Find an unused space – run a community festival in Redbridge!

Boy chalking bike Mini Green Fair

Well  done to Redbridge Green Fair and Redbridge Music Lounge for organising a fab event in Barkingside Town Square, (Ken Aston Square) yesterday!

Sophia Hubs has been working with Barkingside residents, shops and community/business groups, Vision and the Council to hold a festival on 4th July to promote Independent Retail Day and Barkingside High Street

Ken Aston Square is now 3 years old and so far there have been very few events, which we see as a waste of resources and opportunities.  Alongside Redbridge Green Fair and Redbridge Music Lounge, we have been identifying and working through the  barriers to using the Square for local community and business events.

Please do support our event on Tuesday 4th July if you can.   The shops are making their way to the Town Square to engage with the public and each other. There will be great selection of food from local shops and also stalls. 🙂

Barkingside flyer V2

Tech Ilford takes over Ilford Library on Saturday including Google help

Hub CentralIt’s London Tech week  and once again Redbridge Central Library will become the centre of innovation on Saturday.

Saturday 17th June 2017

Google Digital Garage event

With the launch of Lab Central you can 3-d print, code your first animation, experience a  virtual reality journey and much more. Of particular interest to start-ups and community groups, the Google Digital Garage is running from 11-1pm.

Here’s the programme  

And the official launch of Hub Central (business support and co-working space), Lab Central and Redbridge Heritage Centre is  on Monday 19th June 1-3 with food, drinks, info and networking.  Sophia Hubs will be there.



Amanda local potter start-up looking for kiln to use

Amanda FisherJust sitting in Redbridge Institute cafe and up comes Amanda with a query….

I’d really like to move forward with my dream of selling my pottery.   I can’t afford a kiln at this stage and wonder if there is one I could share/rent locally?  Happy to contribute to running  costs etc.

Happy to pass this request on.   We are inspired by the potential of  sharing resources in the Borough which  of course includes skills. 🙂  The venue would  have to have step free access.

Amanda has experimented with a blog which she will be improving but you could take a look at some of her pics and pottery.

Hope to hear some good news on this soon!  If you could contact us rather than Amanda.

Celebrate Independent Retailer Day at Barkingside High Street festival on 4 July!

Sophia Hubs is very glad to be capitalising on and working with a whole load of energy and interest in Barkingside High Street.  🙂

We think that more can be done in Redbridge to develop and celebrate our High Streets, particularly with independent shops and also working with the Chains for more local involvement.  We believe that change can happen bottom up and like to do what we can to support it.

Introducing….. the Barkingside High Street Festival 

Tuesday 4th July 12-5pm on the Ken Aston Square

This is an interesting community engagement project led by Sophia Hubs, working with partners Barkingside Business Hub, Hi-Juice a business on the High Street,  King Solomon School and fabulous resident and stalwart Harvey Sharpe.

Watch out for updates…. in the meantime please like  the Sophia Hubs Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @sophiahubs7k and we’ll pass on info about our Twitter account, hashtags etc. 🙂

Barkingside flyer V2

Business mentoring opportunity for Redbridge businesses that want to grow – are you eligible?

Fab offer from Barkingside mentoring business that wants to give back

how to grow your business logo for hi juice

Here’s a guest blog we are proud to publish from a Sophia Hubs gold member – a company that knows how to run successful businesses that meet a community need – tutoring,  healthy drinks, business mentoring.  Ana and Kam were speakers at our networking event on 13th May and are working with us on the Barkingside High Street festival for Independent Retailer Day on 4th July……

Are you an entrepreneur looking to grow your business? Do you feel a little stuckAna Ambika Pindoria and perhaps need a nudge to move forward or gain clarity? Are you at an important crossroads in your business or life and looking to create real change, succeed in your goals or maybe gain confidence and a clear business direction.

At HI-JUICE BUSINESS SUPPORT, we provide quality value for money mentoring, training, coaching and strategy to move you forward.

On Wednesday 31st May there will be FREE event:




9.30am – Registration and Networking
10.00am – Kam & Ana Pindoria – Hi-Juice Business Mentors
12.15pm – Question and Answer Session
12.30pm – Application process for FREE mentoring places.

Open to ALL businesses, especially in the Barkingside, Ilford area.

  • What STAGE are you on in your Business Journey?
  • What Makes your Business Different? What’s your Why? And how do you define your BUSINESS DNA?
  • Understanding your Customer & delivering better Service.
  • Why is your business CULTURE and Make-Up Important? Client Servicing.
  • How to Build Your Influence? How does it relate to great Leadership?
  • How Does the Customer Value your Business?

If you would like to APPLY to join our FREE 6 monthly business mentoring sessions please come and meet us on the Wednesday 31st May at 9.30am to 1.15pm. 15 TICKETS ARE AVAILBLE FOR THIS SEMINAR. 5 PLACES AVAIALBLE FOR MENTORING.

ONLINE TICKETS VIA Eventbrite or simply call KAM on 020 7 871 9952 to book your ticket by phone.

Delegate Quotes “They are both passionate educators & entrepreneurs with proven success who are committed to help other businesses grow. Their quest for helping others GROW drives their ability to coach & mentor using common sense business principles.”

“Not only are they highly successful business people themselves , but they also are teachers with a heart for education , for building confidence in learning and enabling progress. It is therefore the ideal combination.”

Next Redbridge business and community network event has a green theme 28 June 6-9

Our next business and community networking event uses the theme of the circular economy, so it’s for everyone because the environment affects us all . Isatu networking
green smiley

Speakers, discussion, networking, stalls. Meet green businesses, environmental award winners, start-ups, freelancers, community groups, academics, council officers, councillors and residents.

Wednesday 28th June…6-9pm… Redbridge Institute for Adult Learning, Gants Hill…. Booking is via Eventbrite for £10 ticket or the free passes for members/sponsors.

To read about our last one on 13 May click here.  Video with a sneak preview of one of the event aims see below the flyer 🙂

The business of greening Redbridge- Networking event 28.6.17 final


Ros Southern, Coordinator  07707 460309


We’re piloting an Independent Retail Month event in Barkingside on 4th July – first meeting coming up!

We are delighted to be supporting Redbridge independent retailers and businesses with a pilot event in the Borough to mark 4th July Independents Day.

We’ve chosen Barkingside as the High Street pilot because:

  • There’s a fab Town Square – the Ken Aston Square which is being under-utilised
  • There’s energy in the area with the new Barkingside business hub meetings
  • There’s a few local people who know all the shop keepers..
  • There’s local businesses already interested…
  • There’s an elderly stalwart resident, Harvey, who has made it his business to know every shopkeeper and welcome every new shop that opens.

I know that there is a feeling in Barkingside, and in many parts of the Borough, that the High Street is declining.   I think, put the other way round, there’s a strong feeling that High Streets are very important for community and business life.  We sought a little bit of funding from Redbridge Small Grants Fund to pilot an event to mark Independents Retail Month in July.

It is exciting to capitalise on the work of resident Harvey Sharpe,  the new Barkingside business hub, the new initiative of Hi-Juice in Barkingside High Street (free mentoring to Barkingside start-ups or micro businesses that want to scale up) and of course the active Barkingside 21 community group. Ros Southern

It’s at an early stage,  but watch this space to see what we all come up with! The meetings  are open to shops, residents, businesses, schools, community groups in the Barkingside areaINdie retail meetings and advance notice

For more information, see the flyer above.