Tree Shepherd News for September 2017

3 x LAMBETH ENTERPRISE COURSES for Autumn 2017

We are excited to introduce a new offer in Lambeth. If you have studied on one of our Lambeth courses before, it is OK – you can sign up for ONE free course each year. This is as long as you are still eligible

In Lambeth, eligibility for a free course means you need to be on benefits and/or on household income below £24,700).

Most of you will have done our ‘Start Your Own Enterprise’ course. Tell your Lambeth friends – there is a new one in October.

Lambeth Courses:

START YOUR OWN ENTERPRISE

SOCIAL MEDIA 4 x DAYS

ACCOUNTS & TAX 1 x DAY

Enquiries: 020 3948 3023 training@treeshepherd.org.uk

https://treeshepherd.org.uk/enterprise-learning

New SOUTHWARK FREE SE16 START UP AND THRIVE programme – STARTS NEXT WEEK SO DON’T DELAY!

If you are a Southwark resident and live in the SE16 postcode area, you have a unique opportunity to sign up to our FREE Start Up and Thrive programme.

This starts with an 8 x week ‘Start Your Own Enterprise’ course, delivered 1 x day a week, starting Wednesday 4th October 10-4pm and continuing to Wednesday 29th November.

You will also gain access to free one-to-one business clinics and a wealth of business development and networking opportunities.

It is easy to sign up, just go to: http://surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SYOEinSE16

As long as you live in SE16, you are on!

The course will be delivered in the Time & Talents room at the entrance to the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre. Funded by British Land.

Enquiries: 020 3948 3023 training@treeshepherd.org.uk

Remember that once you start on the enterprise training, you are automatically joining a network of local traders, businesses, charities, natural customers and potential partners. By staying local to SE16 you have an opportunity to engage with the regeneration plans for your area and be an exciting part of it’s growth – no matter how large or small your enterprise.

GREAT START WITH OUR OTHER COURSES!

Other courses have gotten off to a flying start, with 19 students enrolling on the White City startup course and 21 starting on our South Bermondsey course. With rooms packed with learners, the possibilities for dynamic new enterprise networks to grow are boundless. We will share news on their successes in due course.

GREAT YEAR END WITH OUR ‘START OUT START UP’ PROGRAMME FOR 18-30 YEAR-OLDS

October will see the last month of our first 18-30 dedicated enterprise acceleration programme. We are studying the results of one year’s delivery and they are looking impressive!

  • We forecast 15 graduates (17 graduated)
  • 8 to reach test-trade level (in fact 11 reached this level)
  • 5 new registered businesses (8 have registered at HMRC)
  • 2 would employ (3 have employed)

When you read the individual stories behind the reports, the journeys are amazing. We will share this at the end of October on this website in the news section.

This programme was generously funded by the Walcot Foundation

NEW DEVELOPMENT IN FULHAM

Doctor Edward’s and Bishop Kings is a charity set up to support residents of the older defined Metropolitan borough of Fulham. It’s charitable aims are to help alleviate poverty and they have kindly provided a grant for us to work with the entrepreneurial people in the lower income households of this area. We will be delivering a series of workshop days and one-to-one business incubation sessions.

Dates and venues are being finalised. If you are interested in signing up, please contact info@treeshepherd.org.uk or call 020 3948 3021

GOODPEOPLE – Employment and Skills at Surrey Quays SE16

Whilst we are supporting those wanting to be self-employed in SE16, our friends at GoodPeople are collaborating with British Land to link local unemployed residents with sustainable employment and skills development opportunities in Canada Water.

They are working with employers at Surrey Quays Shopping and Leisure, as well as the Printworks. Those who are currently looking for work or have employment opportunities in this area, contact Liliana 020 3176 6711 liliana@goodpeople.co.uk

West London Startup Support 2017/18 – A Great Place for a Great Partnership

In September 2017, Tree Shepherd will once again be combining forces with our West London partners to deliver a unique programme. Our Start Your Own Enterprise programme will first be delivered at the Wood Lane Community Centre – easily accessible to the estate communities there. Then the last two sessions will be at Petitmiracles – where learners can go on to access further workshops, free retail opportunities and promotional support for every type of enterprise.

We encourage West London people to sign up now. Call 020 3948 3023/3021 or email training@treeshepherd.org.uk or go straight to this link: bit.ly/SYOE2017

Tree Shepherd celebrates success at Lambeth Country Show 2017

Only Sheepskin at LCS 2017

They say it’s hard to sell ice to Eskimos? But can you really sell sheepskin slippers in summer? Well the answer is, with the help of Tree Shepherd – YES!  2017 was another fantastic year for Tree Shepherd at the Lambeth Country Show. With 31 traders in the tent, the weekend was bustling with activity as Tree Shepherd entrepreneurs steamed through the two days, selling everything from unique designer bags, to Indian food, massages, natural products and even sheepskin slippers, which flew off the shelves. It was testament once again to Tree Shepherd’s astonishing success in helping develop small kernels of business ideas into sustainable, profit-making businesses, which go on to  form a successful trading network.

Audrey Williams with her paintings at LCS 2017

Cambridge Weight Loss ladies at their stall

Based near the fairground and charity section of the Show, the Forest Enterprise Network Tent attracted hundreds of people over the two days. Colette Thomas returned with her designer bags ‘Colster’ – a year after launching at the Show last year. And with business going well, she has expanded her range to include changing mats and bags in wipeable fabrics ideal for the beach and use at the pool. ‘Lydia asked if I wanted to come back and I said ‘I am THERE!’ It was a no-brainer. It’s great to be back in the tent’, she says.

Colette Thomas – Colster at the LCS 2017

The complete list of traders… drum roll please…
Food: Ghanaian Catering Bar, Links Kitchen, smoke n jerk, Lucknow2London, Shave Ice Desserts, Comfort and Joy Healthy Food, Home & Away Food. 

 Products: Babies World, Empressive, Cambridge Weight Plan, Made by P.L., Mousetrap London,Bespoke Jewellery and Accessories, Audrey Williams, Paintings, Age Old Knowledge, Bizzie Bodies CIC, Colster bags, Pieces by Keke, Cards 4 Life, Gagachin Designs, Only Sheepskin, Akong T-Shirts, Nubian Jak Charity, Shoop Doop, Above.

Therapies and Services: Medical and Sports Injury Therapy, K’Diva, Tree Shepherd, Dankae serenity therapies

Our tent (with a dramatic sky!)

This year Tree Shepherd also put on two bespoke events – an Indian Cooking Demo by Lucknow to London, which brought in a crowd learning how to create Indian afternoon tea, and a speaking event from Colin on How to Win in Your First Year. Both attracted new audiences and it was great to see everyone getting involved.  We were also joined by African dance troop at the end of trading on Sunday, keeping the carnival atmosphere alive!

Colin advising on making your business a success in its first year

We are especially grateful to Suzanne Vincent for at Urban Village Homes for generously supporting us. Their beautiful pink bike caught many an eye.

CEO Colin Crooks said, ‘Another outright success for Tree Shepherd at the Lambeth Country Show! This is one of my favourite times of year – you see these new businesses coming together, making those all-important sales, and putting into practice some of the tough lessons they have learnt along the way. It is a real chance to showcase the real, tangible day-to-day impact of the hours and weeks of behind-the-scenes work we do, which is made possible by our funders and supporters like Lambeth Council.  With our help 650 people are now in the process of starting a business, and there’s no greater pleasure than seeing them flourish at an event like this.  The future is bright, I can’t wait to see which stars of enterprise start to emerge this coming year.’

by Sarah Baldwin

TRADER INFO FOR LAMBETH COUNTRY SHOW 2017

Welcome to the Forest Enterprise Network member’s information page for trading in the marquee at the Lambeth Country Show 2016. We are delighted that you have booked a stall at this exciting annual festival.

The dates are Sat 15th & Sun 16th July and the venue, as always, is Brockwell Park.

DIRECTIONS

Picnic Area, Herne Hill entrance side, up pathway towards hilltop cafe and our large marquee is on the right (next to the shaded tree area).

THE IMPORTANT EMAIL

First there is a VERY IMPORTANT email sent by Mike O’Shea, person in charge at the show.

PLEASE LOOK AT YOUR EMAIL INBOX FOR LYDIA GARDNER’S EMAIL DATED 5TH JULY 2017 TITLED “IMPORTANT RULES FROM LAMBETH COUNCIL FOR COUNTRY SHOW” AND READ IT ALL CAREFULLY!

There is key information on there. Crucially NONE of you will be allowed to drive on site Saturday or Sunday morning / evening. You can drive across the park Friday 14th July 10-6pm but your vehicle must be parked up in the car park on site overnight – and you able to carry over your items on the day. We think that is what they are saying, but please READ THE EMAIL – and direct your queries to show organisers.

INSURANCE. Not got it? No trading!

If you do not provide insurance to cover you for 15th & 16th July, you will not be permitted in the marquee and you will automatically lose the money you paid to be at the show. Email your market traders public liability insurance today to lydia@treeshepherd.org.uk

You signed up to:

  • Set-up, trade & tear down for full two-days 9am to 8pm.
  • Trade starts prompt at 12pm – no later (tables should be ready at 11am)
  • No sub-letting of stall
  • Abide by the risk assessment you have now provided and signed
  • Bring on site your insurance certificate

Food traders, you must also have on your stall with you:

  • Level 2 food handling hygiene certificate
  • Evidence letter of food kitchen with Council approval (4 star)
  • Your insurance, menu with prices & all other items (see email of 5th July)
  • No flame cooking, no deep fat fryers, no griddles. Microwaves, hot plates and tea urns only (Max 3kw per socket)

TO TAKE PART IN SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN

Please email the following to yolanda@treeshepherd.org.uk:

  1. A short sentence describing their business
  2. Your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Website addresses
  3. 1 to 6 images (png or JPEG)

FOR ON THE DAY PROMOTION

Please email yolanda@treeshepherd.org.uk

A paragraph describing how you will help to promote your presence at the show and any banners or additional material you will bring to dress your stand (bear in mind you have a 2m table and it is decided on a lottery basis whether a trader has a back wall)

DEADLINES

Today!

WHAT IF YOUR HIRED FURNITURE GETS STOLEN?

if the chair or table you hire disappear during the show, you will be liable for £20 on the chair and £80 on the table.

WHAT IF YOU LEAVE THINGS OVERNIGHT IN THE MARQUEE

This is at your own risk. Remember this is a tent in a public park. Things have been stolen in the past.

NOT PAID? ITS NOW £5/DAY FOR EVERY DAY OF NON-PAYMENT

Please note that from Wednesday 5th July 5pm onwards, any late payment will incur a £5 per day additional fee.

CANCELLATION POLICY

Any cancellation made by a trader that has already paid will not be entitled to any reimbursement at all as we have no time to replace you now.

RISING COSTS

Please note Tree Shepherd has not raised its hire charges from last year, but the show organisers were faced with a hire company going bust and have had to raise the cost of the marquee by £1000. This cost has not been passed on to our traders, but in future we may not be able to afford such generosity.

Please pass your thanks on to Colin and Lydia, as we fought to keep your costs down!

Updates on trading at the show will be loaded onto this page in due course.

Mayor joins celebration in Hammersmith as 15 budding entrepreneurs start up for the first time

Entrepreneurs, business people, local residents and the Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham came together today to celebrate the graduation of 15 participants from Tree Shepherd’s Start Your Own Enterprise course.

The 8-week course was funded by Hammersmith & Fulham council alongside Hammersmith United Charities, White City Big Local and with support from Land Securities and the Petit Miracle Hub. This course is just the beginning of an exciting entrepreneurial journey for local residents.

The programme took entrepreneurs though all the essentials of starting and running a business, plus key principles of business administration including understanding your market, managing money and dealing with customers. Participants are excited to start a range of new businesses, from food stalls to clothing to mental health support for young people.

Each successful participant was presented with a Tree Shepherd graduation certificate by the Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham, Michael Cartwright.

One of the participants, Tieyan Eweka-Olorunfemi, who is setting up her own food business, Jollof Mama, said “I am very passionate about West Indian food and I’ve already started trading at some markets and festivals The course has helped me to focus and to take my business to the next level.”

Another participant, Morakot Daniels, who is setting up a business selling exotic fruit soaps, said “It was a full-day course over 8 days but the time flew. I really enjoyed the course – can I repeat it?”

Colin Crooks, CEO of Tree Shepherd said, “It’s fantastic to work here in Hammersmith and welcome another cohort of Tree Shepherd graduates to our ever-growing Forest Network. I never cease to be impressed by the amount of talent and sheer get-up-and-go of London residents, and we look forward to helping their businesses to grow and develop. This course is just the beginning, and Tree Shepherd will be there to support them with every step.”

The businesspeople are supported by Petit Miracle Hub, a local charity which reduces unemployment through provision of skills training in traditional craft, restoration, basic DIY, painting & decorating, interior design trades, retail, entrepreneurship and business skills. The entrepreneurs now have the opportunity to tap into retail opportunities through the Petit Miracle Hub business incubator, which includes a shop in the West 12 Shopping Centre in Shepherds Bush.

Elisicia, Petit Miracles, Founder said:“We are delighted to be working in partnership to offer a new kind of opportunity to local residents. The entrepreneurs get a chance to grow their own start-up business, from fledgling idea to actually trading from our community shop. By sharing our knowledge and encouraging the group to support one another we are creating our very own collaborative ecosystem.”

The Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham, Michael Cartwright, said “It’s great to see these community organisations coming together to deliver such a great programme. I was impressed by the entrepreneurs and their enthusiasm, and I’m sure they will make a success of their businesses off the back of this 8-week course.”

To find out about future training opportunities for entrepreneurs in White City, email info@treeshepherd.org.uk or call us on 020 3697 1541.

To find out about trading opportunities in Shepherd’s Bush or other locations, visit www.petitmiracles.org.uk/hub or email elisicia@petitmiracles.org.uk

 

 

 

Tree Shepherd brings 28 new stalls to LOVE YOUR LOCAL MARKET 2017

Tree Shepherd is proud to be a key partner in Brixton Love Your Local Market 2017. 30+ new traders have signed up and every day from Friday 26th to Wednesday 31st May they will be joining the 40 existing traders for this annual celebration.

Trading times 10am to 5pm every day 26th to 31st May, including the Bank Holiday Monday.

In the evenings and throughout the days there will also be activities and entertainment happening in Brixton Village and Market Row. This will include a programme of music and performance with everything from Salsa to Bagpipes!

Some background from Brixton Business Improvement District:

Brixton Markets are vital to our town centre and high street trading, offering much more than just a shopping experience.

Our 2017 Love Your Local Market campaign in Brixton will, for the first time, celebrate the unique combined offers of our indoor and outdoor markets. Brixton has a rich history of markets and market trading not seen elsewhere in London. Often described as the heart and soul of Brixton’s retail offer, our markets; Brixton Village and Market Row, Electric Avenue, Popes Road, Brixton Station Road, Tunstall Road, and Reliance Arcade are normally a gauge of the vibrancy of our local retail offering.

With the recent refurbishment of the Electric Avenue market, Love Your Local Market 2017 becomes the first opportunity to exhibit to the public Electric Avenue in all its new glory. Brixton Village and Market Row will entice the public with its unusual shopping experiences and options.

Brixton BID will this year join local key stakeholders and partners in celebrating European Launch of Love Your Local Market 2017:

Lambeth Council
Groupe Geraud / Brixton Village and Market Row
Brixton Pound
Brixton Market Traders Federation CIC
Brixton Society
Lambeth Forest Network / Tree Shepherd

Markets are not just in May but all-year-round. Local shoppers are becoming wary of long supply chains and are once again turning to local butchers, bakers, and traders and other traditional outlets. Markets still hold a special place in the hearts of local people, offering a friendly place to shop and socialise.

Last year’s Love Your Local Market activities included ‘our celebrity breakfast’ and high-quality entertainment throughout the week-long celebrations. This brought an increase in footfall to our market areas. This year, the focus is on delivering a week of events, attractions, and entertainment with a greater focus on fun, increased trade, and increased footfall.

Our festival is again scheduled to take advantage of this year’s school half-term in May, thereby encouraging children and families to visit and participate in our fun and festivities.

We are encouraging market operators, traders and members of the public to join us for a week of activities!

Highlights

Discounts
‘Celebrity Breakfast’
Giveaways
Tours
Entertainment
Face painting
World music

Follow: @TreeShepherdUK and @LYLMBrixton

Enquiries: 020 3697 1540

Tree Shepherd launches new Saturday Start Up sessions for career changers

Working Monday to Friday but wish you were your own boss? Ready to set up your own enterprise but not sure how to start? Looking for some business support but short on time?

If this sounds like you, read on…

Tree Shepherd has supported over 800 people since 2013 to explore their business ideas and to develop them into a business plan and, in 40% of cases, a company has started trading. In that time, we have delivered over 70 training courses and workshops, such as our 8-week Start Your Own Enterprise programme.

Now, due to popular demand, we are offering for the first time a part-time intensive programme at weekends to help you turn your business idea into reality. Participants on our Saturday Start Up programme will get:

  • 4 half-day group sessions to help take you from business idea to business plan
  • a 1-to-1 mentoring session with one of our friendly, experienced business advisors
  • free membership of the Forest Enterprise Network (an umbrella organisation of local traders which helps Lambeth-based start-ups collaborate and grow)

The cost of the full Saturday Start Up programme is £350, with concessions available for learners on benefits or low income. The course will run on 4 consecutive Saturdays starting on 17th June. This special intensive course will be limited to 15 places only, so click here now to register your interest or call us for more information on 020 3697 1541.

 

Started your own enterprise? Now what?

Scale Up Masterclass

Starting a business is hard. And once your business is up and running, scaling it up so it reaches its full potential is also hard.

At Tree Shepherd, we have supported over 700 budding entrepreneurs since 2013 to turn their business ideas into reality and 40% of those new businesses have successfully started trading. We’ve run Start Your Own Enterprise courses, we’ve held one-to-one business advice clinics and we’ve run events and street markets to help people test trade their products and services.

So how can we help once you’ve started test trading? Drum roll please….

We are proud to announce our new Scale Up Your Business course! This interactive 4-day course is aimed at Lambeth residents who are already trading on a small scale and are ready to grow. Perhaps you are working from home and need to make the transition to formal shared workspace. You may be generating income but need to improve your financial management and cashflow. You may have found your first customers and now need to hone your brand and marketing to build a pipeline of customers. If this sounds like you, sign up here for our Scale Up Your Business course starting 13th July. The course will run at We Are 336, 336 Brixton Road, Brixton, London, SW9 7AA, just a few minutes away from Brixton tube station.

As with all of our courses, all business ideas are welcome and no academic qualifications are required. The course is free for individuals aged 18+ resident in the borough of Lambeth who are unemployed or receiving benefits or on low household income.

Tree Shepherd CEO Colin Crooks says, ‘We’re delighted to be able to offer this new course. At Tree Shepherd we have found that clients who engage with us over a prolonged period of time make more progress with their business, and we hope that our new Scale Up Your Business course helps even more people to push on and turn their start-up into a sustainable enterprise.  With Universal Credit requiring people to prove they are “gainfully self-employed” this course is essential for everyone who is starting out but still claiming some sort of benefit.

If you’d like to sign up or if you have any questions, just drop us a line at info@treeshepherd.org.uk or call us on 020 3697 1537 or on 020 3697 1541. Alternatively, just leave your details here and we’ll give you a call back.

 

Vote for Tree Shepherd by 5 May: Help 100 businesses in Southwark with a simple mouseclick

Press Release

21 April 2017

Tree Shepherd calls on residents to vote for NatWest funding

Tree Shepherd has been shortlisted by a nationwide competition to receive £35,000 to help over 100 businesses in Southwark. But it needs local residents’ support to make its dreams a reality. The organisation, which helps residents with little or no business experience in Southwark and Lambeth become entrepreneurs, is in the final stage of the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund competition, and needs public votes to win the funding.

If they win the vote, Tree Shepherd will offer intensive business training and business advice clinics to local residents, helping new businesses start up and existing ones to thrive. They will also offer residents trading opportunities in local markets and provide 1-1 advice and mentoring. Tree Shepherd has already beaten thousands of others to get to the final stage of the competition, but the decision lies with the Great British public, with the winners decided by a public vote, which opens today 21 April, and runs until 5 May.  Please vote now by going to : http://skillsandopportunitiesfund.natwest.com/vote and selecting ‘Tree Shepherd’

Lucknow 2 London – British Food with an Indian Twist

Nida Usmani and her sister, Saher, from South London, took part in a Tree Shepherd course, turning their dream of running an Indian food business into reality:

Nida, owner of Lucknow to London says, “One day, I was made redundant after many years in the same job. It was a massive shock and I didn’t know what to do with myself. My whole world was just turned upside down. After a few weeks of sitting down trying to work out a plan, my sister and I decided to go for it and fulfil our dream – to bring our home-cooked food from Lucknow, to London. We had no idea how to start. Then we came across Tree Shepherd. They were amazing from the start. They helped us write a business plan, make useful contacts and get our very first market stall pitch. We now run a number of stalls in Lambeth and Southwark, cater at events and business has really taken off. Tree Shepherd has given us so much support the whole time. Starting a business is daunting, but if you’ve got someone looking out for you then these things become possible. Please vote so that many more people can have the same opportunity we had.’

Colin Crooks, CEO of Tree Shepherd said, ‘There’s an entrepreneur inside everyone and I am constantly impressed – but never surprised – by the ingenuity and drive shown by people in Southwark.  Please vote for us! This is a fantastic opportunity to help Southwark thrive as a bustling business area, create new jobs and build a local trading network. We need your support though – please tell your family and friends. We’re already seen 650 businesses develop with Tree Shepherd over the last 3 years, and we’d love to give more people the opportunity.’

The NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund launched in May 2015 and since then has given away over £5m in funding. The Fund provides grants of up to £35,000 to local not-for-profit organisations across the UK and Ireland that are helping people in our most deprived communities to gain the skills and opportunities to develop financial capabilities or set up their own business.

Thom Kenrick, Head of Community Programmes said: “At NatWest,  we know that we can make the biggest difference when we help people help themselves. We’re asking the public to get behind the good causes that matter most to them.”

To vote for Tree Shepherd to win £35,000 from the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund, please go to:

Notes to Editors

  1. Tree Shepherd is a social enterprise helping disadvantaged people across London start businesses. Since its inception in 2013, over 650 people have started, or are in the process of developing, their business with the help of Tree Shepherd. Tree Shepherd offers business courses, masterclasses, 1-1 business clinics, and a Forest Network of local traders to create local trading opportunities.  treeshepherd.org.uk
  2. Photo attached: caption (left to right) – Saher and Nida from Lucknow to London serve up their popular food at a local market stall.
  3. NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund The Fund is estimated to have reached over 25,000 people since its inception, contributing to each individual’s chance to succeed, and is likely to positively impact at least double this number by the end of 2017

Help start 25 new businesses in Southwark with a simple mouseclick

Lucknow 2 London – British food with an Indian twist

South London social enterprise Tree Shepherd has been shortlisted by a nationwide competition for £35,000 to support over 100 local businesses in Southwark to grow and help 25 local residents set up brand new businesses. But it needs your support to make its dreams a reality. The organisation, which helps residents in Southwark and Lambeth who don’t have any experience in business to become entrepreneurs, is in the final stage of the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund competition and needs public votes to win the funding.

Please vote now by clicking on this link.

If they win the vote, Tree Shepherd will offer intensive business training and business advice clinics to local residents, helping new businesses start up and existing ones to thrive. They will also offer residents trading opportunities in local markets and provide 1-1 advice and mentoring. Tree Shepherd has already beaten thousands of others to get to the final stage of the competition, but the decision lies with the Great British public, with the winners decided by a public vote, which opens today 21 April, and runs until 5 May. To vote, just click on this link.

Nida Usmani and her sister, Saher, from South London, took part in a Tree Shepherd course, turning their dream of running an Indian food business into reality:

Nida, owner of Lucknow to London says, “One day, I was made redundant after many years in the same job. It was a massive shock and I didn’t know what to do with myself. My whole world was just turned upside down. After a few weeks of sitting down trying to work out a plan, my sister and I decided to go for it and fulfil our dream – to bring our home-cooked food from Lucknow, to London. We had no idea how to start. Then we came across Tree Shepherd. They were amazing from the start. They helped us write a business plan, make useful contacts and get our very first market stall pitch. We now run a number of stalls in Lambeth and Southwark, cater at events and business has really taken off. Tree Shepherd has given us so much support the whole time. Starting a business is daunting, but if you’ve got someone looking out for you then these things become possible. Please vote so that many more people can have the same opportunity we had.’

Colin Crooks, CEO of Tree Shepherd said, “There’s an entrepreneur inside everyone and I am constantly impressed – but never surprised – by the ingenuity and drive shown by people in Southwark. Please vote for us! This is a fantastic opportunity to help Southwark thrive as a bustling business area, create new jobs and build a local trading network. We need your support though – please tell your family and friends. We’re already seen 650 businesses develop with Tree Shepherd over the last 3 years, and we’d love to give more people the opportunity.”

The NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund launched in May 2015 and since then has awarded over £5m in funding. The Fund provides grants of up to £35,000 to local not-for-profit organisations across the UK and Ireland that are helping people in our most deprived communities to gain the skills and opportunities to develop financial capabilities or set up their own business.

To vote for Tree Shepherd to win £35,000 from the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund, please go to: http://skillsandopportunitiesfund.natwest.com/vote/