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Network Coffee Break

“We are a community of founders, and it’s important that we have a safe space where we can have a whinge and a moan!”

It was great to have our People & Place cohort come together for the first time, to meet one another and have such an honest exchange about their experiences.



They agreed that being a social innovator is incredibly tiring and sometimes lonely, but they persevere because they’re determined to accomplish what they’ve set out to do. Ranging from supporting low-income families to make simple home improvements from leftover materials to galvanising local people to improve the prosperity and diversity of their high street, the aims might be very different but it’s clear that their journeys to get there have a lot in common.


“Sometimes you are so focussed on the outcome of the project you forget to look after yourself”.

For instance, there was a resounding agreement that this kind of work takes a huge toll on your mental health. So how best should Footwork, as a funder, listen and learn about what these social innovators need and then make sure we give the right support? This event was just the start of that conversation.


When asked what they wanted to gain from being a part of a People & Place network, what excited them was to be able to share experiences – by talking through their fears and frustrations with like-minded individuals; but also swapping learning and resources with people who have faced similar challenges. Perhaps this is the definition of a “safe space”?


“It’s so rare to meet a group of people who totally understand!”


People & Place Network Summary
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