Social Enterprise Spotlight – Animalia CIC

Posted: 12 January 2021, in Member Spotlight

Our newest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Tony O’Neill and Animalia CIC. Animalia believe in supporting people from all walks of life, in healthy living, both mental and physical and they do their utmost to support sport and fitness in local communities. Read and share their Q&A interview below! Get in contact with Tony on

What’s your social and/or environmental mission?
Animalia CIC takes people from being caged and disengaged to connected with themselves and their community. Animalia Apparel gives us a platform in the communities we support and gives us the funds we need to deliver for people across Scotland. Animalia CIC is the lion and Animalia Apparel is the mane.

How do you do it? (client group, practical daily work, customers etc)
We talk – a lot – working directly with people to find what stimulates them and how they can find that in everyday life. We pair the talking with physical activity to create a link between positive physical and mental health. We deliver sports programmes for young people, hill
walking for adults and physical challenges through our social media channels.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?
People. Life is hard. It hits you when you least expect it. It doesn’t give us all the same opportunities. And we never know when we’ll need a hand. So, for me, we may as well do what we can to make life as enjoyable as possible for as many people as we can.

What are your current projects?
Our Friday night sports youth partnership work in Govan with GYIP and SSF. The Animalia Champions social campaign where we individuals are nominated as Champions for going above and beyond in their communities. Animalia Summit to Do is currently being launched to tackle isolation and lack of connection caused by Covid lockdowns.

What exciting things do you have coming up?
January is a Month of Champions, a social campaign to bring some positivity to the start of the year with Blue Monday as the focus. 2021 sees the fifth instalment of our Nevis 24-hour climbing challenge. We have also been working hard to deliver improved sports and fight wear in the new year.

Who do you want to work with more?
We want to support people recovering from addiction and young people who have lived through the care system. We worked with over 100 people this year, through youth work, athlete partnerships and adult programmes. The work we’ve done has shown positive results in the communities and we want to work with more of the same people.

What’s your biggest challenge?
Honest answer – to go from surviving to thriving. Our impact is only limited by our income and the work we want to do is currently outstripping our sales. With support for two full time team members in Animalia Apparel we would create income to support full-time positions delivering ongoing social programmes.

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?
Take advice from people that have lived and breathed it. No one can replicate you and your passion so don’t be scared to do what you feel is right. Do not be scared to make money either, I didn’t focus on this to start with and have now realised the importance of creating sustainable income.