Recognition for social enterprises

TWO not-for-profit businesses based in Suffolk have been awarded the new Social Enterprise Mark which was launched earlier this year to help consumers recognises organisations which trade to benefit people and the environment rather than shareholders.

Suffolk ACRE and 1st Question East are both based at the Brightspace complex for social enterprise at the Elton Business Centre, off Hadleigh Road, Ipswich.

Suffolk ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) aims to tackle the economic, social and environmental needs of communities in Suffolk by forging partnerships with relevant agencies and promoting communal self-help.

In addition to its work in areas such as affordable housing, village halls and transport, it has established the Brightspace centre to serve as its own headquarters and as a base for other social enterprises.

Among these is 1st Question East, a workers’ co-operative of trainers which is committed to the safeguarding and welfare of young people and is supported by the East of England Co-operative Society. Its team members work in areas including education, business and local communities.

Andrea Hill, chief executive of Suffolk County Council, presented the awards during a ceremony at the complex to Wil Gibson, chief executive of Suffolk ACRE, and Mags Lambert, on behalf of Jon Halls, a trainer and musician with 1st Question East.

Dr Gibson said: “It is very exciting to be recognised as a ‘quality’ social enterprise as Suffolk ACRE manages Brightspace Social Enterprise Business Centre and Support network of over 40 social enterprises across Suffolk.

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“I am also very pleased that one of our tenants has achieved such a prestigious award too”.