Pathway has been around for 20 years and the fact that they are willing to share their experience and expertise with others is testament to the journey they have been on.
In that context, what a great name pathway is, signifying the direction of that journey and the steps along the way, which is very apposite for the Pathway Charitable Trust.
Sometimes people find themselves on the margins of society. We can all think of the circumstances where a decision made or actions taken could have changed the direction of our own pathway and led us towards those margins.
I have spoken to many homeless people, as well as people who have been through the prison system and there is often a trigger that has led them to that place. A badly diagnosed head injury, unresolved grief from a marriage break down, an addiction formed from an attempt to mask the pain of undisclosed childhood abuse. Just imagine what our lives might have been if we had had to confront all of these issues at once.
Funding the social services that are required to enable reintegration into the community after such experiences can be a challenge, especially when governments are funders.
It is so much better to come to the table as partners not as supplicants to an unreliable and unsustainable funding model of grants. That is something we are thinking about as a Council.
Developing Social Enterprises to resource such services provides a win-win. People who have been marginalised can earn their own support gaining confidence and expertise.
Pathway's passion for launching this Social Enterprise Hub is fueled by the same sense of opportunity to enable new social enterprises to follow in their footsteps and learn about some of the pitfalls and opportunities along the way.
In this way the Hub will help build an eco-system of social enterprises that are equipped to us best practice business capabilities for the wider public good.
I would say Best of luck to 27 Seconds, Translucence, Woodland Escape and Mojo Said Dumplings, but we all know you are in good hands.
Congratulations and thank you to Pathways - a beacon of hope for all who follow in your footsteps.
And on that note I declare the Pathway Social Enterprise Hub open for business....for good!