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Social Founder Stories

Hear inspirational founders tell their story

Social Founder Stories interviews the leaders who make social change happen, who use their passions, skills and entrepreneurial drive to make a difference, and to make our world a better place. You’ll hear what makes soc
Latest Episode5/17/2021

Changing Faces founder, the late James Partridge OBE, shares his story

Season 1, Ep. 10
How wonderful that we captured James Partridge OBE talking about his founder story before he so sadly passed away in 2020. James founded Changing Faces, the UK charity, in 1992, using his own personal experience of facial disfigurement, his work in Health Economics, and his entrepreneurial skills to set up, grow and lead this groundbreaking charity for 25 years.We hear about how he coped with a life-changing 40% burns accident aged 18, his books, his advice on branding, celebrities and media, the importance of research, launching a capital appeal for a building, strategies for coping with the 2009 financial crash and austerity, the changing nature of his relationship with his board, his resilience - and much more.James then went on to found Face Equality International, a global alliance of 38 NGOs. Through all of this his brilliant skills in networking and relationships stand out, alongside his values and determination to make a difference for people living with disfigurement. There's so much to learn and be inspired by in this story."The people that I met and worked with, through all these 25 years, were very very important to me, because they gave me the sense that I wasn't alone in all of this. We were all on a march to enhance life prospects for people with disfigurements and disabilities."Follow Changing Faces, the UK charity:Twitter: @faceequalityInstagram: @changingfacesukFacebook: @changingfacesukFollow Face Equality International, the global alliance of 38 NGOs:Twitter: @FaceEqualityIntInstagram: @FaceEqualityIntFacebook: @FaceEqualityIntAnd if you can please donate to Changing Faces hereListen to James' founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 10 - on all podcast platforms via the links above. Enjoy, and please send us your feedback.
5/17/2021

Changing Faces founder, the late James Partridge OBE, shares his story

Season 1, Ep. 10
How wonderful that we captured James Partridge OBE talking about his founder story before he so sadly passed away in 2020. James founded Changing Faces, the UK charity, in 1992, using his own personal experience of facial disfigurement, his work in Health Economics, and his entrepreneurial skills to set up, grow and lead this groundbreaking charity for 25 years.We hear about how he coped with a life-changing 40% burns accident aged 18, his books, his advice on branding, celebrities and media, the importance of research, launching a capital appeal for a building, strategies for coping with the 2009 financial crash and austerity, the changing nature of his relationship with his board, his resilience - and much more.James then went on to found Face Equality International, a global alliance of 38 NGOs. Through all of this his brilliant skills in networking and relationships stand out, alongside his values and determination to make a difference for people living with disfigurement. There's so much to learn and be inspired by in this story."The people that I met and worked with, through all these 25 years, were very very important to me, because they gave me the sense that I wasn't alone in all of this. We were all on a march to enhance life prospects for people with disfigurements and disabilities."Follow Changing Faces, the UK charity:Twitter: @faceequalityInstagram: @changingfacesukFacebook: @changingfacesukFollow Face Equality International, the global alliance of 38 NGOs:Twitter: @FaceEqualityIntInstagram: @FaceEqualityIntFacebook: @FaceEqualityIntAnd if you can please donate to Changing Faces hereListen to James' founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 10 - on all podcast platforms via the links above. Enjoy, and please send us your feedback.
4/22/2021

Eden Project Founder, Sir Tim Smit's story: Part 1, Childhood to Eden

Season 1, Ep. 9
For anyone who loves magic, transformation, risk and fun - and also wants to learn so much about how to make BIG things happen - Sir Tim Smit's story is for you.In Episodes 8 & 9, you'll hear about Sir Tim's curiosity and sense of adventure, from a young child through to his ongoing international ventures. His in-depth interview is a wonderful mix of stories, experience and wise advice on how to imagine, set up and manage a large, complex and high impact social enterprise. You'll learn so much from Tim.Sir Tim moved serendipitously from archeologist to rock musician to restoring the now mythical Lost Gardens of Helligan, and from there dreamed, and then made real, and huge, the iconic Eden Project, those massive biomes in a derelict clay pit in Cornwall, that now house the only rainforest 'in captivity', surrounded by glorious gardens, a concert space and magical family events. As importantly the Eden Project - a compelling visitor attraction for all ages - has transformed Cornwall's economy. Now Sir Tim is managing new Edens across the UK and globally.Be inspired!Follow the Eden Project:Twitter: @edenprojectInstagram: @edenprojectcornwallFacebook: @theedenprojectFind out more about the Eden Project's story and activities, and book tickets to visit!Tim was also the vision and force behind the restoration ofThe Lost Gardens of Helligan.Listen to Tim's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episodes 8 & 9 - on all podcast platforms
4/22/2021

Eden Project Founder, Sir Tim Smit's story: Part 2 - innovation, learnings & replication

Season 1, Ep. 8
For anyone who loves magic, transformation, risk and fun - and also wants to learn so much about how to make BIG things happen - Sir Tim Smit's story is for you.In Episodes 8 & 9, you'll hear about Sir Tim's curiosity and sense of adventure, from a young child through to his ongoing international ventures. His in-depth interview is a wonderful mix of stories, experience and wise advice on how to imagine, set up and manage a large, complex and high impact social enterprise. You'll learn so much from Tim.Sir Tim moved serendipitously from archeologist to rock musician to restoring the now mythical Lost Gardens of Helligan, and from there dreamed, and then made real, and huge, the iconic Eden Project, those massive biomes in a derelict clay pit in Cornwall, that now house the only rainforest 'in captivity', surrounded by glorious gardens, a concert space and magical family events. As importantly the Eden Project - a compelling visitor attraction for all ages - has transformed Cornwall's economy. Now Sir Tim is managing new Edens across the UK and globally.Be inspired!Follow the Eden Project:Twitter: @edenprojectInstagram: @edenprojectcornwallFacebook: @theedenprojectFind out more about the Eden Project's story and activities, and book tickets to visit!Tim was also the vision and force behind the restoration ofThe Lost Gardens of Helligan.Listen to Tim's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episodes 8 & 9 - on all podcast platforms
3/23/2021

Citizens UK founder Neil Jameson CBE tells his story

Season 1, Ep. 7
Neil Jameson CBE is Founder of Citizens UK, the charity that inspired and successfully campaigned for the UK Living Wage. Setting up Citizens UK as his vehicle, Neil launched and grew the Community Organising movement across the UK, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds, from faith groups, schools, trade unions and community groups, to participate in massive grassroots assemblies, rallies and citizens’ actions.In this podcast you’ll hear how Neil took advantage of a Churchill Fellowship to learn from the US model of Community Organising, including training with a young Obama; how Neil brought these ideas to the UK, how he set up and then massively scaled Citizens UK from an idea, to city-based actions in Bristol, and then to a highly influential UK-wide movement, brand, organisation and legacy.Alongside a fascinating 30 year perspective of social action in the US and UK, Neil gives us great advice and insights during this podcast, across all the founder stages, from start-up to scale-up, engagement and impact, funding, campaigning, networking and team-building, through to stepping down as CEO, and an exciting possible new venture too. Be inspired!Follow Neil Jameson:Twitter: @NeilJamesonUKInstagram: @NeilJamesonUKFacebook: @Neil.Jameson.LondonFollow Citizens UK:Twitter: @CitizensUKInstagram: @citizens.ukFacebook: @CitizensUKAnd if you can please donate to Citizens UK here.Neil highlighted the special impact of two organisations on his founder journey:The Barrow Cadbury TrustThe Winston Churchill Memorial Trust's Churchill Fellowships.Listen to Neil Jameson's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 7 - on all podcast platforms via the links above or here. Enjoy, and please do send us your feedback. Sign up to the Social Founder Network newsletter here.
3/8/2021

Women for Refugee Women founder, Natasha Walter, shares her story

Season 1, Ep. 6
Natasha Walter is Founder Director of Women for Refugee Women, an influential charity providing support for refugee women seeking asylum in the UK. Natasha is a feminist, a human rights activist and an experienced journalist, with a double first from Cambridge University. She is an author of books, including The New Feminism, Living Dolls and the play Motherland. Natasha became a Founder Director 13 years ago, ‘almost by mistake’. She didn’t intend to set up a charity, but was driven to create social change by the powerful stories of the women refugees she met while working as a journalist. In this interview with Natasha you will hear about the steps she took to set up the charity, the learnings along the way, the vital support she has had from her Chair and colleagues, and the important mix of services, voice, media and campaigning that underpin Women for Refugee Women and Natasha’s leadership. She shares insightful views about her frustrations with charity communications, and the importance of sharing the authentic voices and stories of refugees and asylum-seekers. Since our interview Natasha has stepped down as Director to become Creative Projects Director, handing over the Director role to Alphonsine Kabagabo.Follow 'Women for Refugee Women' and Natasha:Twitter: @4refugeewomen @natasha_walterInstagram: @4refugeewomen Facebook: @WomenforRefugeeWomenAnd if you can please donate to Women for Refugee Women here. Enjoy, and send us your feedback.
2/1/2021

Pragna Patel, iconic Founder of Southall Black Sisters tells her story of tireless campaigning for justice

Season 1, Ep. 5
Pragna Patel is the founder and director of Southall Black Sisters, one of the UK's leading women's organisations campaigning for the rights of black and minority ethnic women. In 1982, Pragna resurrected a local initiative, turning it into an established advocacy charity, a national helpline and a powerful campaigning organisation. "Our aims are to highlight and challenge all forms gender-related violence against women, empower them to gain more control over their lives; live without fear of violence and assert their human rights to justice, equality and freedom."Pragna tells us about what it takes to establish and grow an organisation - to create the infrastructure, find the right board, maintain values, keep the right balance between services and campaigning. She talks candidly about how to cope with setbacks, find resilience and celebrate achievements - including the passing of vital laws to support migrant women in the UK. We also hear about the powerful Law Centre Movement that inspired her initial work, and the fears she has for equality and social justice today."Our vision, our political vision, is one where we see that there is interconnectedness of struggles, that we don't struggle on our own, even as women, that we are connected to the struggles that are taking place on a much more global scale around violence against women." Pragna Patel, in her Social Founder Stories podcast. And her advice to other social founders: "Do not be afraid. Go with your gut feelings and your instincts, that I think is key. And then everything else - you find skills, you find the people, you find the funding -somehow. But my main thing is, if there is that fire in your belly, act on it, do not be afraid." Listen to Pragna and indeed you will come away with fire in your belly.Please donate to Southall Black Sistershere if you can. Donations small or large will make a life-changing and life-saving difference to countless abused and marginalised women and children who are desperate for protection and support, particularly at this time of Covid-19.Follow Southall Black Sisters and Pragna:Twitter: @SBSistersInstagram: @SouthallBlackSistersFacebook: @Southall.Black.SistersListen to Pragna's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 5 - on all podcast platforms or via the links above. Enjoy, and send us your feedback.
1/12/2021

Giles Duley, founder of the Legacy of War Foundation, tells his powerful life story

Season 1, Ep. 4
Giles's reaction to unimaginable physical and mental trauma has been to become a social founder, setting up the global Legacy of War Foundation using his award-winning photography and media skills to document, and counteract, the legacy of war across the world.Giles' physical and mental resilience are like nothing I have seen or heard before. In this episode of Social Founder Stories you'll hear how throughout his life, Giles has responded to adversity to create impact, but in particular, how stepping on an IED in Afghanistan, left him desperately fighting for his life for 47 days in intensive care, and then 18 months' rehabilitation, after the loss of both legs and his left arm.No-one expected him to survive those horrendous injuries, let alone to find the drive to continue to work and to travel, using his professional skills and his determination to create high-level positive social impact, setting up and growing his Foundation.Giles talks in-depth about the work of international NGOs, the power of photography to create impact, and his work in Syria, Africa, Cambodia and Afghanistan, woven into his personal journey leading to his founding of the Legacy of War Foundation, his gruelling recovery from his injuries in 2011, his learnings and values.You will hear little from me in this interview. Giles tells his powerful story and I listen, moved and amazed at his courage.Donate to the Legacy of War Foundation here if you can.Follow Giles:Twitter: @GilesDuleyInstagram: @GilesDuleyFacebook: @Giles.DuleyListen to Giles' founder story in the Social Founder Stories podcast series, Episode 4 - on all podcast platforms. Enjoy, and send us your feedback.p6YNSsoxRyIMVLy0ivfB