John Montague, Managing Director of Group Operations at The Big Issue, which has a social investment arm, Big Issue Invest, spoke at an event to launch two new projects in Brixton last night. Both aim to support the local economy while simultaneously helping people out of homelessness:
· Canvas: a light, open co-working space with a social purpose, backed by Big Issue Invest
· 215 Fund: a manpower fund for building events and installations that benefit the community
Behind the initiatives is Connection Crew, a social enterprise event crewing company based in Brixton Hill. It works with homelessness charities to employ people making their way out of homelessness into its workforce.
Tonight they launched Canvas and the #215Fund at a housewarming gathering at its base on Lyham Road near HMP Brixton last night, where Canvas is also located.
Special guest speaker John Montague commented on the importance of business’s role in the community, saying that:
“Big Issue Invest supports sound businesses that make social change and dismantle poverty. We are proud investors of Canvas and Connection Crew, a great Brixton business.
“Not only do all profits generated by Canvas Co-working go back into helping people out of homelessness, they go into providing a platform for local entrepreneurs to grow from for a fair price, creating more jobs for more people in the future.”
He followed on by welcoming the first six members of Canvas, which opens next week, including Olivia Hobbs, Blackstar London, she stated:
“Canvas is the perfect home. Rather than blindly lining investors’ pockets, in the true spirit of Brixton working in this space allows others to step back into work from homelessness using the profits generated from the desk space.”
Charlie Dorman, director of Connection Crew said:
“We are all about nurturing people and developing new opportunities for people. This is why tonight, we launch the #215Fund and #CanvasCoWorking. We need YOU to spread the word. The more success we create together the more people we get out of homelessness.”