Dot Dot Dot’s big win with the Big Venture Challenge!

May 28, 2015

We’re excited to announce that Dot Dot Dot is one of the winners of this year’s Big Venture Challenge, a social ventures programme run by UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.

The competition was tough. With over 450 social ventures applying to the programme, Dot Dot Dot is one of only 40 organisations selected to be part of 2015’s Big Venture Challenge.

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In the final stage of the challenge, our very own Katharine and Peter presented to a Dragon’s Den style panel of investors and business leaders on:

  • what Dot Dot Dot currently achieves
  • the growing demand for our award-winning property guardian service
  • our strategy for growing Dot Dot Dot.

The panel were looking for social enterprises with successful existing models that could be further scaled up, to make the most of the programme’s support and investment.

What does winning mean for Dot Dot Dot?

The Big Venture Challenge has given us a bespoke support package to help us scale up further and spread what we do to more areas of the UK, to work in more communities and to work with different types of building owners.

Last year our guardians gave 20,000 hours to more than 100 different charitable causes. We house more than 100 people at around a third of private sector rent in buildings that would otherwise be empty. Expanding Dot Dot Dot’s work will help us to:

  • offer affordable housing to more great volunteers
  • provide building security to more to building owners of all kinds
  • spread the social impact created through volunteering to more communities and more voluntary and charitable organisations.

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We’ll also be able to pitch for up to £100K of match funding which can be used to lever in more social investment. The support package and the investment combined will help take us to the next level and to expand our reach and increase our social impact.

Expanding Dot Dot Dot’s work also means expanding our team!

We have several new roles we’re recruiting for, and pretty excited about the next few months… subscribe to our newsletter to stay tuned and up to date!

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Year Here’s 2015 fellows and Dot Dot Dot

May 8, 2015

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Luke, Matt and Josh are Fellows with Year Here, a postgraduate course in social innovation that challenges graduates to build smart solutions to social problems.

Fellows are placed in frontline community organisations to gain grassroots insights and inspire their development of initiatives to tackle social issues. Luke, Matt and Josh are also guardians with Dot Dot Dot. We spoke to them about their experience:

Tell us a bit about your different roles in the community…Luke-Davis2_pic

Luke: For our frontline placements, we’ve all been living and volunteering full time in Poplar, Tower Hamlets since the turn of the year.


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Josh: Through intensive mentoring and coaching at Streets of Growth, I support young people at risk of engaging in gang culture, crime, anti-social behaviour, and educational and career drop-out

to make and sustain positive lifestyle changes. I’m currently developing one project to help restore disenfranchised young people’s trust in the police and the state, and another to support young people’s access to the technology sector of the labour market.

Matt: My volunteering work at the nearby community centre – which serves a multitude of purposesMatthewTull_pic2 for its surrounding residents – focuses on community cohesion.

Working there has provided a wealth of insight into community issues in the area. At present I’m working on a project aiming to benefit both isolated elderly residents and local students from Tower Hamlets College.

Luke: Likewise, much of my time at school involves supporting young people from the local area to meet and raise their goals and aspirations. Through a mix of in-class support and weekly sessions with small mentoring groups, we try to give students the confidence to get to where they aim to be. I’m excited to be building towards a project aimed at empowering students to lead learning excursions into their local community.

What do you really enjoy at your different placements?

Josh: Being able to help disenfranchised young people take greater control over their own lives.

Matt: Being involved with such a diverse group of people, and that no two days are the same!

Luke: Working with people who aren’t afraid to tell you what they really think. And the classroom banter of course…

What’s your favourite part of being a Guardian with Dot Dot Dot?

Luke: The best part about being a Guardian with Dot Dot Dot is being able to live at the heart of the community in which we’re volunteering.

It’s given us the opportunity to really immerse ourselves in our environment, and has given us invaluable insight into the local community that informs so much of our volunteering work and projects. Bonding over a frantic Freecycle furniture search was also the foundation for a firm friendship!

Interested in getting involved?

Year Here are now recruiting for their 2016 fellows! Apply at year.org before 11 May 2015

What are you looking for today?

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