Getting to know the projects

It is really important to our Social Enterprise that we really get to know the projects where we hold our Business Networking Events. This usually involves us spending time at the community project volunteering for a few hours. We went one step further last week.


We have a new and very exciting community project in Suffolk where we will be holding one of our Big Business Networking Events in 2018 and future events for 2019. Horham Dairy & Care Farm is based in Suffolk and has recently been set up by Alison who I have had the pleasure to get to know through my Social Enterprise course at the Eastern Enterprise Hub in Ipswich. 

Last week we got to run the farm for a whole week while Alison took a well deserved family break. The farm currently holds around 20 goats, 12 chickens and a herb garden. The milk from the goats will be used to make soaps, cheese and other products. The main aim of the farm will be to support people in the community who have mental health issues, social issolation and lots more. 


I didn't realise how inquisitive goats were? They really have great characters and enjoy lots of attention. We didn't just feed them we got more involved with getting the farm ready, which included fixing fences, painting barns, cleaning out the goats, brushing them and giving them lots of cuddles. We really enjoyed our working holiday and we can't wait for the Big Event on the 20th September.

Happy Birthday to Us.

I Roll Up My Sleeves has just celebrated its 2nd birthday. We did this in style at Emmaus Suffolk on July 11th 2018 and were joined by the wonderful team at SimpleClick


Over the past 2 years we have achieved more than we ever expected and this could not of been possible without our members.

We have supported 12 Local Charities and held over 50 events around East Anglia.

Last months event at Field of Dreams saw new members attend, with more new members attending this month. We now have over 50 members.

Other highlights for us have been painting the beautiful Thurne Mill over 2 days with our very first Big Event, attending ABE 2018 where we had an interactive stand potting peas for positivity and Suffolk's High Sheriff came along to roll up his sleeves at Emmaus.




Why did you become a Sponsor of IRUMS?

Welcome to the Team of Simple Click


It is nearly 2 years on since the idea of I Roll Up My Sleeves was born and we tested the style of events over 4 trials. Now here we are half way through 2018 and we still gathering momentom. In the last 2 months we have had many new businesses attend our events with the feedback from them being positive. A local company in Ipswich Simple click have been a supporter of our events right from the start, they have taken the next step to become one of our Sponsor Members. We asked Managing Director Richard Jennis why?

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Business networking can be tiresome and intimidating affairs. IRUMS events are so different in a really good way! Conversations flow with ease when you’re busy working together painting walls, sanding down woodwork or even replanting flowers. When its time to leave you feel like you’ve achieved something worthwhile for a charity and the local community. Oh, and guess what? you’ve actually enjoyed yourself networking and engaging with new business contacts!

For us taking the next step and becoming an IRUMS sponsor was a no brainer. Return on investment is easy to measure and even that’s secondary to the feel good factor you get from using your time constructively while networking, something you’d otherwise loath!
— Richard Jennis - Simple Click

We look forward to meeting the team at our events.

Thurne Windmill is now WHITE!

They sang from the top of the mill

"I'm dreaming of a white windmill"


Wow! what a difference 2 days make. If I'm really honest once we got up close to the Windmill the enormity of what we were going to start became real. How were we going to get this painted with 2 coats of paint over 2 days? Little did we know that we had a group of local East Anglian businesses and Thurne Mill volunteers that were really ready to 'Roll Up Their Sleeves'. Over 20 people attended the event, and made a real difference to this Norfolk Broads Landmark. 2 days and 2 coats of paint, now that is impressive. A big thank you for everyone for all your hard work and making a difference, I hope that you enjoyed your time with us.

One of our attndees has just told us "It was fantastic to be a part of something like this. Everyone was so lovely and I felt I had made a difference to something that will be appreciated by many for years to come."

We have been so lucky to have been a part of this restoration project and we can thank Thurne Windmill for allowing us to be part of it, and the great news is that we are going to continue to support them with our Ethical Business Networking Events this year. Our teams have just started but we have more to do. So if you would like to connect in a different way then you can sign up to our newsletter where we will only send you information about our events coming up.


Local Ipswich Businesses Don't Get Fenced In


On 9th May 2018 I arrived at Emmaus on Dales Road in Ipswich to hold our monthly Ethical Business Networking event. On arrival I was met by Claire and was introduced to the newly appointed Operations Manager Mandy.

We waited for the businesses to arrive and at 9:30am over a cup of tea I introduced the businesses to each other and gave a brief chat about why IRUMS was born and what we have achieved in the 18 months we have been running. Followed by a health and safety talk.

Claire then explained to the businesses what Emmaus does and how they are now launching a mobile shop which will take goods from the Charity shop around villages so that communities that can’t get into town can see what they offer. She also explained about her reusable household products that will also be on board.

Once that was done we set to work at 10am. Our task today was to wire brush the metal fencing then paint it to make it look fresh.

Conversation flowed nicely with Tim revealing he was looking to book a holiday. Luckily the right person stood next to him. Gemma a travel agent.


We worked on the project for an hour and a half then finished with more tea and cake. Whilst drinking tea and eating cake we continued to talk further about what our businesses needed and how they became to do the job they do. Both our new attendees Gemma and Kevin commented after being asked by Mandy how they felt today had gone, that they both felt a sense of achievement. Kevin saying “I could have sat in my garden this morning, but instead I have supported a charity and made connections”

Emmaus Community Garden - Amazing to see the end result

Emmaus Suffolk and the Community Garden has been a project that has seen many hands make light work. As a Social Enterprise we are so pleased to support this great community organisation. Over a period of events our Ethical Business Networkers tackled some of the tasks that needed doing over 3 events.

Event One - I can quote Karen from Scrutton Bland on this project, which was the painting of the fence. "This is one of the jobs that you hate doing at home but here, knowing it makes a difference it actually feels good"

Event 2 - Raised bed protection. To create a lasting garden, it is all in the prep work. Here we took the task of protecting the posts for the raised beds. When you think about it logically, to speak with someone whilst you are taking on these tasks is so much of a natural environment.

Event 3 - Off to the beach! For this Business Networking Event our members got to dismantle the beach hut (which we put up at the very first event we held at Emmaus way back in 2016) the team prepared the ground, then rebuilt the hut in it's resting place. 

The final result - Wow! what a difference and what an amazing place for the community to enjoy. We would like to thank all of the businesses that 'Rolled Up Their Sleeves' at our Ethical Business Networking Events and made a difference. If you would like to get involved and meet other businesses in a more natural environment then take a look at our next Business Networking Events.



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Mid Suffolk Business Exhibition 2018

Mid Suffolk you ROCK!

 Photo taken at Mid  Suffolk Business Exhibition  by Cris Rose of  paper hills photography

Photo taken at Mid Suffolk Business Exhibition by Cris Rose of paper hills photography

Roll on 2019 Mid Suffolk, because we will be one of the first to book a stand for 2019........

"but why?" you ask. Well when we heard that Stowmarket Chamber were going to be putting on a Business Exhibition in the the heart of our community we knew that we had to support them in the very first event. We were not disappointed, the whole team that were involved done an amazing job in getting the exhibition organised. Was it well attended? well dry mouth, lost voice and sore feet would give you just a snippet of how well attended it was, with not many moments to leave the stand, just a quick sneaking off to take a couple of images. One of the good parts of the event is that we met some amazing local businesses that we know much more about, we even had a company come up from Colchester just to meet with us and we got to reach more of the business community. 

Well organised from the setting up, the breakfast, the exhibition and up to the after event buffet (which was really amazing food).

You will want to keep this one for your diary in 2019.... Mid Suffolk Business Exhibition

Why Our networking is good for the individual, good for business AND good for the community

Why Our networking is good for the individual, good for business AND good for the community

 We asked psychologist and fellow social entrepreneur Dr Jemma Harris for her take on our ethical networking events. Here she highlights how attending our events could benefit you as an individual, your business and the local community.

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The business networking events organised by I Roll Up My Sleeves are a really great initiative and I am so glad to see that they are so popular. These types of events will tick multiple boxes when it comes to benefiting individuals, businesses and the wider community.

There are, of course, the very clear community based benefits that have been built into the design of the events. A range of local organisations and charities benefit from services, support, advice, customers and media exposure through the I Roll Up My Sleeves events.

What is perhaps more subtle are the potential personal benefits for the individuals attending the events and the subsequent benefits for their businesses. The events also seem to tap into the types of things that have been shown to benefit health, wellbeing and motivation. These include:

-kindness and prosocial behaviour

-physical activity (or at the very least reduced sedentary activities)

-social connection

-developing new skills

-a sense of being part of something bigger than oneself


These types of activities and experiences have been shown to have positive effects on wellbeing, happiness, health, energy levels, motivation, innovation and productivity and resilience to stress.

With clear potential to bring a range of positive benefits to the local community, individual attendees and associated businesses with each and every networking event I am excited about this paradigm shift if the networking world and am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves very soon!

"Dr Jemma Harris is a Chartered psychologist, researcher and social
entrepreneur. She works with social enterprises to provide advice on how
to align training, content and activities with psychological theories
and practice. Jemma also provides assistance with issues related to
outcome measurement, data analysis and developing research informed
reports on social impact. You can read more about her work HERE

Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme Students 2017/2018

Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme Students 2017/2018

I was one of the lucky ones that managed to be picked to attend the most amazing support course in the development of our Social Enterprise. The year long course offers the opportunity to explore the full potential of our mission with a complete support network around us. The Eastern Enterprise Hub is a 'not for profit' organisation and the leading provider of entrepreneurial support in the East of England. It was set up by the private and public sector community in 2011 to offer in depth support to new entrepreneurs. From January 2011 to December 2015, the Eastern Enterprise Hub has supported 852 entrepreneurs who have driven business growth and employment across the East of England, through the creation of new enterprises and social enterprises. 

19 Social Entrepreneurs 

One of the greatest parts of being on the course is having the opportunity of sitting in a room with 18 other inspiring Social Entrepreneurs who are making such a difference to our communites and are going to continue to do so with the help of the course. I'd like you to say a big hello to these amazing people.


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Kelly Lindsay - Friend In Deed

Friend In Deed is committed to relieve loneliness and improve the
physical and mental health of older people & parents of young children.



Facilitating positive social change through entrepreneurship, youth development
and community organising.

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Bill Russell - Equal Brewkery

To show that people with learning disabilities can participate fully and contribute to a financially successful and sustainable business through brewing beer and baking bread.

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Dr Jemma Harris - Happy Little Bundles

Happy Little Bundles family activity packs are designed to help you to spend quality time together engaged in activities that support your family's health, wellbeing and development.

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Sarah Jones - Practical Bereavement Support

Tackling: The stress of dealing with admin and correspondence immediately after a loss and support to let go of the pain.


Suffolk Business Networking Collaboration

Back in May I Roll Up My Sleeves and ISSBA decided to hold a joint Business Networking event. This was to be held at Field of Dreams in Thurston on July 20th 2017.
We knew this event was going to be a little different to what ISSBA had done before so decided to advertise this as a gentle event Potting and Planting July 20th arrived and we were rather excited to see what the morning would hold for us.

Attendees began to arrive and over a cup of tea you could see the buzz and excitement on people’s faces. After an introduction from ISSBA and ourselves, Mark, Founder of Field of Dreams went on to explain to the attendees what a difference them being there and working on the projects would make to the farm and beneficiaries.
“The potting and planting means more produce can be sold to raise funds for the farm and the project to build more raised beds means I can grow and plant more vegetables to sell”

Everyone then set to work.

Some people decided having never done building or even used a saw before they would team up with other businesses to build raised beds. Whilst getting advice on the best way to use tools the businesses naturally spoke to each other and began to smile and feel overjoyed at the difference they were making.

One Business said “I never knew networking could be so rewarding”

This shows no matter what type or size of business you are, our events help you connect with other like-minded businesses whilst fulfilling your corporate social responsibility. With the event now in full flow and businesses networking we went round with our unique set of questions to get to know the businesses better. The outcome of this meant two of our businesses swapped cards to be able to refer one of their own clients to the other. Without the questions this would not have happened.

Once the projects where complete it was time for more refreshments and the morning came to a close. A few businesses hung around to have a tour of the farm and then went on their way.

Overall the morning was a very successful event.

Why Rolling up your sleeves is good for your business.

Why Rolling up your sleeves is good for your business, charities and local organisations.


Many small businesses are affiliating themselves with local organisations and charities to get their business noticed, whilst giving back to the community and helping others in the process. Which do you support? How do you choose? What if you can support more than one good cause and help a variety of disadvantaged people, support groups, worthy institutions or habitats in a meaningful way. Not all charities or organisations just need financial support. They need a variety of services, advice, customers, supporters, media exposure, awareness and help. Just like a normal business.


With our Business Networking Events you get to do just that, support a variety of good causes throughout your local community.

Proud to have been chosen as organisation of the year 2017.


Every year, the ISSBA committee selects a charity / organisation from amongst their members to become their Charity / Organisation ofthe Year. This year they are supporting our Social Enterprise I Roll Up My Sleeves and our Ethical Business Networking.


SSBA provides a forum for the mutual support of small businesses in Ipswich and surrounding parts of Suffolk, in the east of England. It is an informal organisation of business owners and others involved with small businesses, funded by sponsorship, members' subscriptions and organised by an elected committee.

Run entirely by a team of volunteers, for the past 28 years ISSBA is proud to be the only organisation of its kind in East Anglia.

They offer cost effective, clear and relevant support to it's members and work closely with partner organisations to ensure our goals for growth are aligned to the Suffolk Growth Strategy.

Activities include monthly meetings, events of both a business or social nature. Our flagship Business to Business Exhibition, the Anglia Business Exhibition that is held each May at Trinity Park, Ipswich and monthly business workshops. ISSBA keeps in touch with its members through a monthly e-newsletter, a directory of members and the website.

InWorkshop Event 17th November 2016


I am so proud of the businesses that Roll Up Their Sleeves at our events. We never let them know what project we will be completing before they arrive at the organisation that we are supporting on that day with our Alternative business Networking, and the response from them is outstanding.

On Thursday the 17th November we held our first event atInWorkshop in Bury St Edmunds. The purpose of the Community Workshop is to encourage full inclusion in a working environment safe for everyone.

So what difference did our businesses make? The biggest task for the team at InWorkshop is to raise awareness of the organisation so that they can support more people in the community. So they are holding a stall at the Christmas market in Bury St Edmunds.