We are Jay Baker and Jane Watkinson, partners and social entrepreneurs based in Sheffield, a city we love and care about and where we apply our passion into the community by advancing good causes and helping people, to contribute towards making our city a better place.
Jay has been active in social enterprise in both Britain and Canada, is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and was a founding director of Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance (ROAR) and a former elected director of Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG). He is qualified in youth work, coaching, teaching, and in managing voluntary and community organisations, and has a Diploma in Media from the University of Leeds. He is well versed in multimedia, and has directed and produced documentaries, written books, and developed from scratch successful brands, as well as taken on public speaking engagements to audiences of thousands of people.
Jane has a first class BA (Hons) degree in Sociology from the University of Leeds, where she was twice awarded the Wheeler Memorial Fund Prize for her outstanding academic achievement, and then passed with Distinction her Masters in Politics With Research Methods at the University of Sheffield. Her community project evaluations have received praise from the grant funding sector, including the Heritage Lottery Fund‘s development team using her evaluations as an example of best practice. Another evaluation was used as a case study in an NCVO report to highlight the value of funding small organisations to engage with disadvantaged communities – which was distributed to the Department for Work and Pensions, Skills Funding Agency, ESF, Local Enterprise Partnerships, and across the regional grant management bodies.
Together we devised, developed and deliver the innovative, award-winning Solidarity Soccer initiative for AFC Unity, for which we have also coached numerous community football sessions for young and older people. We both hold FA Level 1 coaching qualifications and up-to-date FA CRC, DBS, and coaching insurance.
In addition to co-founding the award-winning independent women’s football club AFC Unity, we spearheaded Libre Digital and run its two initiatives, SilenceBreaker Media and the FreeTech Project, and are always on the look-out for other good causes we can shout about or get involved in (when we have the time!)
We love coffee, comic books, open source, football, politics, urban living, and vegan food!