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A G&T with a conscience


One of the things I love most about social enterprise is the wonderful mixture of the private sector and the not-for-profit sector, it’s the best of both worlds and luckily the link between the two is getting stronger and more and more popular, even in areas you might not expect.

Helping Hooves, run by one of the fellows of the School for Social Entrepreneurs Hampshire, uses equine therapy to promote wellbeing and healing in people who have suffered from personal trauma and I recently attended one of their events, a wine and cheese tasting evening. Whilst waiting at a bus stop, Abigail Withey, the founder of Helping Hooves, got chatting to a man about her organisation and what she does. The gentleman turned out to be Gernot Klantschnig who owns GK Winehouse. Gernot was so impressed with the work she was doing that he offered to do a wine tasting event in order to promote the organisation.

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It was held at the Longwood Estate in Winchester, the wine tasting was outside in a beautifully decorated gazebo and the food in a building called “The Snug” complete with comfy sofas and a wood burning stove. It is safe to say that the event was a success and was enjoyed by all who attended. The combination of the wine tasting and the charitable cause was a unique selling point and one which the alcohol industry and the not-for-profit sector is taking more and more notice of.

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Pickering’s Gin in Edinburgh, for example, have created Ginerosity , a gin that donates all of its profits to Challenges Worldwide, an organisation that offers young disadvantaged people the opportunity to volunteer abroad. Profits from sales have already benefited six young people, who will now have the funds to volunteer with social enterprises in Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Ghana whilst working towards an industry-recognised qualification from the Chartered Management Institute. Closer to home, Gorilla Spirits, based in Four Marks, operate a distillery that supports The Gorilla Organisation. One pound from each sale of Silverback Gin and Blackback Vodka is donated to the cause.

Even beer can have a social conscience. Toast Ale tackles food waste by making beer out of surplus bread obtained from bakeries and commercial sandwich manufacturers. Brewgooder makes craft beer that donates 100% of its profits to clean water projects around the world and Ignition Brewery creates job opportunities for people with learning disabilities.

Social enterprise is everywhere which is amazing because it means there are people doing good things everywhere, even down at your local pub.

I can’t wait to see where it’ll go next.