18 Apr 2019

House of Commons #BuySocial event by Tallulah

House of Commons #BuySocial event by Tallulah

On Wednesday 17th April, we attended Social Enterprise UK’s Buy Social event at the House of Commons. I still can’t quite believe I’m writing this, but I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to speak at the event, about my journey and the impact IJP has had on my life.

Even though I’ve done a couple of talks now (at the Janssen Conference in January and also the Johnson & Johnson Bridge to Employment graduation in April) but that didn’t mean I wasn’t nervous! To be asked to talk in front of 180 delegates, from various large corporations who may not know of IJP, felt a really big deal.

The beginning of the event involved networking and meeting lots of new people, then everyone gathered together for the talks and presentations. We heard from Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, the chair of SEUK, as well as Peter Holbrook CBE, the CEO of SEUK and a few other corporates and social enterprises about their initiatives, encouraging others to become an SEUK member and join the Buy Social Corporate Challenge.

I was one of the last to speak – trust me, this didn’t help with my nerves! I was interviewed by Ian Walker from Johnson & Johnson. The reaction was overwhelmingly kind and felt really special, lots of people afterwards spoke to me and said they’d been touched by what I said and wanted to know more about IJP.

When I first joined IJP, I knew a little about social enterprises, but I didn’t really understand the extent of the impact they can have on society and the environment. As someone who’s life has been transformed because of social enterprise, I really admire the work that we, and others do, and that’s why it’s so important that corporates operate with these procurement initiatives, as it really does make a difference.

It was a fantastic event! I feel honoured to have been asked to share my story and really grateful for the incredible response I was given – and even more so, humbled by the work that we, and others do to bring about positive social and environmental impact.