Bolton companies accredited for positive employment

Two Bolton companies have become the first in the town to be recognised as leading employers for staff wellbeing.

Starts with you and Boo Coaching & Consulting have both been accredited as Members of the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter.

The Charter, which is supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, contains 43 Members from throughout the region, reaching over 230,000 employees. A few Members include Electricity North West, KPMG, Transport for the North and United Utilities.

The Charter recognises companies that offer good employment support and progression for local people, with each company offering real benefits to staff including secure and flexible work, paying the real living wage, staff involvement in decision making plus inclusive recruitment and creating a healthy environment for all employees.

Starts with you, a social enterprise wholly owned by social housing provider Bolton at Home, works to create opportunities and empower people to address challenges and access good work. The company employees nearly 50 people in a range of commercial and support services, designed to create entry-level jobs and help local people. The Starts with you team offers property clearance and handy persons services, creating jobs for local people, and advice services, available to members of the community, including employment support, money, debt, energy efficiency and getting online.

Hayley Hulme, Managing Director of Starts with you, said: “As a social enterprise, we exist to improve the lives of people around us. That isn’t just limited to our customers and the people we support, but it means making sure our employees are valued in well-paid jobs, which put their wellbeing first.

“The GM Good Employment Charter Accreditation is an important recognition of the hard work and commitment Starts with you has put into being an excellent employer. It gives our team the assurance that they will be treated fairly and compassionately so that work can be a positive impact on them and their family’s lives.”

Boo Coaching & Consulting helps bosses be better and create happy, healthy workplaces in which everyone can thrive. Proudly Bolton-based the company delivers courses across the UK and beyond. The company is also a founding member of the Bolton Social Business Collective along with Starts with you and works with the Bolton Family to raise the living standards of local residents and promote employment stability.

Becci Martin, Founder and Director at Boo Coaching and Consulting, said “We have worked hard at Boo to create a healthy and happy workplace where all our team can thrive. Becoming a Good Employment Charter Member is a really big achievement for us and proves that we can do business differently – we hope that other companies in our hometown of Bolton are inspired by what Starts with you and Team Boo have achieved.”




Both companies will be awarded the certification at a presentation in the new year.

For more information about Starts with you and the local support available, visit

For more information on Boo Coaching & Consulting, visit

More details on the greater Manchester Employment Charter can be found at


All media enquiries please contact:
Andrew Taylor or Adam Ogden Freshfield PR
01772 888400 or /

Andrew Pilkington, Bolton at Home

01204 329714 or

Social Enterprise Week / Social Impact Video

It’s been tough for a lot of people and businesses over the past 18 months but we haven’t stopped making Positive Change through our work at SWY. We may not have been able to work with as many people through COVID but have still created Positive Change for places, communities and our team and we are really proud to share our achievements in our 2020-21 Social Impact Report below…



Starts with you are delighted to have become members of Social Enterprise UK this year, reinforcing our commitment to Social Enterprise and a fairer, kinder way of doing business. If you would like to find out more check out this great video introduction to Social Enterprise.


SWY ICT Equipment gets new lease of life, supporting communities

SWY has partnered with a local organisation to recycle its old IT equipment and help local people get online.

Starts with you, a social enterprise wholly owned by social housing provider Bolton at Home, works to create skills and opportunities in Bolton to help local people access quality jobs. The organisation has supplied its used electrical equipment to Recycle-IT, so that it can receive a new lease of life helping local people access internet services and computer-based learning.

The first contribution to Recycle IT will involve six computer processors, 22 smartphones and a TFT monitor. The equipment, which has been replaced by new technology at Starts with you, will be sanitised and digitally wiped before being repurposed to support the local community.

They will be distributed to local people so they can access the internet to use key services such as banking, job applications and managing finances, as well as online services to reduce loneliness and isolation.

The ongoing partnership between Starts with you and Recycle-IT aims to continue contributions of old equipment which can help ensure members of the community aren’t left behind and have regular access to the internet and the opportunities it brings.

Hayley Hulme, Managing Director of Starts with you, said: “Working with businesses from and for the community in Bolton and who are committed to making a Positive Change is really important to us.

“We are delighted to have found Recycle-IT, to make sure our old equipment can be responsibly recycled in the communities that need it. We know our data is safely and professionally removed before when it is reused in the community.

“Our partnership with Recycle-IT also follows our plans to support community-minded social enterprises and we really value the benefits from supporting similar social enterprises which exist to support our local people and communities. While this is our first contribution, we hope to supply more equipment which can be reused in the near future.”

Recycle-IT was founded by a former Big Issue vendor who understands barriers to progression for people, with the social enterprise planning to scale up to a training and refurbishing warehouse within the next two years.

John Hastings, Founder and Lead Director at Recycle-IT, added:

“We thank Starts with you for a contribution which can make a big difference locally. It was our pleasure to have collected the unloved but still very useful equipment and begin to process it through our workshop alongside trained staff and local volunteers.

“We are an environment agency-licenced professional service and a vital community resource uniquely placed between both with co-production and community inclusion central to our development.

“Partnerships like this genuinely help to make a difference to not only the planet as we have a zero per cent landfill policy but the digitally excluded members of our communities.”

For more information about Starts with you and the local support available, visit

For more information on Recycle-IT, visit Home | Recycle-IT (

Motiv8 Evaluation Findings

Motiv8, our £14 million award-winning project funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, appointed Wavehill to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the programme’s impact in moving people with multiple and complex needs closer to the labour market.

You can find out more about their findings on the link below:

Motiv8 evaluation



Re-defining Success

Re-defining Success through “small acts”.

I was really surprised and a little nervous when the Do-Well band latched on to the concept of “Re-defining Success” at a recent FikaFink Café and asked if I would host a session on the subject. But it’s an important question so I took a deep breath and said…

“OK, when shall we do it”?

I am so glad that I did! You could even say it was a little “success” for me and one which I hope will do more good, than harm.

But what is success anyway?

We use “success” (whatever that is) as a barometer for our lives, we even tell children how important it is “to be successful”. It drives us. It shapes what we chose to do, value, prioritise, invest in and how we see and treat others. But do we really know what we mean by “success”?

Have we REALLY thought about it and what happens if we get it wrong? If we define success badly, selfishly, unfairly, what impact does it have on us, our young people, our businesses, the planet, the economy and society?

We have all seen the results of poorly defined success driven by our obsession with “growth”, size and financial reward. What better example than the recent sporting story –  The European Super League – placing financial gain above all else. And for once it got the response it deserved (imho)!

Imagine if we called out exploitative definitions of success more often and sent a message there is another way. Can we do that please?  

In conversation:

The session was planned for a Friday and attracted a good crowd, despite competing with lunch and the blazing sunshine! So, the scene was set for the discussion…

I needn’t have worried, we talked easily on the subject for well over an hour. We talked as parents, friends, employers, leaders and just plain humans, about how concepts of success impact the way we behave, influence, value and treat others, even the way we feel and our own mental health.

Everyone related to the issue, drawing important links to the importance of “purpose”, the impact constructs of success have on young people, what can be done to let them to make better choices, how it feels when we are not successful or when we chase hollow successes. We discussed vanity projects and ego and how defining success differently might change behaviours; and that maybe we can influence people to see a new, more inclusive definition of success.

We talked about how flawed measures of “success” are structural, built into our culture, systems and processes, and how easily we can be distracted from what matters by the pressure to hit the target, whilst likely missing the point! That to change things will take courage, to challenge the norm and really think about our “why” in everything we do.

We wondered why, as a society, we support the CEO of a betting company being paid millions, while others on the frontline of COVID struggle to make ends meet; and the role our definition of success plays? When we get it wrong does it lead us to act, value, judge, invest and reward in ways that can be harmful? We thought it does and that re-thinking and re-defining “success” is important in our attempts to build back fairer. That, without a change, we risk continuing to drive harmful and unfair behaviours and outcomes which fail to address inequality. That a society is not “successful” if we only considered economic measures.

We agreed that we wanted to do something and recognised the enormity of the challenge!

As the old saying goes…

“Necessity is the mother of invention”! And if there is a positive to come out of COVID-19 and the events of the past fifteen months, it is an opportunity to make real change. A rare window for dialogue, challenge and new thinking, as we re-set, re-emerge and try with all our might to build back fairer. The kind of opportunity which, sadly, only really comes from catastrophic events.

We want to grasp the opportunity despite the enormity of the challenge and agreed we can achieve great change through small acts! Each making a commitment to our own small act; enabling our children to be free and supported to make better choices, really reviewing procurement practice, challenging the status quo, keeping the conversation alive or even writing a blog!

We agreed this IS an opportunity; to re-define success around what really matters and drive a kinder, fairer, healthier, greener, happier society for everyone.

Now if that’s a “success” you like the sound of, what small act will you commit to?


Hayley Hulme: Managing Director – Starts with you Ltd.

Social Impact 2018-19

As a social enterprise focused on supporting people and creating opportunity to access work, Starts with you Ltd. (SWY), are keen to identify, capture and promote their wider social value.

Our report below sets out the headline ambitions and key achievements of SWY for the financial year 2018 – 19 and provides an insight into the social value created for our staff, customers and communities as a result of our contracts and services.

We have identified 4 key objectives against which we measure our impact:

Download our full Impact report here.



Bio-fogging is a disinfecting technique that creates a dry or wet mist which kills germs and pathogens that cannot be reached by conventional cleaning. It is a quick and effective way to disinfect large surface areas quickly, including walls, ceilings, furnishing, carpets and floors.

Our team have been instrumental in the fight against Covid-19 and have been Bio Fogging void properties, offices, extra care schemes , under one roof schemes and vehicles throughout Bolton.

We currently provide Bio-Fogging within the Bolton at Home Group and hope to offer the service more widely from 2021.

Bolton Climate Emergency Survey
We need to take urgent action to reverse our impact on the planet. As part of the Bolton Vision Partnership, a group of organisations and businesses from a range sectors working together to improve life in Bolton, we need your support to help reduce our emissions and become a greener society.

We’re asking for you to play a part in shaping our environmental plans for the next 10 years by answering a climate emergency survey. The survey, which takes around five minutes to complete, will help us to identify ways we can best reduce our carbon footprint. It will ask you to rank the importance of potential green options to introduce, from more electric vehicle charging stations, to extra cycle lanes or more local food production.

We are also asking you to have your say on a range of measures which organisations could implement to reduce carbon emissions, such as improving energy efficiency in housing, investing in low carbon transport or more recycling and reusing facilities.

Jon Lord, who chairs the Bolton Vision subgroup responsible for strong and engaged communities, said:

“If we don’t act urgently then the impact of climate change will change our way of life significantly. It might seem to some like a remote issue now but rising sea levels, dryer summers and wetter winters will impact everybody in some way. “We can’t act alone. Everyone needs to play their part in making Bolton cleaner and greener. I hope that people see that the problem of climate change needs addressing now and they will help us to make steps to reduce our emissions and create a better, greener society for everybody in the borough.”

The survey will be available to complete until January.

Complete the survey here.


Why we’re running this survey

There is clear evidence that climate change is happening. The world’s five warmest years have all occurred since 2015 – temperatures in the Arctic Circle hit 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in June 2020. The polar ice caps are melting six times faster than in the 1990s, and Greenland lost six Olympic sized swimming pools of ice every second in 2019.

Why should this worry us?

Melting ice in the Arctic leads to higher sea levels across the globe causing flooding and risk to human life and habitat. The changing climate brings us extreme weather. Storms, floods, drought, wildfires and heat waves are increasingly common, threatening homes and food supplies. In Bolton, we have seen increases in incidents of flooding and the spread of moorland fires in recent years.

Although it is clear that the climate is warming in the long term, it doesn’t mean that the weather will get hotter every single year. Natural fluctuation will mean there are some cold years and seasons but these events will become less likely.

There is irrefutable scientific evidence linking climate change to human activity. Bolton, like many other towns and cities, declared a Climate Emergency in August 2019. Bolton Vision is committed to making our activities net carbon neutral by 2030.

When we say carbon neutral, we are describing the activity of organisations or people removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they put into it. The overall goal of carbon neutrality is to achieve a zero carbon footprint. For example, a business may plant trees in different places around the world to offset the emissions from the electricity the business uses. We need to make these changes to secure the future of our young people who are the adults of tomorrow and will inherit the world with the climates changes we have already made.

Complete the survey here.

Positive Change really does Start with you!

Our Social Impact: 2019-20

We’re so excited to be launching our Social Impact Report today, on #SocialEnterpriseDay!

As a Social Enterprise ourselves we exist, not only to deliver our brilliant support and services, but to do it in a way that makes a difference to the people and places we work with and in – we call it our “Positive Change”.

We have an #ambition to operate profitably as any other business would. The difference is we commit to reinvest or gift 100% of our profits to charity every year so we can make even more “Positive Change”!

Last year was fabulous year for us, taking on new services and growth, moving to our fabulous offices at The Valley and continuing to deliver high quality support and services to the public and business customers.

Whilst 2020 has been tough for many of us we continue to deliver great services and make “Positive Change” in the work we do.

This short animation covers the highlights of the “Positive Change” we made last year, we hope you enjoy it!

SWY Secure GM Good Employer Status!

We’re delighted that all our hard work, creating a great place to work at Starts with you, has been recognised by GM Good Employment Charter as we achieve Official Supporter status!

We are on the right tracks and are proud to be part of the movement at the forefront of developing Good Employment in GM and excited about taking the next steps to realise our ambition to achieve Member status.

It is particularly important to Starts with you (SWY) because we are all about good employment. Our business is absolutely focused on making sure we support access to and create opportunities for good quality employment. Whether we are supporting our customers with employability skills or creating jobs in our environmental services teams, it’s what we do!

But no job is “just a job” whatever we may say. Our work impacts every part of our lives. It is linked to every aspect; financial stability and security, self-worth, “family” and personal life, relationships, where we live and our physical and mental wellbeing.

Sadly, here in the UK in 2020, far too many people struggle to get into employment and once there are not always safe and supported in their roles to make sure that work has a nett positive impact on their life. As a social enterprise and ethical employer, we are determined to role model sustainable, quality employment that allows employees to be their best self, both at work and in their life outside. We believe that we work best when we are valued, supported, and share a common purpose.

At SWY we are working hard to be #OneTeam working with #Passion, #Integrity and #Ambition to #Empower people.

As a relatively young business we have already made progress to be proud of and have built quality employment into our business model from the beginning. Just a sample of these achievements include:

  • establishing a quality employee offer
  • creating / sustaining over 40 jobs in Greater Manchester
  • becoming a Real Living Wage employer
  • establishing our employee forum
  • signing up to our co-designed employee Wellbeing Charter
  • developing our training and development base line

But is not just about the ticking boxes, we embed our values and approach in everything we do, to deliver a Positive Change for the people and places where we work. Real Living Wage isn’t just about the logo on the website but the extra £30,000+ which goes into our team’s pockets and the local economy every year; our training plans aren’t just about our legal obligations or Health Safety but developing our people and creating opportunity; our Wellbeing Charter isn’t just about reducing sickness absence, it’s about showing that work can and should make a positive contribution to our lives, no matter what the job.

But don’t just take my word for it, here’s what some of our team say about working at SWY:

“From the outset, I felt a warm welcome from the whole team at Starts with you. I received a thorough induction and was given time to learn about the company, it’s structure and values.”

“Starts with you is a great family. We’re small enough to have the opportunity to get to know each other, but big enough to feel like you’re supported by the company. There’s also an open communication through the staff forum, where my voice can really be heard.”

“Working at Starts with you gives me a good feeling of being part of a team, or I could even say part of a family. Starts with you provides top notch personal support when you need it. No lip service! They are inclusive of everyone, help you feel involved and are approachable