FuseCIC18 – Social housing and social enterprise, a match made in heaven

Original article featured on Shropshire Live website on 19th March 2018. To view the original article please click here.

The Phone Box Millionaire, Stephen Fear, was the keynote speaker at ‘Social housing and social enterprise, a match made in heaven…’ the first event of its type to be staged by the Shropshire based Fuse Enterprise Community Interest Company.

Stephen drew on his experience of growing up in Bristol in the 1960s where, aged 15, he used the red phone box on his estate to start a business that would see him become a global entrepreneur – to help inspire delegates to encourage a new generation of social enterprise.

Jean Jarvis MBE and MD of Fuse, said: ‘’We were thrilled to bring together more than 70 delegates at The Northfield Centre, Stafford. From local politicians to social housing providers, social enterprises and charities they all came, eager to learn how working together could create genuine opportunities for tenants, their families and communities.

We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who helped make our first conference, FuseCiC18, a special day and all those who travelled from as a field as London and the North East to be there.”

Delegates heard from an excellent programme of speakers about the huge contribution that social enterprise is playing in the UK economy today; about the importance of leadership and community ownership and providing high quality, affordable housing that doesn’t stigmatise tenants.

A series of learning workshops proved popular, including using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to tackle social isolation; why measuring social value is important; the benefits of social investment; and using social telecoms and digital inclusion to engage with communities.

Fuse is a partner in the Wrekin Housing Group and took the opportunity to share its experience of working together over the last four years, creating genuine opportunities for tenants and their families.

Chair of Fuse CIC Esther Wright said: “Every day we see the differences even small interventions can make to people’s lives, not just because we measure it – we do – but because people tell us themselves. It was fabulous to see so many people in the same room who share our aims and objectives and who are eager to learn from one another.”

Fuse hope this will be the first event of this kind and are already planning ahead for FuseCIC19.

After the event, Stephen Fear tweeted: Enjoyed discussing #AffordableHousing & #SocialEnterprise with everyone @FuseCIC in #Shropshire last week & having a good look around #Stafford of course. The #UK needs more #SocialEntreprenuers focused on the needs of society. #FuseCIC

To read the original article please click here.

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