SOCIAL ENTERPRISE NEWS
In our latest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Jean Cathro and Crossing Countries, a social enterprise that enables disabled and non disabled people to travel and volunteer together. Get in touch with Jean at email@example.com and check out www.crossingcountries.wordpress.com. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter too. Every few weeks we focus on a randomly selected social enterprise member for intense marketing support and promotion. Crossing Countries will feature in all e-bulletins, on our website homepage and on all our social media, alongside other support, reaching thousands of people across Scotland and beyond. Want to star in the Spotlight? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s your social and/or environmental mission? To challenge the boundaries that prevent inclusion and people attaining their potential. To raise awareness of the positive social impact that travel and volunteering has on disabled people themselves, the people and organisations they work with and society as a whole.
How do you do it? Crossing Countries provides equal opportunities for disabled and non-disabled people to volunteer abroad together. Teams fundraise and plan together before they leave. Each volunteer placement or project is tailored to the individual member’s skills and abilities and because everyone is outside their comfort zone, everyone supports each other.
What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur? My life changed when I visited South Africa nine years ago. I was empowered by the experience and wanted to share it with the disabled students I work with. They also wanted the experience – so we did it. They were empowered, so 2015 saw our second trip.
What are your current projects? We are recruiting for our next trip. Once that’s finalised we start planning the placements, training and the individualised projects we will do while in Durban this summer. We are also planning a fundraising event for February with our new team.
What exciting things do you have coming up? Of course next year’s trip. We want to add a disabled person from Durban to our team so we will be volunteering with a very diverse group and challenging even more stereotypes.
Who do you want to work with more? We would like to work with more disabled groups to recruit more volunteers and to have a mentor in the travel and voluntary sectors. Oh and someone who is a whizz at social media etc. would be helpful.
What’s your biggest challenge? As we are a start up our biggest challenge is to get our name out there and to identify revenue streams. I think the other challenge is to take it slowly and build really strong organisational foundations, however impatient we are.
What top tip would you give to other social enterprises? Possibly a clichéd tip for any project …How do you eat an elephant? A bit at a time! BUT it’s true…writing a list of priorities every morning even if they are ones you are dreading, then doing them, then rewarding yourself with something that feeds your soul after.
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