Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber (SEYH) Awards Evening and Dinner

Associate Simon Lee reports on last week’s Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber (SEYH) annual awards evening and dinner.

We were proud to be sponsoring an award and taking a table again this year and host Alex Sobel (SEYH’s General Manager) and especially proud to be the longest-serving sponsors at the event.

The SEYH dinner is always a good opportunity both for an enjoyable evening out, the chance to catch up with some familiar faces and to meet new ones, and (of course) to be challenged and encouraged by the work of social enterprises in the region. This year was no exception with a whole range of great nominees which had made the judges’ lives difficult in choosing a single winner in each category.

The award we sponsored was the Social Entrepreneur of the Year and the shortlisted nominees were David Brazer of Ignition Autos in Bradford, Liz Weatherill of translation services specialist Enable2 CIC (also in Bradford), and Elliott Turnbull of youth support organisation The Works Skate Park in Leeds.

Choosing a winner from that lot was hard work as each of them showed great social entrepreneurial spirit and each was operating in very different environments. However, Elliott won the prize on night based both on the quick growth and impact of The Works Skate Park and also of big steps taken towards the ‘Eco School’ project which aims to change education outcomes for young people disengaged with mainstream education. Congratulations again to Elliott and all the other winners and nominees.

In reading the papers beforehand, I was struck by a comment someone had written about one nominee but (with a little adaptation) applies as a neat description of social entrepreneurs generally: “Many people sit and say ‘I wish’ but the social entrepreneur says ‘I will’.”

Simon Lee is an associate solicitor at Hempsons where he has over 12 years’ post-qualified experience of advising social enterprises and other clients on a wide range of legal issues.