Scottish Social Enterprise Awards

Posted: 25 October 2012, in Press Release

Date: Thursday 25 October 2012
Embargo: Immediate
Contact: Duncan Thorp 0131 243 2654 / 07501 221 581


Scottish social enterprise award winners revealed

The winners of the annual Scottish Social Enterprise Awards 2012 were announced today at a special awards lunch in Edinburgh.

Social Enterprise Leader of the year was Robert Tamburrini of NG Homes in Glasgow, Start Up Social Enterprise of the Year was Talking Mats in Stirling, Social Enterprise of the Year was Factory Skatepark in Dundee, Social Enterprise Supporter of the Year was the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) in Glasgow and the Youth Led Social Enterprise of the Year was Udston Primary School’s Earthly Enterprises in Hamilton.

The judging panel included Alf Young, freelance journalist and Chair of Social Investment Scotland, Linda Hanna of Scottish Enterprise and Gordon Merrylees of RBS.

There was a 100% increase in applications compared to last year. The awards trophies are all original artworks commissioned from five Scottish creative social enterprises and will be handed over at the annual Scottish Parliament reception on 13 Nov. Entries came from 18 local authority areas. 

Fraser Kelly, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise Scotland, said:

“The winners announced today demonstrate the diversity and innovation of our social enterprise community. With a 100% increase in applications it just goes to show the imagination, strength and ambition of social enterprise in Scotland.”

All members of the media are welcome to attend the Scottish Parliament reception and awards ceremony. Book free places on our website here.

Social Enterprise Scotland is an independent Scottish organisation, built and controlled by grassroots social enterprises across the country.


Notes to Editors:

1 The winners are:

Social Enterprise Leader of the year 

Robert Tamburrini (NG Homes, Glasgow)

(Trophy designed by Resonate Arts House, Alloa)

Start Up Social Enterprise of the Year 

Talking Mats (Stirling)

(Trophy designed by Glasgow Wood Recycling)

Social Enterprise of the Year 

Factory Skatepark (Dundee)

(Trophy designed by Identity Artworks, Edinburgh)

Social Enterprise Supporter of the Year 

International Network of Street Papers (INSP, Glasgow)

(Trophy designed by Gallery on the Corner (Autism Initiatives), Edinburgh)

Youth Led Social Enterprise of the Year  

Udston Primary School (Earthly Enterprises, Hamilton)

(Trophy designed by Impact Arts, Glasgow)

Social Enterprise Leader of the Year, Robert Tamburrini, Chief Executive of NG Homes

Many can testify to Robert Tamburrini’s achievements in social housing over the past 22 years, growing Springburn & Possilpark HA into North Glasgow HA and then this year to NG Homes (from 998 units in 1990 to 5,800 units and 1,400 factored properties and completing the 1,000th new build by 2011), achievements endorsed by winning the UKHA 2012 Award – Best Large Housing Association in the UK.  Key factors on Robert’s journey have been: changing perspectives whereby housing and regeneration are accepted as symbiotic; developing the business capacity of the association to become a strategic player in the regeneration of north Glasgow; using its role as an enterprising community-led organisation so that it really is a great place to live, learn, work, visit and invest in. What has mattered hugely in these developments is Robert having the business acuity, social intelligence, imagination, persuasion, determination, consistency and capacity to inculcate changes and win over hearts and minds. Visit

Start Up Social Enterprise of the Year Winner, Talking Mats

Talking Mats was established as a social enterprise in May 2011. It is the first social enterprise to transition successfully from a research programme conducted at Stirling University. Talking Mats is an innovative, evidence-based communication framework which supports adults and children with a range of communication difficulties to express their views.  The Talking Mats vision is to improve the lives of people with communication difficulties and those close to them by increasing their capacity to communicate effectively about things that matter to them. There are four strands to the work of Talking Mats: Resources, Training, Consultancy and Research.  Talking Mats already provides resources and training internationally, including Japan, USA, China, Germany and Australia, with a network of 100 accredited trainers worldwide.  They are finalists for Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2012 – Best innovation in continuing care and are currently developing a new app for tablet devices. Visit

Youth Led Social Enterprise of the Year Winner, Udston’s Earthly Enterprises – Udston Primary School

The company was set up in November 2011 by an enthusiastic Primary 5 class who had been exploring ‘The Lorax’ by Dr Seuss. The class of 24 nine and ten year old children were extremely eager to increase awareness of the important environmental issues arising from the book and decided to make and sell ‘earthly’ products which would raise money for charities that are important to themselves, other children in the school, and the local community.  The children running this project have taken responsibility for everything from the company name, logo, vision, pricing, marketing and resource management down to the products sold and the worthwhile charities chosen to donate the funds to. The children have placed a significant emphasis on making the project sustainable by using recycled resources or by selling products that would reduce the use of harmful materials. The children even used recycled cardboard to create their marketing posters which were displayed around the school.

Social Enterprise Supporter of the Year, International Network of Street Papers (INSP)

INSP aims to alleviate poverty and promote a just civil society in the world through its network of street paper enterprises. Street papers, like the UK’s Big Issue, are independent newspapers and magazines which provide employment to homeless people. Many street papers also provide training and social support to vendors.  From its Glasgow headquarters, INSP supports, promotes and develops over 120 street paper social enterprises in 40 countries. INSP builds the capacity and sustainability of street papers by providing support and services, including training, access to best practice resources, accreditation and editorial support.  Since INSP was established in 1994, it has helped over 200,000 people living in poverty to improve their lives through selling street papers. The combined circulation of INSP street papers is increasing and is currently over six million per edition. INSP is a membership based more-than-profit organisation. Visit 

Social Enterprise of the Year Winner, Factory Skatepark

The Factory Skatepark is a modern day community centre which uses the extreme sports as the attraction to a variety of youth and community programmes as the means of engaging with the young people. It has been trading for 14 years and is based in a £1.4m purpose built 23,500 sq.ft. building. It is located at the intersection of three of Dundee’s areas of multiple deprivations. To date Factory Skatepark have over 16,200 registered users.  As well as offering extreme sports, it runs youth and homework clubs, IT classes for the elderly and digital photography classes.  It also has a successful sports shop and cafe.  Factory Skatepark are in the process of building a £700K soft play centre. As well as being a much needed provision in this part of the city it will also offer employment to 16 people and 20 training opportunities per year. Trading income is currently at 70% of turnover, expected to increase to 90% once the soft play centre is open. Visit

2 The shortlist was:

Social Enterprise Leader


James Dunbar (New Start Highland)


Randy Klinger (Moray Arts Centre)


Robert Tamburrini (NG Homes)


Start Up Social Enterprise

Identity Artwork


MY Adventure


Talking Mats


Social Enterprise of the Year

Atlantis Leisure

Argyll & Bute

Factory Skatepark


Furniture Plus


Mellow Parenting


Social Enterprise Supporter

Glasgow Caledonian University


International Network of Street Papers (INSP)


Unity Trust Bank


Youth Social Enterprise



Meru Bead Group


Udston Primary School (Earthly Enterprises)

South Lanarkshire

3 The judging panel were:

  1. Linda Hanna (Chair), Director of Company Growth, Scottish Enterprise
  2. Alf Young, Freelance journalist and Chairman of Social Investment Scotland
  3. Angus Hardie, Director, Scottish Community Alliance
  4. Fiona MacDonald, Manager of GREAN and previous winner of Social Enterprise of the Year
  5. Gordon Merrylees, Regional Managing Director, RBS Business Banking
  6. Lucia Webster (Due Diligence) Consultant, PwC