Valuable meetings affording time for exchange of ideas, reflection, mutual support and encouragement

Diary of a StreetCraft Scholar

Posted on 02 Feb in


Sara Radford - StreetCraft Scholar 2015Sara Radford

I am writing this blog following a particularly hectic and interesting week in my StreetCraft journey:

Monday: time with fellow StreetCraft scholars at Centre for Justice Innovation’s new offices in Kennington.  An opportunity to hear presentations from Mike Alderson who shared some of his extensive knowledge on the importance, opportunities and pitfalls within organisational communications.  This, followed by discussion with Lisa Rowles, ‘graduate’ from last year’s StreetCraft Scholarship about each of our journeys and advice/suggestions based on her experience.  We also used this time to catch up with one another and hear about individual project progress with both Clinks and Accelerator programme input. As ever, we were well hosted with an evening ‘social’ and an opportunity to pick the brains of another StreetCraft Scholar, Roger Blackman. Valuable meetings affording time for exchange of ideas, reflection, mutual support and encouragement.

Tuesday: offered another London-based opportunity. Circles South West colleagues joined me in London for a meeting with Paul Hamlyn Foundation Grant Officers to discuss project funding.  Bolstered by support from the Centre, I had applied to their ‘Ideas and Pioneers’ fund and we now await the outcome of these efforts to move the concept forward.

Wednesday/Thursday: was spent in Leeds for the Accelerator ‘Demo Day’.  This was the culmination of the Young Foundation’s Accelerator Programme funded through the StreetCraft Scholarship. The Accelerator began in October 2015 and over the weeks introduced our ‘class’ of about 20 innovators to the Social Business Model Canvas and a range of tools and concepts to develop and refine our ideas to a point at which we were able to present topotential funders. The Accelerator has been a wonderful experience – not yet over as I have a financial coach and mentor from whom I can continue to receive advice and support. In addition to an ‘awakening’ in respect of building a viable business model, the Accelerator Programme has taught me that projects are seldom perfect in their first iteration but that it is likely to be a ‘work in progress’  – this doesn’t equate to failure. I remain inspired by the energy and determination of innovators I have met along the way.

Friday:  back to the day job with renewed enthusiasm to keep innovating!