Random Thoughts

Social Enterprise Appreciation + Christmas Gift Ideas!

As we approach Christmas, we thought we’d carry on a series we’ve been using for the last couple of months within our “Tool Station” newsletter, and shed some light on the fantastic work that some social enterprises you may not have heard of are doing! We thought that perhaps they could spark some Christmas gift ideas, or even open doors to partner with them in the New Year if that’s one of your goals! So, let’s get to it…

1. Invisible Cities

Invisible Cities are social enterprise who train and recruit people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides in their own city. They support everyone they work with on a one-to-one basis to achieve their goals, and give them something to focus on day to day.⠀

We're probably very late to the party, but what a great organisation! They highly deserve all the praise they get. They estimate they have generated a social value of £187,700, using National TOMS values. You can visit their shop if you’re interested in buying a tour or some gifts for someone!


2. Printed By Us

Printed By Us, are another social enterprise who run screen printing workshops for people who may have experienced homelessness and other complex situations.⠀

They run workshops to teach vulnerable people the craft of hand screen printing. They then print small batches of unique art prints designed by some of the finest local creatives. Each print is hand-signed by both the artist and the screen printer. They also offer custom clothing printing for artists, brands and businesses. Definitely worth a look for those who are into limited-run art this Christmas or if you’d like to support others through creative practices and are interested in how to make it a success!


3. Cabbages & Kings

We’re biased, but Cabbages & Kings at The Mix is also a brilliant place to visit if you’re looking for a place to get some great food and drink and spend some time with the family. They’re running afternoon teas in the lead up to Christmas too!

If you’re based in Stowmarket, take a look and get some delicious grub! All their profits go back to The Mix in Stowmarket (like us!) and go to supporting young people and their families in Suffolk. They’ll also have a new shop in Needham Market opening next year!


4. Bounce Back Food

Bounce Back Food, are a social enterprise aiming to tackle food poverty using the buy one, give one model.

You may have discovered them because of their fundraising recipe books which are available on their website. “Secret Dishes from around the World 2” features a selection of recipes from 20 different countries, and features work from 20 different artists too! The book was originally created during the first lockdown, and includes incredible photography and professional chef tips. Since Bounce Back Food started in 2014, they have taught 3,000 people how to cook, donated 10,000 items of food to food banks and generated 80,000 hot meals using their buy one, give one model. This is a great organisation to support, so if you have foodies in your family– give it a look!

Hopefully this may have helped spark some ideas as we all know we need as much help as we can get for gift ideas this year (well, I do anyway...)! It also may be that you’d like to partner with these organisations or find out more about them. I’m sure they’d value your support in the New Year!


We’re taking a break from blogging until January now so we’ll wish you all a happy Christmas at this point, we hope it’s a great one wherever you are.


Thanks for being interested in what we have to say this year! We’d also like to thank all those who we’ve partnered with in various ways. There’s some great work going on in the sector and there’s lots more to come in 2022!


See you then.