sustainability of our organisation and for our community and look forward to empowering local people to help themselves to better and fairer lives for another 30 years to come. 2 3


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Membership We are keen to invite everyone who shares Hackney Co-operative Developments’ aim of Community Economic Development to apply for membership. By joining HCD you will be helping to develop enterprises that contribute to the building of a sustainable society in which Co-operation and Sharing are as important as Competition and Leadership. To be a member of HCD is to be a member of the Co-operative Movement, a movement which through its 200 year history has been at the forefront of innovation in business and in community development. From uniting social movements in reaction to the industrial revolution to providing the most enduring businesses in the economy throughout the recent recession, the Co-operative Movement has provided robust alternative business models which benefit all stakeholders and find prominence in areas including carbon-reduction engineering, retail, banking and provision of health and social care services. Co-operatives are run under the following principles: • • • • • • • Voluntary and open membership Democratic member control Member economic participation Autonomy and independence Education, training and information Co-operation amongst Co-ops Concern for community email newsletters. You will be able to vote and will be eligible to stand in the annual election of General Council members, who are the company’s Board of Directors. Their services in that role are unpaid, although training and expenses for board members can be provided. The board, to which HCD’s paid staff are accountable, meets every two months. Application forms for membership can be downloaded from the ‘membership’ section of our website www.hcd.coop The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives, highlighting the contribution of co-operatives to socio-economic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. With the theme of Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World, the Year sought to encourage the growth and establishment of co-operatives all over the world. It also encouraged individuals, communities and governments to recognise the efficacy of co-operatives in helping to achieve internationally agreed upon development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals. For members of HCD, this means how we conduct our businesses and projects in Hackney. By seeing the advantage of joining together for common good, rather than isolating ourselves in profit-driven competition, our personal ambitions can be better satisfied through co-operation, social enterprise and creative partnership. This, in turn, helps to build a better public realm, a better community and a better life for individuals. HCD also active at a board-level in key local partnerships, such as the Hackney Community Empowerment Network and Economic Development Network, and in this way have a formal and direct dialogue with Team Hackney, representing the interests of our members and beneficiaries at this strategic level and feeding back important community insight. As a member of HCD you will be kept posted of our annual general meetings, other public activities and services. We will keep you informed of developments within the co-operative movement, the local community sector and within the local area, through our website and member-only 4 5


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Premises Hackney Co-operative Developments is a major provider of affordable business premises in the area, which are let at very reasonable terms to support growth of local businesses and community organisations. We aim to meet the varied needs of social and ethical organisations, local start-ups, cultural entrepreneurs and creative professionals, by: • matching them with suitable and affordable business premises, on reasonable terms • providing business development support, for example through fully-funded consultancy support to Co-operatives and Social Enterprises • providing free business start-up training courses • providing low-cost business services that meet the needs of small organisations and vastly reduce administration expenses • providing comfortable and affordable meeting rooms • providing networks We currently have 73 units ranging from 100–1550 sqare feet. These include small offices, medium-sized workshops, retail outlets and night-time economy venues, based in and around Dalston. Our tenants are as diverse as our properties; featuring solicitors, accountants, fashion boutiques, retro shopping, world famous concert venues, a record shop, jazz clubs, radio stations, international food outlets, health and social care organisations, arts organisations, film producers, a nursery, a world-class recording studio, new media marketers, actors, musicians and many, many more. Our tenants are drawn from across sectors. There are a number of charities serving the needs of the local community and communities of interest through the arts and through health and social care. Resident co-operatives’ work gives opportunities to meet community needs as well as providing an actors’ agency and producing large-scale public events. Social Enterprises of all shapes and sizes are based at our properties, providing translation services, education, training in music, advice and enjoyment and many local people have seized the opportunity to develop their own companies, showcasing the diversity of the local area and providing Dalston with a wealth of wholly independent shops, bars, cafes, restaurants, each with their own unique character. HCD is an incubator to new and to growing organisations from all sectors, providing a range of business development support and our property management is integral to this service. With this in mind we ensure that our properties are available at reasonable rates and offer terms to suit organisations at these stages of development. We enjoy good relations with our tenants who benefit from the ethos engrained in our social and economic values and who often benefit from opportunities to collaborate with HCD and other tenants. We have been successful in keeping our properties fully let over this year. When selecting new tenants, we prioritise co-operatives, social enterprises, businesses looking to enhance Dalston’s cultural offer and local residents keen to start up in business and particularly welcome applications that demonstrate how organisations will work co-operatively with other tenants. We apply similar prioritisation to our contractors. We are currently very keen to engage more organisations who have received support from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub. 6 7


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Tenant Focus Alpha Actors Alpha Actors was established in 1983 by a group of actors who wanted greater insight into their industry and were keen to have greater autonomy over their careers. Over the last 29 years we have grown into a co-operative agency of 24 actors. Our membership consists of a broad range of professional actors who we feel have the skill sets required to cover most of the casting requirements in an ever changing entertainment industry. Alpha Actors has seen its members appear in many major theatre companies, the west end, in commercials and film. Recent credits include, Julius Caesar for The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and A Long Day’s Journey Into Night in the west end. We have recently launched our new web site. Please feel free to swing by and check us out: www.alphaactors.com, www.facebook.com/ AlphaActors, @alphaactors Because our staff are tenants themselves, and are familiar with the type of stock housing associations/ councils have, we believe they take more pride in maintaining high levels of cleanliness. When providing services to a housing association, we try to recruit tenants of that association, so apart from providing a cleaning/maintenance/ gardening service we also support housing associations to invest in their communities by providing employment locally. We pay at least the London living wage to all our staff, as we believe all staff are entitled to living a dignified life, off benefits. Also, better paid staff are happier, more motivated and have greater loyalty. To the Jungle To the Jungle is one of the newest cafes adding to the rich social scene that Dalston has to offer. Kollier Din-Bangura has been an entrepreneur since his graduation from Brunel University in 2005. His first café, From the Forest, opened in 2009, a favourite of the Forest Hill community and was recently visited by Jay Z and Beyonce! Kollier wanted to move up the new Overground to establish an equally popular venue catering to the tastes of the people of Dalston and worked with Hackney Co-operative Developments to develop his new business on Dalston Lane. While on the outside there is a mural resembling a tiger’s face, the minimal interior with vintage décor, books and handpicked furniture of To the Jungle lets customers lounge and read or mingle for hours. Noticing the fast-paced and creative regeneration of the Dalston area and with the support of HCD, Kollier opened Coffee @ Ridley’s, which other than quality coffee, focuses on healthy food, sandwiches and fresh juices. Kollier has made a lot of the signature furniture pieces in his premises – he’s always had an eye for art and design, which prompted him to open The Invisible Line gallery next door. The gallery has attracted local and international artists, and hosted a variety of events and talks as well as music events. Although he admits it’s been a challenging year, managing a number of businesses and sustaining the standard, he believes that his loyal staff and clients have been pivotal in his improvement. Tenants Bradbury Street Shops Dalston Jazz Bar Coco and Creame Fee Fee la Fou Enterprises feefeelafouenterprises.com Aso Rock Eldica Mosaics www.eldica.co.uk Saint Best www.saintbest.co.uk Gujarati Rasoi www.gujaratirasoi.com Mama Vics www.mamavics.co.uk Servant Jazz Quarters www.servantjazzquarters.com KC Law Chambers www.kclawchambers.com Channel 33 channel33.co.uk/site Campbell-Taylor Solicitors www.rhctlegal.co.uk Communication ID www.communicationid.co.uk Detention Advice Service www.detentionadvice.org.uk K Ministries SQI Hackney Dalston Lane To the Jungle Nails 4U Dalston Culture House Downstairs @ the Vortex www.vortexdownstairs.co.uk Vortex Jazz Club www.vortexjazz.co.uk Studio Upstairs www.studioupstairs.org.uk Circleline www.circlelinedesign.co Kingsland High Street Fluke Productions www.flukeproductions.com Beucoup Films www.beaucoupfilms.com House of Antoine La Clinique Sante et Beaute www.la-clinique.com Frank Jay Accountants www.frankjay.com NTS Media ntslive.co.uk Festival of Yoruba Arts www.foya.org.uk Bradbury Street Workspace HCD Property Team www.hcd.coop Resico Ltd Single Parents Holistic Project Alpha Management www.alphaactors.com Robin Grey, Musician www.robingrey.com Design Squad Gillett Square Partnership www.gillettsquare.org.uk FANOS https://fanos.org.uk Invisible Dust invisibledust.com IT Guy www.itguy.com Varlik Alevi Funeral Co-op Busoga Association UK (BAUK) www.busoga.org.uk Randall Shaw Billingham s.coop/13dwk Gresford Architects & AYH: Hackney www.gresfordarchitects.co.uk Oblong Tech www.oblongtech.com Act Training Services www.acttrainingco.com Black Ethnic Minority Working Group www.bemwg.org.uk Meeting Room (available for hire) www.hcd.coop/ Gillett Square Kaffa Coffee CJays Computer Hut Print Box Chicago Barbers www.johnachiman.com Alex the Tailor Foodies (Aso Rock) Food Bar s.coop/13dyz NTS Radio/Babel Music ntslive.co.uk/ and babel-label. bandcamp.com Salama Video & Books Downham Road Advance Technology Gospel www.igospel.uk.com Poolfresh Cleaning www.cleaningmasters.co.uk Midland City International RESICO RESICO is a limited liability partnership Resident Services Organisation (RSO) which was established and run by tenants to provide employment for residents and tenants of Mosaic Homes (formerly New Islington and Hackney Housing Association [NIHHA]) some of whom for a variety of reasons may have had difficulties finding employment in the past. RESICO provides estate services and cleaning, basic grounds maintenance and gardening, commercial office cleaning, including key holding and provision of consumables, small scale building maintenance, handyman services and temporary admin staff. 8 HCD Co-operative Workspace (Beechwood Road) Hackney Co-operative Developments CIC www.hcd.coop Meeting Room (available for hire) www.hcd.coop Lil Stars Nursery www.lil-stars.com/ Emmanuel Stephens & Co emmanuelstephensandco.co.uk AB Collins Accountants www.abcollinsaccountants.com AI Conferences www.aiconferences.com 9


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The ABC of Gillett Square The idea of a Square in Dalston had been discussed locally for over 20 years as part of a community wide consultation by Hackney Co-operative Developments and Groundwork East London. Local people were determined to create a special space that could represent the local cultures and spearhead improvement throughout the community, the result of which was our working in partnership with Hawkins\Brown Architects on the retention and repair of the derelict buildings in Bradbury Street, the development of the Design Week Magazine award winning Bradbury St trading pods, the building of the Dalston Culture House and eventually the conversion of a derelict car park in to a new town square – Gillett Square. Following Gillett Square’s shortlisting for last year’s Academy of Urbanism Great Spaces award, we are pleased to announce that Gillett Square has won the 2012 World Architecture News Effectiveness Award. The panel at World Architecture News particularly acknowledged how the central Square served the needs of ‘all community groups... supplying much-needed open-air space for public performances and teaching’. A place for the Arts… for Business… for C ommunity 10 11


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Gillett Square is a place for the Arts HCD firmly believe in the value of cultural activities as a positive agent in developing community cohesion and in we have further developed the way that we deliver arts programming in Dalston by working with partners to develop Vortex Squared, a new governance group to oversee cultural development. This group is an innovative cross-sector partnership, made up of Hackney Co-operative Developments, the Vortex Foundation and the Vortex Jazz Club, as well as London Borough Hackney’s Cultural Development and Regeneration Delivery Teams. This is a sophisticated, network-based solution to multiple social problems, working alongside more traditional, hierarchical interventions, which will test the conditions under which a new civic collectivism, or social productivity, may emerge. The partnership is set to become a national beacon model of empowering communities to shape cultural and regeneration policy and to deliver these policies with absolutely transparency and accountability. By placing civic action and citizen empowerment centre stage, the project is realising the ideals of the policy drive urged by the RSA (the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce ) and putting flesh on the bones of Big Society rhetoric. Vortex Squared oversees the cultural programming, lead by Hackney Co-operative Developments, which plays a key role in the socially cohesive regeneration of this rapidly changing area of Dalston, and at the same time works to retain its diversity and showcase its creativity. Gillett Square hosts an exceptionally wide range of programmed and spontaneous activities which take place both day and night, attracting to Dalston all sections of the neighbourhood, visitors from all over the world and a range of new initiatives for public space projects. This year we became an official Olympic Venue by hosting the official handover of the games from London to Rio during a huge event which truly reflected the vision and many of the aspirations for East London that formed a crucial element in the success of the 2007 bid in Singapore. 12 13


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Hard work though it was, we were able to work closely with the Barbican to cater to the additional programming and with London 2012, Create Festival and the carnival partners from Rio to include additional spectacular dance, puppetry and pyrotechnics which wowed the audiences, attracted press coverage from around the world and made the closing montage of BBC2’s The Culture Show. Funded by London Borough of Hackney, Barbican and London 2012 Festival, with in-kind input from Gillett Squared team and our volunteers. Vortex Outdoors This one day festival celebrated The Vortex Jazz Club’s 25th Birthday and featured 8 different performances on a specifically built stage in the square during the day, moving up in the evening to The Vortex Jazz Club for a more intimate live performance which ran into the late hours. Along with the live music, visitors experienced the purposefully curated Vortex Museum which displayed previously unseen archive material from the historically important Vortex Archive. Visitors also learnt about all the current aspects of this unique musical community which still nurtures and develops cutting edge music, offering the community an opportunity to learn about East London’s play in the British (and world) Jazz scene. We also provided our business tenants from Bradbury Street with the opportunity to create a market that celebrated the culture of this neigborhood, featuring international food from the likes of Gujarati Rasoi, a real ale bar from the Vortex’s Real Ale Society and a 2nd hand vinyl stall from Eldica Records. Our tenants NTS Radio, whose studio is based in our Gillett Square pods, were the primary media partner for the day, broadcasting much of the event and featuring interviews with performers, attendees and volunteers. Funded by Arts Council England, PRS for Music Foundation and the Vortex Foundation, with in-kind input from the Vortex volunteers. Dance Nations Dalston Dance Nations Dalston is an ongoing annual event which Hackney Co-operative Developments has been producing in partnership with the Barbican and the Vortex since 2007. This year’s event on July 21st was the biggest and the best yet with around 10,000 people passing through Gillett Square keeping us full throughout the day to enjoy live music, dance and DJs from around the world; including Residual Gurus (a Catalan group playing recycled material), Black Eagles (eye-popping acrobatic trio from Tanzania), Los Chinches (psychedelic Latin-esque live band) and Owiney Sigoma Band (world recognized local afro-electro ensemble). Crowds took part in dance workout workshops from Lah Di Dah, Lokkhi Terra (Brazilian street band), Bollywood Vibes and King Candy & Swing and while music continued into the late hours upstairs at the Vortex Jazz Bar, we tested our state of the art outdoor cinema equipment with the truly spectacular ‘Koyaanisqatsi’, a cult film set to an atmospheric score by celebrated composer Philip Glass. This year, in addition to our pre-planned festival preparations, we provided refuge for key elements of the Hackney One Festival, displaced from a waterlogged Clissold Park, in Britain’s wettest summer on record. The last minute cancellation of the Clissold Park event gave groups including London 2012 the opportunity to see how efficiently the Gillett Square team can create a high quality event under pressure as we had to cater to the arrival of two extra stages and inclusion in the official Olympic programme in just five days! 14 15


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Match and Fuse Match and Fuse was a two-day festival held at the Vortex Jazz Club in HCD’s Dalston Culture House and outdoors in Gillett Square on second day. It marked the culmination of an ambitious touring project by local young band World Service Project which partners bands from different European countries on mutually hosted tours in their respective countries, and additional musical collaboration between all participants. The festival featured performance from bands from all over the world who have participated in this excellent example of musicians mutually supporting one another. It also featured live video feed from inside the Vortex out in to the square. A special feature of the event was a performance which culminated from workshops involving the musicians and local schoolchildren. Match and Fuse has 5–10 year ambition for the festival to be hosted in different country each year. Gillett Square and HCD’s partners the Vortex Jazz Club proved to be the natural home to first festival of this project as members of the band live locally, volunteered at Vortex and Gillett Square (and have continued to since) and were supported by Vortex and Gillett Squared staff in their funding applications. Attendance reached 350 –400 at any one time, with an estimated 1500 throughout day and provided Gillett Square with a significantly younger crowd. The attendance levels proved particularly impressive given the large music festival taking place in Victoria Park on the same day and rave reviews were received in the Guardian and Jazzwise magazine. The event was funded by ArtsCouncil England, PRS forMusic Foundation, London Borough of Hackney and others. 20 Drum Sets:20 Drummers As part of the UPLOAD Festival of new projects based from within and around the Loop Collective, 20 drummers (and drum kits!) convened on Gillett Square to perform a one-off piece of music, created by internationally renowned drummers Dave Smith and Tom Skinner, featuring some of the finest drummers/percussionists in the UK and surely one of London’s musical highlights of 2012. UPLOAD is conceived and organised by the Loop Collective. The first edition (early 2009, at the Vortex Jazz Club) was a highly successful showcase of the different projects from within the collective, whilst the next 2010 and 2011 editions also showcased the international collaborations of its members’ whilst promoting the best of London’s contemporary Jazz. This event was funded by the Gillett Squared partnership. 16 17


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Gillett Square is a place for Business Gillett Square was developed as a liberated public space bordered by Hackney Co-operative Developments commercial premises. Working with Hawkins/Brown Architects we rehabilitated derelict housing and combined elements of new build in order to provide Dalston with offices, workshops and retail facilities for local businesses as well as arts and voluntary organisations, opening them up to the community by placing them around this highly active central square. The architects explain: “A sense of place has emerged with the rehabilitated managed workspaces, offices and workshops with their first- and second-storey balconies looking over the square.” World Architecture News, November 2012 Dalston Town Centre is home to a wide variety of cutting edge fashion designers, stylists, media and creative industries, independent boutiques, the finest international cuisine you will find in the Capital, arts venues and a thriving night-time economy. Our commercial tenants at the development to the West and South of Gillett Square, which encompasses Bradbury Street and the Dalston Culture House, wholly reflect this diversity in innovative business and cultural industry, whilst drawing from all sectors, providing a base for co-operatives, social enterprises and community groups alongside local independent business. Dalston Culture House is a stunning four storey cultural centre and arts workspace, housing the world famous Vortex Jazz Club along with therapeutic arts group Studio Upstairs and acclaimed fabric designers Circle Line and a ground floor cafe & bar opens directly onto Gillett Square. Dalston Culture House redeveloped a derelict factory site and provided an exciting early boost to the renaissance of Dalston and, together with other Hackney arts venues, is helping to build a strong arts presence in East London on a par with the attractions of the West End and Central London. Dalston Culture House has figured prominently in numerous press articles as an exemplary catalyst for inner city regeneration and was short-listed for the Hackney Design awards in 2006. Hackney Co-operative Develops also operates 10 small trading units to the South side of Gillett Square which provide an ideal location to test new businesses. The design of these versatile units was based on European newsstands and these won the Design Week Award for 2000 and a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) small building award. These units currently host a range of businesses, including an IT company, a coffee importer and roaster, food retailers, a barbershop, a design and print company and an internet radio station. Bradbury Street Workspace across the South side of Gillett Square houses over 20 workshops and offices utilising space reclaimed as part of the redevelopment of derelict housing on Bradbury Street. These self contained units, managed by Hackney Co-operative Developments, provide a home to a wide range of industries, drawing from all sectors and offering services 18 as diverse as architects, human rights lawyers, BSL interpretation, an actors co-operative and ukulele lessons! The Gillett Squared Cultural Team are also based here and HCD provide a meeting room for the use of tenants and other local organisations. This development also incorporates the retail units on Bradbury Street which house some of East London’s most exciting independent boutiques, international restaurants, a record shop, bars and live music venues. Together with Hackney Co-operative Developments’ ongoing provision of business development support to locally-owned, co-operative and social enterprise, this development helps us to push forward on our mission to promote social cohesion linked to sustainable wealth creation, promoting a virtuous cycle of social and economic development, which we call Community Economic Development. With the help of Dalston’s Town Centre Manager in London Borough Hackney’s Regeneration Delivery Team, Hackney Co-operative Developments are testing out a new Outdoor Market in Gillett Square. We are working with local businesses to launch a new and exciting market in 2013. To enquire about locating your organisation to HCD property, visit www.hcd.coop or contact us at 020 7254 4829. 19


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Gillett Square is a place for Community Gillett Square provides a vital piece of public realm where it is needed most. The urban area of Dalston is in the 10% most deprived wards in the UK. It has no public parks, only 4.22 hectares of open space, a traffic dominated environment and a cramped and hostile pedestrian environment. Hackney Co-operative Developments work with many partners to ensure that Gillett Square provides us the opportunity to offer the community a vital refuge and place to congregate in community celebration. Play and Games in the Square Thanks to our funders of equipment and workers (Groundwork and Cadbury, The Big Lottery, L.B. Hackney and The London Development Agency) Gillett Square has become, most afternoons and evenings, a lively place for all kinds of games, musical and social interaction, attracting people of all ages and from all walks of life. In 2010 Gillett Square was selected by Olympic sponsors Cadbury in association with Groundwork London as their flagship public space for rolling out their national Spots Versus Stripes games in East London 2011-2012. A separate partnership with Universal Board Games saw Games Days being run, supervised by volunteers. Though aimed at children, players of all ages joined in to play ping pong and table football and to take part in various board game tournaments. Businesses and members of the local community often volunteer to make these facilities available. Our Snug & Outdoor play equipment is a radical new concept for the playground, developed thanks to generous funding from NESTA, Arts Council, Esmee Fairburn, the Design Laboratory and the Institute of Education. The large-scale modular play elements mix and match giving children an opportunity to be extremely imaginative in the way they play with and configure their own play environments. 20 21


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Business Development Time for Tea This October, Gillett Square hosted, for the third year running, a oneday festival for World Mental Health Day. The event was organised by a number of organisations working in the field of Mental Health, led by Dalston Culture House tenants Studio Upstairs. In a departure from the stage-and-audience format of the event in previous years, Gillett Square turned into a pop-up Village with activities for all the family from knitting, jewellery making, bike maintenance and croquet to a replica of the Tate Modern called ‘Tight Modern’ displaying 50 miniature works and our FREE tea lounge with tea and cake! Hackney Co-operative Developments formed 30 years ago to assist people into co-operative enterprise and this remains a primary focus of our organisation. Over 30 years we have lead the way for business growth and economic regeneration in our locality, supporting co-operatives, social enterprises and locally-owned businesses through consultancy, training, incubation and providing suitable premises to grow businesses. Why Co-operate? We are still in the midst of global economic meltdown caused by an economic system which has benefitted short-term and short-sighted capitalist speculation and worked in opposition to sustainable and equitable wealth creation. The results of this system have been dire for the UK. Our economy is back in recession and our national debt is at 64.8% against GDP. However, the news is far more positive for the co-operative economy, which in 2011 grew by 1.5%, outperforming the UK economy for the forth year running, rising from a turnover of £29.8bn in 2008 to £35.6bn in 2011. The number of co-operatives grew by 8.9% in 2011 (growing by 23% since 2008) meaning there were 5,933 in the UK at last count, which accounts for over 13 million co-operative memberships. 35% of businesses fail within 3 years of start-up, whereas the survival rate of co-operative businesses at 3 years is 98%. Co-operatives are designed to benefit members, society and the environment. Co-operatives share their ownership, profits and control across their members. Co-operatives are principled businesses and those principles are lead by an ethos of not leaving democracy outside of the workplace. According to research for Co-operatives UK’s ‘Good Business’ publication, 79% of UK shoppers believe that co-operatives act fairly, with only 18% believing this to be true for business at large. The co-operative movement is a global one. 3bn people secure their livelihoods through the world’s 1.4 million co-operatives. This October, Manchester welcomed co-operators from around the world to Co-operatives United, our movement’s global festival of events and exhibitions marking the close of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives. 753 co-operatives attended from 88 countries. Co-operative Enterprise Hub Our co-operative development work is primarily delivered under the national Co-operative Enterprise Hub programme. The Hub has been set up by The Co-operative Group as a one-stop shop for free advice, training and access to finance for new and existing co-operatives. Hackney Co-operative Developments are part of a UK-wide network of experienced co-operative development advisers delivering this support. We are currently developing a new application system to make it easier than ever to propose an event in Gillett Square. If you wish to approach us with a proposal, drop us a line via our website, www.gillettsquare.org.uk Gillett Square is not without its social problems. Based in an area with significant drug and alcohol, crime and anti-social behaviour issues and occupying a space which was previously a car park known as an area hotspot for criminality, Gillett Square continues to attract some crime and anti-social behaviour. Particular issues around street-drinking, drug dealing and drug use continue to provide challenges in making this a suitable venue for all of the community to enjoy together. HCD are participating in a wide range of work to help overcome these challenges and working with a range of mental wellbeing professionals, both statutory and community sector, to develop new programmes of support to and positive engagement with those who use Gillett Square to participate in drug and alcohol abuse and we are currently seeking funding to create positive opportunities for these people to help themselves. 22 23


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The contract for delivering the Hub work across London and the South East has been awarded to South East Co-operative Support and we are proud to partner with them to support the creation of new and the development of existing co-operatives in our area. The clients that we have worked with under the Hub scheme reflect the diversity of the co-operative movement and have included retail, health and social care, cultural and human rights organisations. In a period of recession, half of the Hub’s clients have reported economic growth with 84% of those attributing that growth to the support they have received. 2 out of 3 clients reported that the Hub support gave them the skills to manage their co-operatives and 3 out of 4 feel they are more committed to co-operative values and principles. To apply for Co-operative Enterprise Hub support from Hackney Co-operative Developments, or for more information, contact Bekele Teklu on 020 7993 3637 or at b.teklu@hcd.coop. Co-op For Better Life Co-op For Better Life is a project we launched in 2011 which continued into this year. We provided workshops, training and one-to-one advice to enhance the success of individuals to move out of economic inactivity. We supported members of our local community to volunteer, access employment and to establish co-operative businesses and social enterprises. Our workshops covered themes such as business start-up, customer service, business administration and personal development. 35 people progressed through this course against a target of 24. Around half of the participants achieved an NVQ level 2 qualification in customer service, while the others are continuing through an NVQ course in customer service and business administration due to complete by the end of this year. The evaluation feedback we received from the first cohort overwhelmingly demonstrated the positive impact our course had on participants’ confidence to run their own businesses and/or to search actively for employment. All the indications are that more people are interested to join a project like this one. Co-op For Better Life was kindly funded by a National Lottery Award for All grant through Hackney Co-operative Developments Trust. Co-operatives London Hackney Co-operative Developments is an active member of Co-operatives London and our Managing Director sits on the Board. Co-operatives London is the regional co-operative council for the capital. It brings together consumer co-ops, worker co-ops, housing and community co-ops, credit unions, support bodies, supportive individuals and other organisations which share our values. 24 25


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Our mission is to grow the co-operative economy in London. We want more co-ops in London, and we want more people working for co-ops and buying things from co-ops. Hackney Co-operative Developments would like to encourage all of our members and all Londoners who support the co-operative movement to become members of Co-operatives London. Go to www.ldn.coop to find out more. London Co-op Development Where Co-operatives London works strategically to grow the co-operative economy in the capital, London Co-op Development is here to provide practical business development support to co-operative enterprises across London. London Co-op Development is a federal co-operative made up of Co-operative Development Bodies, like us, across London and Hackney Co-operative Developments is a founder member. No matter what the needs of your co-operative, whether you’re a start-up or wanting to grow, through this active partnership we can match you with the most appropriate Co-operative Development Advisor, based on location or experience of your sector. Contact Bekele or Dominic at Hackney Co-operative Developments to find out more. Hackney Infrastructure Partnership Hackney Infrastructure partnership is one of seventy-two partnerships made up of local voluntary sector support groups have received funds from the Office for Civil Society’s £30m Transforming Local Infrastructure fund, set up to help infrastructure bodies work together more closely. This fund was about modernising the landscape of local infrastructure and sees local groups, which provide the backbone of support to the sector, working together to develop innovative business plans that ensure support to vital local services not only continues in the face of major cuts to funding, but that the support we give makes things better for the front line. The partnership ties together the support of the sector’s key infrastructure bodies in Hackney and is lead by our partners at Hackney Council for Voluntary Services. Through close partnership working we are making it easier for people to volunteer, for community groups to form enterprises, take over community assets and to increase support from the private sector. Hackney Co-operative Developments has been successfully developing and incubating social enterprise for 30 years and so was the natural choice of local infrastructure organisation to lead on the delivery of support by the partnership to new social enterprises and to helping existing charities and community groups to use enterprise as a way to diversify and improve their income streams. This project has enabled us to deliver tailored support to organisations, meeting their exact needs and focussing specifically on developing business plans which provide sustainable provision to their beneficiaries. Through the provision of this programme we have gained the opportunity to work with a broad range of organisations that are making life better 26 for those who live in the borough of Hackney. The diversity of these organisations demonstrate that the social enterprise model works across the range of products and services that people need. We have also been able to co-produce innovative support packages with partners, such as a recent project working with ELBA (East London Business Alliance) that matched HCD clients with teams of Business Analysts from UBS to mentor and advise on business planning and growth. Importantly for us and for the sector across Hackney, the project allows us to tie in the social enterprise development work that we do to delivering on the aims of key-inter-agency partnerships we contribute to, such as the City and Hackney Health & Social Care Forum and the Hackney Economic Development Network by supporting new initiatives for their networks of delivery agents to service the local needs they identify. The organisations we have worked with under this scheme have included an innovative start-up IT support company, who provide training and develop solutions for the third sector organisations based on democratic open-source software; a long-standing successful social care organisation who need to develop business-based models of service delivery to compensate for a downturn due to the loss of grant income; a community arts organisation who have been supported to greatly broaden their output and engagement to significantly diversify their income streams; a startup social enterprise formed to underwrite the activities of a community garden through the provision of a community cafe, events space hire and partnership working within the garden. This project is supported by the Office for Civil Society in the Cabinet Office (OCS) and by the Big Lottery. Supporting the Hard To Reach This project is unlocking the potential of local unemployed people to become employment ready through the provision of skills and training workshops. The main project activity is provision of skills training in an environment that is suitable to the needs of those who are considered ‘hard to reach’. In this regard the project provided customer service and hospitality training as well as running employability workshops and developing people’s soft skills through one-to-one advice. We are specifically targeting vulnerable groups in our local community, including refugees and asylum seekers, people with disabilities, those on incapacity benefits and lone parents. Our target at the outset was to support 30 people to achieve level II certificate in Customer Service and Business & Administration in partnership with other providers. To date, more than 40 beneficiaries are on board with some 30 having already completed their work towards their qualification. 10 participant’s skills were developed through work placements at Hackney Co-operative Developments and a further 10 have already secured employment. This project is kindly supported by London Community Foundation and Comic Relief through Hackney Co-operative Developments Trust. 27


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Into Work Hackney Co-operative Developments is providing one-to-one training to local people to give them the skills they need to use the internet to improve their chances of securing employment. As well as face-to-face support, we offer advice to our clients as they wish to receive it, this includes phone calls, texts and emails, to enable people to access support from us while working from home, libraries and internet cafes, or from community centres we are partnering with, where they are also receiving support from volunteers. One example of how Hackney Co-operatives Developments strives to support those with the greatest needs and those who are genuinely hardest to reach is shown in the way we took this project out to the street-drinkers in Gillett Square. There is currently a significant problem of crime and anti-social behaviour, centred around a group of people with complex support needs, including addiction to dugs and alcohol, who congregate in Gillett Square. Ongoing pressure from local residents and businesses have brought increased efforts to control the problem by the Police and London Borough of Hackney, and Hackney Co-operatives Developments are pleased to play a leading role in this action, as demonstrated by our Managing Director chairing the multi-sector Joint Action Group formed to resolve these issues. However, we are committed to supporting all members of our local community and therefore are actively seeking ways to positively engage those who are participating in street drinking on Gillett Square, not just relying on enforcement to clear the problem away. This project allowed us to develop an ICT infrastructure which enabled us to provide 10 computers connected to the internet out in Gillett Square, bringing the service to those who will not access it from within an institution. To date more than 100 beneficiaries have completed online basic computer training out of which more than half of these started to use online government services to search jobs and make use of online government services. This project is funded by UK Online Basics Centre. 28 29



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