Working with, in and around Hub Islington
Eloise Acland is a 2016 fellow on the social innovation graduate scheme Year Here. Eloise has a degree in French and Spanish at the University of Edinburgh. During her studies she spent five months as an intern with Habitat for Humanity Chile, as well as five months studying in Toulouse France. She also spent months fundraising and subsequently running a creative summer camp for underprivileged children from Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.
As a fellow on a social innovation course called Year Here, I was aware of Impact Hub and had even ventured inside a few, but hadn’t had the chance to work there. Cue a joint project between Year Here and Impact Hub Islington working on delivering an event for the YES Alliance: an EU Erasmus initiative to get more young people interested in social enterprise across Madrid, Athens and London.
Dami, my co-fellow at Year Here who worked jointly on the YES Alliance project, and I thought we had hit the jackpot getting to work at Impact Hub Islington for half the week. We knew we would work well there after our first productive morning at a comfy window desk came to a close with the offer of a falafel wrap. Food is without a doubt the quickest way to my heart and when presented with Sexy Salad the following Thursday I was pretty convinced this place was for me.
As well as the food, the community at Impact Hub Islington makes the atmosphere. Our direct partner on our project was Debbie, Head of Partnerships, who was extremely welcoming and gave us our first tour of the hub.
From day one we were introduced to a series of friendly faces working on a vast range of positive projects. The variety of the organisations and activities represented by hub members showed me a bunch of new (and sometimes unconventional) ways to have a positive impact on our society.
As our own project developed, we had the chance to work more closely with some of the hub members who came to facilitate at our event. In typical hub style they brought plenty of energy, ideas and joy to the day and it showed the collaboration potential that Impact Hubs generate.
Excerpt from YES Alliance Impact Report, designed by Eloise Acland
Through the project we also had a chance to work with the wider Islington community. The YES Alliance event took place at Arsenal Stadium and was attended by students from four local schools and further education colleges. The students who came were either studying business or had expressed an interest in business, so it was slightly surprising to see that the world of social enterprise was almost completely unknown to them, and the concept of doing something positive while simultaneously making money an alien one. It was exciting that Impact Hub Islington could be part of changing their outlook, and it seems there is potential for further partnerships and more work with young people in the local community.
The whole experience working in, with and around Impact Hub Islington has been stimulating, and I’d like to say a big thank you for having us. I’m sure we’ll be sneaking back for visits very soon.