• Listen to our new podcast series

    'Social Founder Stories'

    Social Founder Stories interviews the inspirational leaders who make social change happen, who use their passions, skills and entrepreneurial drive to make a difference, and to make our world a better place.

    You'll hear what makes social founders tick, how they create impact, scale their organisation, what they struggle with, and how they overcome their challenges.

    Be inspired by their drive, creativity, skills and resilience, as well as their impact stories.


    Social Founder Stories is brought to you in association with CIVA, the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action.

    You can find out more about CIVA's innovative work, and support them, at www.CIVA.org.uk.


    Listen to our first episodes on your favourite podcast platform or directly from this site.

    Please leave a review on Apple Podcast if you can. And email me with any feedback or ideas for future Social Founder Stories. Thanks for listening.


  • Social Founder Stories Podcast: Josie Naughton, Choose Love & Help Refugees founder
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  • Social Founder Stories podcast Josie_Naughton Choose_Love Help_Refugees
  • Or listen below on our site

  • Read more about our podcast guests below

    See below for information and links for each of our podcast guests. Sign up to our newsletter to be sure to hear about new episodes as they launch. And do send us feedback.

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    James Partridge OBE, Founder & CEO, Changing Faces and Face Equality International - interviewed before he passed away in 2020.

    "The people that I met and worked with, through all these 25 years, were very very important to me, because they gave me the sense that I wasn't alone in all of this. We were all on a march to enhance life prospects for people with disfigurements and disabilities."

    How wonderful that we captured James Partridge talking about his founder story before he so sadly passed away last year. James founded Changing Faces in 1992, using his own personal experience of facial disfigurement, his work in Health Economics, and his entrepreneurial skills to set up, grow and lead this groundbreaking charity for 25 years.


    We hear about how he coped with a life-changing 40% burns accident aged 18, his books, his advice on branding, celebrities and media, the importance of research, launching a capital appeal for a building, strategies for coping with the 2009 financial crash and austerity, the changing nature of his relationship with his board - and much more.


    James then went on to found Face Equality International. Through all of this his brilliant skills in networking and relationships stand out, alongside his values and determination to make a difference for people living with disfigurement.


    Follow Changing Faces, the UK charity:

    Twitter: @faceequality

    Instagram: @changingfacesuk

    Facebook: @changingfacesuk


    Follow Face Equality International, the global network:

    Twitter: @FaceEqualityInt

    Instagram: @FaceEqualityInt

    Facebook: @FaceEqualityInt


    And if you can please donate to Changing Faces here and Face Equality International here


    Social Founder Stories is brought to you in association with CIVA, the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action.

    You can find out more about CIVA's innovative work, and support them, at www.CIVA.org.uk.

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    Sir Tim Smit, Co-Founder & former CEO of the Eden Project, and now Executive Chairman, Eden Project International.

    “I wanted to create a place that was so theatrical that even the biggest cynic in the world would just for a moment go Wow!"

    For anyone who loves magic, transformation, risk and fun - and also wants to learn so much about how to make BIG things happen - Sir Tim Smit's story is for you.


    In Episode 8, parts 1 and 2, you'll hear about Sir Tim's curiosity and sense of adventure, from a young child through to his ongoing international ventures. His in-depth interview is a wonderful mix of stories, experience and wise advice on how to imagine, set up and manage a large, complex and high impact social enterprise.


    Sir Tim moved serendipitously from archeologist to rock musician to restoring the now mythical Lost Gardens of Helligan, and from there dreamed, and then made real, and huge, the iconic Eden Project, those massive biomes in a derelict clay pit in Cornwall, that now house the only rainforest 'in captivity', surrounded by glorious gardens, a concert space and magical family events. As importantly the Eden Project - a compelling visitor attraction for all ages - has transformed Cornwall's economy.

    Be inspired!


    Follow the Eden Project:

    Twitter: @edenproject

    Instagram: @edenprojectcornwall

    Facebook: @theedenproject


    Find out more about the Eden Project's story and activities, and book tickets to visit!


    Tim was also the vision and force behind the restoration of

    The Lost Gardens of Helligan.


    Listen to Tim's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Part 1 (Ep.9) and Part 2 (Ep.8) - on all podcast platforms via the links above & below. You'll learn so much, and do send us your feedback.

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    Neil Jameson CBE, Founder CEO, and now Emeritus Director, Citizens UK

    The purpose of Community Organising is to help people move from the world as it is to the world as it should be.” Neil Jameson CBE

    Neil Jameson CBE is Founder of Citizens UK, the charity that inspired and successfully campaigned for the UK Living Wage. Setting up Citizens UK as his vehicle, Neil launched and grew the Community Organising movement across the UK, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds, from faith groups, schools, trade unions and community groups, to participate in massive grassroots assemblies, rallies and citizens’ actions.


    In this podcast you’ll hear how Neil took advantage of a Churchill Fellowship to learn from the US model of Community Organising, including training with a young Obama; how Neil brought these ideas to the UK, how he set up and then massively scaled Citizens UK from an idea, to city-based actions in Bristol, and then to a highly influential UK-wide movement, brand, organisation and legacy.


    Alongside a fascinating 30 year perspective of social action in the US and UK, Neil gives us great advice and insights during this podcast, across all the founder stages, from start-up to scale-up, engagement and impact, funding, campaigning, networking and team-building, through to stepping down as CEO, and an exciting possible new venture too. Be inspired!


    Follow Neil Jameson:

    Twitter: @NeilJamesonUK

    Instagram: @NeilJamesonUK

    Facebook: @Neil.Jameson.London


    Follow Citizens UK:

    Twitter: @CitizensUK

    Instagram: @citizens.uk

    Facebook: @CitizensUK


    And if you can please donate to Citizens UK here.


    Neil highlighted the special impact of two organisations on his founder journey:

    The Barrow Cadbury Trust

    The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust's Churchill Fellowships.


    Listen to Neil Jameson's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 7 - on all podcast platforms via the links above or here. Enjoy, and please do send us your feedback.

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    Natasha Walter, Founder Director, and now Creative Projects Director, Women for Refugee Women.

    "Organisations don't stay and they don't remain authentic and they don't do the work well, unless the power is shared, I feel that very strongly and I feel that more and more as time goes on, because I do think if it had all been about me, the organisation would have died long ago."

    Natasha Walter is Founder Director of Women for Refugee Women, an influential charity providing support for refugee women seeking asylum in the UK. Natasha is a feminist, a human rights activist and an experienced journalist, with a double first from Cambridge University. She is an author of books, including The New Feminism, Living Dolls and the play Motherland. Natasha became a Founder Director 13 years ago, ‘almost by mistake’.


    Natasha didn’t intend to set up a charity, but was driven to create social change by the powerful stories of the women refugees she met while working as a journalist.


    In this interview you will hear about the steps Natasha took to set up the charity, the learnings along the way, the vital support she has had from her Chair and colleagues, and the important mix of services, voice, media and campaigning that underpin Women for Refugee Women and Natasha’s leadership.


    She shares insightful views about her frustrations with charity communications, and the importance of sharing the authentic voices and stories of refugees and asylum-seekers. 


    Since our interview Natasha has stepped down as Director to become Creative Projects Director, handing over the Director role to Alphonsine Kabagabo.


    Follow 'Women for Refugee Women' and Natasha:

    Twitter: @4refugeewomen @natasha_walter

    Instagram: @4refugeewomen

    Facebook: @4RefugeeWomen


    And if you can please donate to Women for Refugee Women here.


    Listen to Natasha's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 6 - on all podcast platforms and via the links above. Enjoy, and send us your feedback.

    Pragna_Patel Southall_Black_Sisters SBS podcast Founder Social_Founders

    Pragna Patel, Founder & Director, Southall Black Sisters.

    "Do not be afraid. Go with your gut feelings and your instincts, that I think is key. And then everything else - you find skills, you find the people, you find the funding -somehow. But my main thing is, if there is that fire in your belly, act on it, do not be afraid."


    Pragna Patel is the founder and director of Southall Black Sisters, one of the UK's leading women's organisations for black and minority ethnic women. In 1982, Pragna resurrected a local initiative, turning it into an established advocacy charity, a national helpline and a powerful campaigning organisation.


    "Our aims are to highlight and challenge all forms gender-related violence against women, empower them to gain more control over their lives; live without fear of violence and assert their human rights to justice, equality and freedom."


    Pragna tells us about what it takes to establish and grow an organisation - to create the infrastructure, find the right board, maintain values, keep the right balance between services and campaigning. She talks candidly about how to cope with setbacks, find resilience and celebrate achievements - including the passing of vital laws to support migrant women in the UK. We also hear about the powerful Law Centre Movement that inspired her initial work, and the fears she has for equality and social justice today.


    "Our vision, our political vision, is one where we see that there is interconnectedness of struggles, that we don't struggle on our own, even as women, that we are connected to the struggles that are taking place on a much more global scale around violence against women." Pragna Patel, in her Social Founder Stories podcast.


    Please donate to Southall Black Sisters here if you can. Donations small or large will make a life-changing and life-saving difference to countless abused and marginalised women and children who are desperate for protection and support, particularly at this time of Covid-19.


    Follow Southall Black Sisters and Pragna:

    Twitter: @SBSisters

    Instagram: @SouthallBlackSisters

    Facebook: @Southall.Black.Sisters


    Listen to Pragna's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 5 - on all podcast platforms via the links above or here. Enjoy, and send us your feedback.

    Giles_Duley Legacy_of_War_Foundation podcast Social_Founders

    Giles Duley, Founder & CEO, The Legacy of War Foundation

    "I have this simple belief, that each one of us has the power to create change through our own skills. My skill was as a photographer. There are times I wish I was a doctor or I wish I was a politician. I'm not those things. I have one ability, and that's to tell a story. And each one of us has something we can do. Each one of us has a skill and we can find ways to use that skill. And by doing that together, we really can create change."

    Giles's reaction to unimaginable physical and mental trauma has been to become a social founder, setting up the global Legacy of War Foundation using his award-winning photography and media skills to document, and counteract, the legacy of war across the world.


    Giles' physical and mental resilience are like nothing I have seen or heard before. In this episode of Social Founder Stories you'll hear how throughout his life, Giles has responded to adversity to create impact, but in particular, how stepping on an IED in Afghanistan, left him desperately fighting for his life for 47 days in intensive care, and then 18 months' rehabilitation, after the loss of both legs and his left arm.


    No-one expected him to survive those horrendous injuries, let alone to find the drive to continue to work and to travel, using his professional skills and his determination to create high-level positive social impact, setting up and growing his Foundation.


    Giles talks in-depth about the work of international NGOs, the power of photography to create impact, and his work in Syria, Africa, Cambodia and Afghanistan, woven into his personal journey leading to his founding of the Foundation, his gruelling recovery from his injuries in 2011, his learnings and values.


    You will hear little from me in this interview. Giles tells his powerful story and I listen, moved and amazed at his courage.


    Please donate to the Legacy of War Foundation here if you can.

    Follow Giles on:

    Twitter: @GilesDuley

    Instagram: @GilesDuley

    Facebook: @Giles.Duley


    Listen to Giles' founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 4 - on all podcast platforms via the links above and below, or here. Enjoy, and send us your feedback.

    Sarah_Corbett podcast Craftivists Craftivism Craftivist_Collective Founder

    Sarah Corbett, Founder & Director of The Craftivist Collective

    "For me as an activist, I was always thinking, how can we use these products and this process to really help with real campaigning - that's not just awareness raising, it's not fundraising, it has to be challenging systems and structures."

    In Episode 3 of Social Founder Stories Sarah Corbett, founder of the iconic Craftivist Collective, with its 50,000 global followers, tells us that she is at heart an introvert and ‘a reluctant social founder’!


    Sarah Corbett's founder journey, her brilliant use of social media, her ground-breaking creative campaigns, Craftivist workshops and her fast-selling 'How to be a Craftivist' book, all come together to create a powerful story about how one social founder can have far-reaching impact for individuals, for communities and globally.


    Passionate about both craft and activism, Sarah uses what she calls "the gentle art of stitching" to engage people around the world in social justice issues, helping change laws, company policies, hearts and minds.


    Sarah is incredibly honest in this in-depth interview, sharing the details of her campaign strategies, the agonies of self-doubt, and her tools for personal resilience, financial innovation, organisational growth and deep social impact. Enjoy listening to her story.


    Follow Sarah and the Craftivist Collective on:

    Twitter: @craftivists

    Instagram: @craftivists

    Facebook: @CraftivistCollective


    Order Sarah's How to be a Craftivist book "beautifully wrapped & ribboned", and her Craftivist kits here.

    Support Sarah and Adopt A Craftivist here!

    Sarah highlights two organisations in her interview:

    Fashion Revolution and

    Share Action led by CEO Catherine Howarth


    Listen to Sarah's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 3 - on all podcast platforms via the links below or here. Enjoy, and send us your feedback.

    Hubbub  podcast Trewin_Restorick Global_Action_Plan Founder

    Trewin Restorick, Founder & CEO of Hubbub and Global Action Plan

    "I think the first priority for social founders is the values, specially if it’s a social enterprise. Work out what your values are. Values are more important than the business plan, as far as I'm concerned. If you stick to those values, you will sound true to your beliefs, the organisation will have a core and a heart."

    Trewin Restorick is the founder of two innovative and high-impact UK charities, Global Action Plan and Hubbub.


    Trewin's interview for Social Founder Stories, Episode 2, is full of advice and insights on how to create and scale, not one, but two successful social enterprises.


    Trewin talks about what he calls “founder spirit” - sharing insights into the key stages he's been through to create both financial sustainability and social impact, from starting up to letting go, and then starting again, to create and grow Hubbub.


    Trewin covers a range of areas from boards and trustees to partnerships with major corporates, the importance of values and credibility, business plans (he doesn’t like them!) and trading companies, creative campaigns and legacy.


    And along the way, there's talk of frogs and lily pads, plastic fishing and fun, teams and transformation. Enjoy listening to this creative, entrepreneurial and values-driven social founder.


    Follow Trewin and Hubbub on:

    Twitter: @TrewinR @HubbubUK

    Instagram: @hellohubbub

    Facebook: @HubbubUK

    Check out Hubbub at www.hubbub.org.uk

    Find out more about Trewin’s first charity at www.globalactionplan.org.uk


    Listen to Trewin's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 2 - on all podcast platforms via the links below or here. Enjoy, and send us your feedback.

    Help_Refugees Choose_Love Josie_Naughton Founder Podcast

    Josie Naughton, Co-Founder & CEO, Help Refugees and Change Love

    Looking back on it now, we were utterly crazy,” says Josie!

    The story of how Founder CEO Josie Naughton ‘accidentally’ launched and grew the charity Help Refugees and its iconic brand Choose Love to become the largest grassroots distributor of aid in Europe is fascinating and inspirational. And it all happened incredibly quickly.


    In this in-depth interview for Episode 1 of the Social Founder Stories podcast we hear Josie’s personal founder story, the challenges and tough times, as well as the impact and successes. She tells us about the key stages she and her team went through to enable rapid growth; the logistics of delivering food and shelter to refugee camps across Europe, raising millions in donations, ensuring due diligence, working with partners, changing attitudes and UK laws.


    We also hear how their Choose Love T-shirts, shop and campaigns have mobilised awareness and funds, supported by celebrities from the fashion and music industry.


    Josie covers so much in this interview, it’s a fascinating listen.


    Follow Help Refugees:

    Twitter: @chooselove

    Instagram: @chooselove

    Facebook: @ChooseLove


    And if you can please donate to Help Refugees & Choose Love here


    Josie highlighted two organisations in her interview:

    Prism the Gift Fund

    Leigh Day, the law firm.


    Listen to Josie's founder story on the Social Founder Stories podcast, Episode 1 - on all podcast platforms via the links below or here. Enjoy, and send us your feedback.

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    More episodes of Social Founder Stories are coming soon, so please remember to subscribe to the podcast.

    And do sign up HERE to our newsletter to be sure not to miss them and other Social Founder news.

    I’d love to hear your feedback, and also your ideas for future podcasts, blogs and resources - you can email me any time: caroline@socialfounder.org


    Social Founder Stories is brought to you in association with CIVA, the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action.

    You can find out more about CIVA's innovative work, and support them, at www.CIVA.org.uk.

  • Listen to all episodes of Social Founder Stories below on this site

    or via the links underneath to your favourite podcast platform

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