School for Social Entrepreneurs Stories of Change Awards Ceremony

This event as always brings together the mighty spirit of those brave enough to dare challenging the status quo with those who are similar but working within the financial services. SSE provides a platform for the learning and development of those that graduate from the programme and the tools and support for the enterprises they start.Stories of Change

Among the award winners, special mention should be made of Lucy, who overcame the barriers of homelessness to acquire 11 acres of land on which she will build a homelessness rehabilitation centre based around land-based learning and acupuncture, and Ian from May Project Gardens, which is starting a permaculture garden in Morden with the aim of bringing communities together through ecological and ethical activities.

We were asked for something bright, cheerful and celebratory because this year’s ceremony was earlier than usual. We chose white glass vases and clear glass for the long-stemmed irises and, keeping in harmony with the SSE colours – magenta, gold and blue – we thought sunflowers were fitting to represent their logo. We used the irises to represent vision and fidelity, which we feel is needed for those who take a social or environmental entrepreneurial path.Magenta, Blue and Gold

Floral donation went to the Karibu Centre, Gresham Road, Brixton, which allowed for the space to be dressed for the funeral of a young male victim of violent street crime. Elaine Holness, the director of the Centre and an SSE fellow, continues to create an accessible and safe environment for the Brixton community to hold meetings and events.

Fair Trade Floral Design at the V&A

We delivered a workshop at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 1 December. The journey to the market was especially beautiful walking across the park with its crispy fields and bare trees in the winter sunlight.Image Lauren was impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm of Marissa, the workshop assistant, who was standing waiting for her at the flower market at 6:00 am. It was lovely driving over to the V&A and passing the Natural History Museum in awe of the architecture and design – the scaled reptilian brickwork is exactly right for the purpose of the building. It was bordering eerie walking into the V&A with no sound of other people and being watched by the big golden angel called ‘Spirit’ that looks over the staff entrance.

Preparation was fun, with Marissa and Lauren setting out the Rainforest Alliance certified flowers for the bouquets.Image The workshop was equal parts theory, practice and creative space. We talked a lot about our experiences of flowers and how we see them in the world for the future. Lauren demonstrated small arrangements that have a low impact on resources and high visual flair.Image Participants then made their own arrangements and bouquets.Image

The women attending were a mix of experienced florists and inexperienced flower lovers and came from several different countries including Kenya, Italy and Canada. We would like to thank everyone who participated – Lauren had a great time sharing her experiences. We look forward to further collaborations with the V&A in the future.