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 The equipment, which has been replaced by new technology at Starts with you, will be sanitised and digitally wiped before being repurposed to support the local community.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.

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

Motiv8 awarded extra £4.3m funding to help people get back on track

21st August 2020

Banner M8




Motiv8 awarded extra £4.3m funding to help people get back on track

Motiv8, a Greater Manchester programme to help people overcome barriers and move towards training and work, is celebrating the award of extra funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund so that they continue to deliver their award winning work.

Motiv8 covers the whole of the Greater Manchester area and is led by Jigsaw Homes Group who work in partnership with Bolton at Home, ForHousing, Stockport Homes, and Wythenshawe Community Housing Group. These are five of the housing providers from Manchester Athena, a partnership of social landlords that work together to deliver employment and health programmes across the region.

Sue Ormiston, EU Programme Manager at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:  “Motiv8 was set up thanks to £9.7m from The National Lottery Community Fund and​ ​European​ ​Social​ ​Fund as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme. We have now given additional funding of £4.3m to allow Motiv8 to change the lives of many more people across Greater Manchester and to play an important role in achieving the wider aims of the Building Better Opportunities Programme of tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth across the region.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Well done to the Manchester Athena partnership of social landlords for securing funding to continue the excellent work of the Motiv8 programme.

“They provide support that is vital to reach and help some of the most excluded people in Greater Manchester to deal with multiple difficulties and get their lives back on track.

“It is support programmes like this that help move people away from lives where they have been left behind to a place where they can get a job, a secure home, improve their health and be with their families and community.”

Kerrie Pryde, Operational Director for Jigsaw Support, said: “Motiv8 works with a wide variety of people, including those who are homeless, long-term unemployed, living with mental or physical disabilities and health conditions, drug and alcohol dependent or are experiencing other complex needs. These are some of the most vulnerable people in society and it is rewarding to hear how, with a bit of support, people can change their lives and start to look forward to the future.”

Since the programme went ‘live’ in January 2017, Motiv8 has worked with over 3,650 people to support some of the hardest to reach people in Greater Manchester.  This includes a client who started training after 40 years of inactivity & another who started work after 25 years without employment. Nearly 80% of the people supported by Motiv8 live in the 30% most deprived wards in Greater Manchester and 60% have been unemployed for over 5 years.

Mark Hampson, a former Motiv8 participant who is now employed by The Guinness Partnership, said: “The crucial thing about Motiv8 is they said ‘what do YOU want to do’ and provide great support to make it happen. Now I’m a mature apprentice in joinery and have a new home for me and my daughter. My whole life has turned around and I’m proud of what I’ve been able to achieve.  Before I was just surviving, but now I’m living. I can’t thank Motiv8 enough.”


Motiv8 also works with a wide range of specialist partners to access support to get people back on track. These include Shelter, Wai Yin Society, Challenge 4 Change and ForHousing’s Enterprise team.

To​ ​qualify​ ​for​ ​support you​ ​need​ ​to​ ​be​ ​aged​ ​25​ ​or​ ​over,​ ​live​ ​in​ ​Greater​ ​Manchester, not be in any training or employment and​ ​have​ ​the​ ​right​ ​to​ ​remain​ ​and work in​ ​the​ ​UK.​ ​​ ​Referrals can come through agencies and other organisations, but you can also contact them direct on 0161 331 2048 or email the team at  To find out more about Motiv8 visit their website


Notes for editors

 Funding – The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund

  • The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.
  • Motiv8 received £9.7m of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. It has now also had additional funding of £4.3m. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit .


Manchester Athena

Athena Manchester was formed in 2013 by housing providers in Greater Manchester to deliver training, employment and other initiatives across Greater Manchester and the North West of England to reduce inequality and poverty. Made up of 14 partners. Working together to make a positive difference to people’s lives, creating opportunities for and with our places.

Athena members are rooted deep within the Greater Manchester city region and work closely with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the GM Health and Social Care Partnership . We are all Members of the Greater Manchester Housing Providers group (GMHP) and use our collective experience and expertise to bring additional investment into the region.

Our strength in working in partnership is used to support people and communities in Greater Manchester to prosper, through improved income, employment, housing and health.

With our partners we:

  • Own 150,000 social homes
  • Have a collective spending power of £750m+
  • Employ 6000+ people, most of whom are Greater Manchester residents

Jigsaw Support (part Jigsaw Homes Group) is leading on Manchester Athena’s Motiv8 programme which is being delivered in the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area by the following five housing partners:

  • Jigsaw Homes Group (delivering in Tameside, Trafford and Oldham)
  • ForHousing (delivering in Salford and Bury)
  • Bolton at Home (delivering in Bolton and Wigan) through Starts With You
  • Stockport Homes Group (delivering in Stockport and Rochdale) through Foundations Stockport
  • Wythenshawe Community Housing Group (delivering in Wythenshawe and Manchester)

Media Contact:

Karen Duncan

Communications Officer

Motiv8 (Building Better Opportunities)

Jigsaw Support

Mobile: 07387 257174

Motiv8 Team: 0161 331 2048

Switchboard: 0300 111 1212


Starts with you Managing Director, Hayley Hulme announced as member of Greater Manchester Social Enterprise Group

We are delighted to announce that our Managing Director, Hayley has been selected as one of sixteen representatives of a new advisory group.

The group will support the Mayor of Greater Manchester and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) leaders to include the social enterprise agenda in the delivery of the Greater Manchester Strategy and Local Industrial Strategy.
The representatives span a range of sectors – from eCommerce to social care – and cover the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester.

Rose Marley, CEO of SharpFutures, which supports young people into employment in the creative and technology sectors, is taking on the role of interim Chair for the first 12 months.

Rose said: “There are now more social enterprises than ever before active in our region, and the sector is the fastest growing in the UK. Social enterprise has the potential to transform our economy and make a long-term positive social impact on our city-region.”

The group convened its first virtual meeting in April and agreed priorities for the forthcoming year including: campaigning; business and finance support; procurement with the public and business sector and market opportunities.

Hayley said “I already love working with this group of talented and dynamic social business leaders. We have a great opportunity to influence plans and strategies that help the many incredible social businesses flourish and encourage more people to do business more responsibly. I also want to make sure we represent our places and local social businesses. As members of the panel it is our job to ‘reach the parts that other forums don’t reach’, so I am encouraging anyone who is passionate about socially responsible business in Greater Manchester to get involved and share your views.”

Greater Manchester social enterprises can keep up-to-date with the Advisory Group’s updates by visiting this webpage and by signing up to the Greater Manchester Social Enterprise Network email bulletin.

Social enterprise colleagues wishing to share their views and feedback can contact the group by emailing or using the contact details listed on the webpage.