Newman University awarded ‘Social Enterprise Mark’

13/12/2018 by Sinead Staunton

Social Enterprise Mark

Newman University has recently been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, the only international social enterprise accreditation, enabling credible social enterprises to prove they work for the benefit of both people and planet.

Social enterprises are recognised as independent businesses that put the majority of their income into supporting a strong social or environmental mission. The more successful a social enterprise is the more social benefit it can deliver.

With Birmingham now agreed by Social Enterprise UK as a Social Enterprise City, Newman University adds to the profile of Birmingham as the place with the largest number of social enterprises outside of London. In addition to its core work of teaching, research, and student support services, Newman promotes social enterprise among staff and students through initiatives, competitions, and events that encourage them to come forward each year with ideas to make a difference. Newman rewards the best student ideas and provides support to explore their ideas further.

The University already partners with a number of social enterprises including Aquarius, whose mission is to support people to reduce their reliance on alcohol and drugs; St Paul’s Community Development Trust who provide services to the local community in Birmingham; and St Mary’s Hospice in Birmingham. In 2016, the University also launched Newman Health & Wellbeing, which has a vision to improve the quality of life for individuals and to make a positive contribution to the communities and organisations to which they belong.

Students at the University can take advantage of such partnerships as they are able to undertake work placements at the social enterprises to allow them to prepare for work once they graduate from Newman University.

The University also has a ReachOut project which aims to work with young people in schools and public spaces in 3 wards with lower than expected Higher Education take up. The project involves youth workers and students from the University who engage with some of the most socially excluded young people in those areas.

The above projects amongst others have all contributed to Newman’s achievement of being awarded the Social Enterprise Mark.

Peter Childs, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Newman University commented “The Social Enterprise Mark is an excellent way for us to provide an independent guarantee of our commitment to creating positive social change. It is also beneficial in helping us communicate our aims, purposes, and priorities to students, partners and other stakeholders in an era of increased scrutiny of the role of Universities in society.”