Meet John Shaw, Founder and MD of Chiltern Rangers, a social enterprise in Buckinghamshire focusing on two things: community and conservation.
John and I chatted as part of my quest to understand Social Enterprise’ business models; who pays for what services? And what problem(s) does this solve for them?
Chiltern Rangers works with schools, community groups and businesses, bringing people of all ages and abilities out into Buckinghamshire’s countryside on “Be a Ranger Days’. Activities vary from litter picking, planting trees and creating homes for birds, to encouraging young people to gather content to post on the Chiltern Rangers’ social media accounts.
John tells me how the business still relies on a combination of grant and trust foundation funding, and match funding.
We discuss the tricky issue of measuring impact. Rather than gathering data from his rangers, John prefers to take photos and record videos. The visual impact of community cohesion, fun and collaboration paints a thousand words.
Our discussion ended with a cheeky question about the obstacles he’s experienced with Chiltern Rangers. John tells me about challenges with recruiting and retaining the right staff, the ever-present task of securing funds and the practical job of keeping tree saplings alive during a heatwave!
I think John’s story will resonate with many social enterprises that are up against funding challenges, as well as the task of demonstrating impact in the most valuable way.