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.


Next Redbridge Chamber networking breakfast Tues 23 May – topic human resources

Redbridge Chamber networking breakfast…

Start-up business can join up as members for a calendar year for free.  Info  on the Chamber website.

Chamber of commerce


Proud that our first Redbridge business and community networking event was a success!

Business and community networking starts to join the dots

We had a great Saturday afternoon on 13th May in Barkingside library!  Our first business and community networking event 🙂.  We have noticed that there is a need in the borough to bring sectors together.

Question: Why do businesses and community groups network separately when both have a stake in the borough, both want local trade/clients and both benefit from being involved and helping to make things better. Sophia Hubs wants to join these dots!

With thanks to our three fab speakers:

Thanks to our 20 guests who all actively joined in:

  • a mix of freelancers, start-ups, established businesses, community groups and an active local resident – Harvey.

Thanks to our singer:

Some comments:

  • ‘Absolutely fabulous event – I really enjoyed it’ Ambika Pindoria (Ana) – Hi-Juice business mentor
  • Very encouraging and helpful for my business Donna Valencia -start up acupuncturist
  • Really interesting event – look forward to the next one – Jay Bhatt- start up financial adviser
  • Thanks.  An amazing meeting with so many different people – Smita Singh – Vaani community organisation
  • It was a most enjoyable afternoon. The warmth in the room was lovely!  Emma Jones, Barkingside business networking hub

When we get  the feedback from the survey monkey,  we’ll share our learning and how it shapes our next networking event.

Here’s a bit of a homespun video to give you a little taster of the event.  Our next one is  28 June 6pm.


Ilford Recorder verdict on our Timebank skills swap in Mont Rose College: the feel good factor


We had a great time sharing the skills of Ilford residents, community groups, start-ups, businesses and….. Ilford Recorder reporters Ralph and Matthew.  It took place at the new Mont Rose College on 4th May 2017. 🙂

Why write a report when the Ilford Recorder summed it up so well?! 

See  our video with an explanation of what a Timebank is from Sam Cowan

And here’s some pics…

The date  of  the next  skills swap is not set yet and we are about to change the platform a bit so please be patient with us.  Or come along on a Monday (12.30-2.30) or Thursday (11-1) at the Redbridge Institute to find out more. Or look at the Timebank info page


Redbridge co-working space and biz support opens again as Hub Central in Central Library

Hub Central peek photoGood news – ample, friendly co-working space re-opens at Ilford Library on Tuesday 9 May.  It’s open during library opening hours.

To access the faster wifi you will need a library card and to register.  We are not sure yet if the Enterprise Desk users (the name of previous hub project) will need to re-register or just pass over to the new space and offerings.

There will be some business support and occasional meetings/events.Hub Central

More news to follow.


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