Recruiting for Sophia course – from vague community idea to first test – 2 Saturdays in Spring

For Redbridge community entrepreneurs

idea lightbulbThis course is participatory not academic.  It’s about being active citizens or entrepreneurs by helping you to actually DO something with your idea- to take step one and learn from it.  It is for individuals or organisations and community groups to work on something new. We will be looking at community resources you can tap into and find people to collaborate with.  You may ditch your idea and work with someone else on theirs!

All ideas are welcome.  Over 2 Saturday mornings, we’ll take a journey together.

Course aim: to build confidence in yourself as an active citizen or entrepreneur

Learning outcome:  to create a very mini project that can be carried out by August.

  • Dates: Saturday 29 April,  Saturday 6th May 
  • Time: 9.30-1.00
  •  Venue – Room C, Redbridge Institute, Gants Hill
  • Facilitator: Ruth Musgrave
  • Cost – £15 for the course, £5 for current Redbridge Institute students

A follow up support session will  be offered to all participants and a fab certificate!

Course outline
Session 1– intros/welcome/support code, exploring community spirit values, introducing our ideas, blocks, finding ways forward, identifying support.
Session 2– welcome/recap, widening support and partnerships, taking a holistic view, sharpening idea, SMART idea, next step, affirmation/ending

See blog on the course in March

Here’s what other graduates have done:SH logo final 2014

My first street event was just a St Georges day cup of tea on the street for one hour. It got 75 neighbours! Since then I have organised (with help from others) 5 St Georges day events, 3 street parties, 3 street festivals, a front garden bonfire and a food festival. It really is important to start small and just test something out whether its a business or community idea. Ros  Southern

Programme for Timebank skills swap Tues 28 March

Here it is!  Very likely that more may happen on the day but come along and try out some free tutoring and see how fab the Timebank is! 🙂

Redbridge Timebank skills swap sponsored by Amey

Tuesday 28 March from 12-3pm

Redbridge Institute main hall, Gearies, Gaysham Avenue, Gants Hill, IG2 6TD

12.00-12.30 Arrivals, register, networking.  Give and Take stall  – feel free to browse!

1st session

Tips for buying and selling on Ebay with Richard Joynson Tips on using Excel to manage your finances personally or for your business/ project- Amanda Simpson Using your device: apps/Twitter/Facebook with Stephanie Mugo Upycycling crafts with Habiba Ahmed, recycling officer from Amey Using Solar power to light up your home with Jitendra Marvana Business coaching 1 to 1 `with Celestine Ekpenyong of EBT Consultancy
13.30-14.00 Break, networking and and human bingo game to find your latent skills!

2nd session

SEO with Alan of 3in1 web design Rangoli patterns and Chanting with Indu Simple green lifestyle tips with Jenny & Peter Knitting with Lynda Jones better for left handers!) Business coaching  with Celestine Ekpenyong of EBT Consultancy

New South Woodford opportunity to rent clinical or therapeutic space- pass it on!

Business/clinical room to rent in South Woodford

Fiona FlahertyAre you a complementary practitioner? Counsellor, Reflexologist, Nutritional therapist, Massage Therapist etc. who wishes to co-locate and grow your own business?
Tired of booking rooms by the hour and juggling your clients all of the time? 
Then we can solve that dilemma for you.
Meducate Healthcare has a quiet, centrally located clinical room for permanent hire on a monthly, ongoing basis.  Current users are a Registered Nurse and a Counsellor.
Meducate Fiona image
  • Fully furnished, first floor room
  • Large space 18ft x16ft
  • Light and airy.
  • Close to South a Woodford tube.
Amenities include:
  • Couch and armchair,
  • Round table and chairs
  • plus massage couch
  • Storage area
Room 7 availability:
  • Tuesday 7am – 6pm
  • Wednesday 7am – 6pm
  • Friday 7am – 9pm
  • Sunday 7am -10pm
  • Only £30 for 3 hour weekly blocks Morning/Afternoon/Evening slots
  • Hours to suit.
  • Monthly ongoing bookings
  • BACS monthly in advance
  • Key deposit
Access and facilities:
  • 24 hour car parking facilities
  • Kitchenette
  • Waiting area
  • Intercom system

This is a new venture, and we’re looking forward to supporting sole traders and micro businesses in the therapeutic field.   Please call me, Fiona Flaherty on 07973601862 or Email to book a viewing. 

Not for you?  
Then please share this email….
with likeminded healthcare professionals…..
cropped-sh-logo-final-2014.jpgThanks so much to Fiona of Meducate for signing up as a Sophia Hubs member today. We’ll do our best to help you find renters!  Good luck with this new chapter in your business.   Fiona is a well loved speaker at our  entrepreneurs’ club

Sophia Hubs and Timebank proud to win Redbridge Mayor Community Champion 2017 Award

Redbridge Mayor community awards

We are very grateful for the recognition shown for our journey of 3 years to become a organisational community champion award winners in 2017.

Thanks so much to our nominator who I think may want to keep it secret!

Here’s the citation that was read out:

Sophia Hub Redbridge offers practical support to help individuals/groups to start up/to set up a social enterprise or small business. Help is on hand to kick start new businesses, projects and services that meet the needs of the area. They are committed and passionate about wanting to increase the networks and connections within the community to support social entrepreneurs and local residents. Sophia Hubs help faith communities become catalysts to make the communities they serve become more truly sustainable. The focus is on identifying what is needed to build the local community and to support new ventures which address these issues with sound business models.

Also the Timebanks work creatively to build relationships and offer a way to exchange value without using money – putting everyone, employed or unemployed, on a level playing field as they exchange services with each other. The opportunity to develop and practice skills, discover potential products or services which could be marketed, acquiring training, recording volunteering hours and receiving services which might be a struggle to afford financially.

Overall, the work creates ways of keeping value and money circulating in the local community.


With many thanks to the volunteers, Directors, supporters,  partners and friends for being part of our journey.  Long may it continue!


Redbridge Chamber Networking breakfast Tuesday 28th – snazzy and different

The Redbridge Chamber Networking breakfast runs monthly and is an opportunity to network, get input from a speaker  and generally find  out what’s going on for business in the Borough.  It’s open to members and non members.

We make work about you, me and the world.  

We collect stories.

We share stories.

We enable people to tell stories, and to listen to stories. 

Redbridge  Chamber is doing something a bit  different! Do give it a try. We’ll be there.


Anderson of Hair Force 1- it’s your biz, don’t get pigeonholed! Tues 28 March 6.45 

Redbridge Entrepreneurs club

Tuesday 28 May 6.45-8.45, York room, Ilford library 

Speaker: Anderson Boyce of Hair Force One – a barber with a vision

Business is hard graft. You eat it and sleep it.  So the first thing is you must believe in your business yourself. After that, don’t let others pigeonhole you. People will have their ideas and assumptions about you and your business but it’s yours to shape and lead. For me, there is no way I’m going to be pigeonholed. I’m a barber for black AND European hair.  I know about all hair types and my salons are for everyone. Anderson  Boyce 

Anderson was brought up in Ilford and established Hair Force 1 in the area nine years ago. He’s had national and local publicity recently because of his free haircuts offer for young people going to job interviews.

Anderson is happy to share the ups and downs of his business and pass on some tips.  He is currently running two salons and is working with apprentices.

hairforce_top_header2-1-e1462581261661This will be a learning and networking opportunity for all start-ups, micro businesses and community groups wanting to learn business skills.  It may be of particular interest if you work with youth, offer a service, want to work with apprentices, offer training, or are in retail.

Anderson is keen to meet local businesses and to learn from  you.


This is the last of the Entrepreneurs’ clubs  funded by Enterprise Desk. This is free to attend.  From  now on there will be a entry fee for those not yet signed up as members.  Info  on membership here.

Booking is via Eventbrite please.



Well being for teachers. Latest blog by our member Ruth Pearson from Listening to Your Voice

Sophia Hubs promoting our Redbridge business members…

To read this on Ruth’s website click here

Put Your Mask On First! Why Teacher Wellbeing is Essential!

22nd March 2017 7:25 am

Ruth Pearson
You’re about to take a fight, but before take-off, the air hostess goes through the safety regulations. He tells you the location of the nearest exits.  He then tells you what to do if the oxygen levels falls.

Put your oxygen mask on first, before helping children or other passengers.”

He knows, that it is essential that you look after yourself first, before you look after the needs of others.


There were 168 hours in last week. If you were to take an audit, how much time did you spend looking after your own wellbeing? Not your staff, not family, but on yourself.

I can hear you saying that you had a busy week, lots of deadlines, as it is coming to the end of term. I’ll accept that, after being a teacher myself. But note, it is not good to neglect yourself.

There were 672 hours last month. How much time did you spend looking after your own wellbeing? Not your staff, not family, but on yourself.

I have read an informative blog post this week it is called ‘The Elephant in The (Staff) Room – Why We Need To Talk About Teacher Wellbeing;’ the blog opens with the following words:

It is impossible to support the social and emotional health of young people, if we as teachers do not attend to our own emotional health.

It is impossible!!

If you have been following my blog posts or have seen my latest video about why I wrote my self-help coaching book ‘Say Yes To New Opportunities! Be Motivated to L.E.A.R.N’ you will know that the trigger for the book was the unexpected emotional meltdown that I had as a teacher.

What was the cause? I did not put my mask on myself first. I was so busy looking after the needs and wellbeing of others, that I did not look after my own wellbeing. Does anything I have written so far resonate with you?

If it does, read on.

To loolistening-to-your-voice-logok after myself, I had to take the brave move to take a break from a career that I had devoted over 25 years to. But I knew that the excessive demands of being a teacher was impacting my health in a serious way. In this break, I got the help from others that I needed, in the form of therapists and coaches, to learn how to put on my mask, as I was too weak to put it on myself!! What was even worst, I did not even know that the mask was needed!

Poor pupil behaviour, excessive workload, constant monitoring and accountability, poor self-esteem, constant deadlines, together with other reasons contributed to my poor physical and mental health. This did not just impact me, it impacted others teachers in the school. It also had a direct impact on pupil outcomes. It impacted both my personal and professional relationships.

Those who know me well, know that I am not selfish. As I learn, I share my knowledge with others. This was one of the reasons why I wrote my self-help coaching book ‘Say Yes To New Opportunities! Be Motivated to L.E.A.R.N

I want to share what I have learnt, after looking after my own wellbeing in an affordable way with others. I am using the book to transform lives, just as my life has been transformed.

I am on a campaign now to improve the education system. We know the story of how Rosa Parks decided that change had to come. She remained seated on the bus in America, instead of giving up her seat to another passenger. Change must start with one person sharing their experiences. My coach has encouraged me to share my story. He has said that my emotional meltdown is now my gift. I need to let others know that there is hope for them. I had to be prepared to change and to get the help I needed. Are you prepared to get the help you need?

This last year has not been easy for me, and I know that it has not been easy for you too. We have both had our challenges in different ways. But why not do something new today. Why not take some time to put on your essential wellbeing mask? Have some me time. Do something that you like to do, preferably outdoors so you get some fresh air and sunlight. I don’t want you to reach burnout or worst still have an emotional meltdown or other stress related medical condition.

I would like to hold a workshop for teachers over the Easter holiday, but want to know if there is a need.  It would be for a couple of hours including time to network, in the late afternoon or evening. One thing I have been taught this past year is not to make assumptions.  I may think this is a good thing to do, but do others. You may not want to wait until the holiday, if you want to take action today, send me an email at

Would you like to know how you can put your mask on first, by stepping outside of your comfort zone, click the link here.