Tea with the Changemakers

Social Change UK

Fed up of listening to people who only care about making money? Tea with the changemakers is a weekly podcast for changemakers by changemakers. Hear from people starting and growing GOOD businesses – the kind that care about people, planet and profit – and hear from leaders and lawmakers who want to bring about positive social change. Every week we feature a new guest who has made a difference in work or life. Hear how injustice led one person to demand a change in the law, how anger on plastic waste started a business and how a request for help turned into a social movement. Every week we interview the brave, the passionate and the fearless people taking a stand and challenging the status-quo. From activists and campaigners to socially responsible business owners and entrepreneurs, we’re providing a platform for passionate and progressive people! Get the kettle on, get inspired and be the change. Join Kelly and Andy for a cup of positivi-tea every Tuesday. Tea with the Changemakers is produced by Max at Social Change UK.

Eshita Kabra-Davies - CEO and Founder of By Rotation
Jul 26 2022
Eshita Kabra-Davies - CEO and Founder of By Rotation
Did you hit the high-street at the weekend and pick up something new to wear on your summer holiday? How many times are you going to wear your hot new look? A 2019 survey found most outfits are only worn an average of seven times before they’re thrown away – this week’s guest on Tea with the Changemakers, Eshita Kabra-Davies, is trying to get that average beyond thirty! Eshita is the founder and CEO of By Rotation, the world's first social fashion rental marketplace! Users, or rotators, can rent and lend designer pieces directly from each other on this sharing network, fostering a much more sustainable way of consuming fashion.  When Eshita was preparing for her honeymoon, a big part of that was curating what she would wear! Whilst on her travels around India, Eshita was hugely moved by the amount of textile waste she witnessed and came to the realisation that nearly all the new clothes that she’d bought herself for the trip would get nowhere near the wear that they should – she felt that something needed to be done, and that something was By Rotation! Here at Social Change UK, we’re all about disruption and challenging the status quo. We believe that By Rotation, with its circular approach to fashion consumption, could really shake up the textile industry and dramatically change the way we think about clothing! We think you'll agree that, after listening to this week's episode, Eshita Kabra-Davies not only has a huge passion for fashion, but for changing the world for the better as well!
Kate Valentine - Founder and CEO of Singing Mamas
Jul 12 2022
Kate Valentine - Founder and CEO of Singing Mamas
This week on the podcast, Kelly’s speaking with Kate Valentine, founder and CEO of the national non-profit, Singing Mamas. Bringing together 120 community leaders, the song sharing network was founded to tackle the alarming statistic that suicide is the leading cause of death for women, both during pregnancy and in the year after giving birth.  It is scientifically proven that singing together acts as a natural anti-depressant and is proven to improve health and wellbeing, and through their online and in-person classes Singing Mamas can support mothers and their little ones. Singing Mamas is so effective and successful in supporting maternal mental wellbeing that it is now available on prescription! The Singing Mamas approach utilises the NHS's 5 steps to well-being, which means that participating mothers will feel more connected to each other and their baby all while stimulating cognitive function.If you are struggling or know someone who would benefit from Singing Mamas then make sure to visit Kate’s website, where you’ll find a whole host of resources! Talking Points04:09 - "There is an appetite for this" - Kate06:07 - The importance of local leaders.12:04 - "Suicide is the leading cause of death for women during pregnancy, and one year after birth." Kelly16:58 - "Everybody can sing" Kate20:14 - Singing Mamas is available on prescription!25:09 - One of Kate's favourite success stories.Visit Singing Mamas below.
Seb Barker - Co-Founder of Beam
Jun 28 2022
Seb Barker - Co-Founder of Beam
This week, Kelly’s chatting with Seb Barker, Beam's Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer. Beam is a website that uses technology to make it easy for members of the public to make donations and help homeless people for the long term. By sharing their stories and goals, Beam humanises homeless people, tackling the discrimination they often face within society.Seb decided to dedicate his life to helping the homeless after he felt he was becoming desensitised to the issue, and that simply buying The Big Issue wasn’t enough. In 2010 Seb moved to London, and one evening found himself walking by Waterloo station where he was met by an entire encampment of people in sleeping bags. He felt so moved by this that he immediately signed up to be a homeless outreach worker. After a career helping the homeless, working with Thames Reach and Turning Point, in 2017, alongside Alex Stephany, Seb co-founded Beam.The way that Beam works is first by identifying who to help, this is usually through referrals from charities and the government, then each person that Beam takes on receives a caseworker who creates a public fundraising page for them, which allows members of the public to donate and support them. So, whether it’s work clothes or help with the rent, Beam are the platform that remove all the typical barriers that homeless people face. With a large group of dedicated followers and supporters Beam are able to continually help more and more people, and hit their campaign targets every month.Society tends to forget that behind every statistic on homelessness, there’s a person - Beam are the organisation working to change people's perceptions.02:15 – Seb’s backstory04:19 – What is Beam?11:22 – Hear Seb’s favourite success story!14:04 – How can we end homelessness for good?17:53 – Policy makers, this is what you can do!Check out Beam, and how you can get involved!
Anna Earl - Founder and CEO of Nutrivival
Jun 21 2022
Anna Earl - Founder and CEO of Nutrivival
This week on the show, Kelly’s chatting with Anna Earl, founder and CEO of Nutrivival. Anna focuses on the dietary wellbeing of shift workers, particularly how diet is incredibly important for both your short and long-term health.Anna was part of the police force for 10 years and worked her way up to the ‘murder squad’, so has vital first-hand experience of the fast-paced and often unhealthy lifestyle of shift workers. However, it wasn’t until Anna started her studies into nutritional therapy that she realised this, beginning to connect the dots between diet, lifestyle and the working environment!Through Nutrivival and her research, Anna identified that shift workers, especially those who work in the emergency services, rarely get regular or scheduled breaks, and that when they do get chance for a bite to eat, they’re often fuelling their bodies with the wrong kinds of food. Anna also identified the fact that shift workers who work at night, unless they bring pre-prepared food, have a limited choice of where they can buy food and often have to resort to fast food.Anna recognises the importance of looking after our shift and key workers, even more so after Covid. Through Nutrivival, Anna strives to equip shift workers and their employers with the knowledge that eating a healthier diet will massively benefit them in the long run, and improve their quality of life.Episode talking points...01:00 - From Police officer to nutritionist!02:00 - As part of Social Change UK’s research into violence against women, Kelly spent a night shift with the Cambridgeshire police.03:00 - “It’s just a lifestyle of fast food and junk food” - Anna.05:49 – Helpful and healthy advice for shift workers…07:37- Kelly and Anna discuss “the temptation” of fast food and junk food, and how to encourage healthier eating habits.13:41 – Anna’s upcoming projects…Check out Nutrivival's website nutrivival.co.ukAnna’s socialsInstagram - @nutrivivalFacebook – Nutrivival LtdVisit the Social Change UK to find the latest on Tea with the Changemakers.
Lily Tse - Founder and CEO of Think Dirty
Jun 14 2022
Lily Tse - Founder and CEO of Think Dirty
This week, Kelly’s chatting to Lily Tse, founder and CEO of Think Dirty, the app that makes it easy to identify and learn about potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products. After her mum developed breast cancer, Lily embarked on a personal journey to break the myths peddled by the beauty industry, identifying ingredients that have a detrimental impact on consumers’ health. Lily identified that a plethora of beauty products contain a toxic hormone- disrupting chemical, which has been recognised as a possible cause of breast cancer. Although many products available today are marketed as organic, often sold to consumers with claims of being natural and healthier for you, Lily found that there is little to no transparency in how the products are labelled. Toxic and possibly harmful chemicals aren’t highlighted in an accessible way that consumers can understand, which means it’s incredibly difficult to know whether the products you are using are dangerous or not – well, that was before Think Dirty.Lily’s revolutionary mobile app Think Dirty, coined the Shazam of the cosmetic industry, allows consumers to scan the barcodes of products before they have even bought them, to get a break down of what’s in them, and rates the products on the Dirty Metre. Think Dirty also has an extensive data base of products which users can browse through, so when shopping they know which products are better for their health, and safer to use.Think Dirty really is bringing about a consumer revolution for safer products, and is a catalyst for change in the cosmetic industry.Episode talking points...02:13- The Shazam of the cosmetic industry!03:24 – Lily tells us how she came up the idea of Think Dirty...07:46 – The reaction of the cosmetic industry...09:09 – Think Dirty is facilitating change within the beauty industry!10:40 – The Dirty Metre Rating...13:20 – Think Dirty is inspiring people and businesses, including Fran Beer CEO and founder of The Beeswax Wrap Co!17:06 – The irony is...19:52 – You're a woman in tech!Check out the Think Dirty website to find out more about the app. the latest Tea with the Changemakers content below.
Daniel Tomlinson-Gray - Co-founder of LGBTed
Jun 7 2022
Daniel Tomlinson-Gray - Co-founder of LGBTed
This week on the show Andy's chatting to Daniel Tomlinson-Gray who co-founded LGBTed, the movement that strives for the better representation of LGBTQ+ within the education system Daniel is a media teacher, and in 2017 he decided to produce a video for an assembly during LGBT history month. During the video, Daniel simply looked into the camera and stated that "as a gay man, I know how important it is to have positive role models." He didn’t intend this to be a monumental moment, but it made huge waves in school and in the media, and resulted in the BBC reporting on the assembly. Daniel’s movement, LGBTed, has over 6,000 followers on Twitter that all strive for the better representation of LGBTQ+ people within the education system- standing shoulder to shoulder with him. Daniel sums up his own and LGBTed’s goal with this slogan, “let’s be the role models we needed at school”. Social Change UK are proud supporters of Pride Month. Episode talking points...01:33 - Section 28. 03:22 - “Let’s be the role models we needed at school” - Daniel04:47 - The assembly... 08:57 - “The fact that it is a big deal is worrying in itself” - Daniel11:28 - “Sir your assembly has literally just changed my life”. Daniel 19:41 - What can headteachers do to make schools more inclusive? 24:31- “We are still at the stage where we need to be making noises” - DanielCheck out LGBTed’s Twitter where you can get involved in the conversation and support the movement. Take a look at Daniel’s book, Big Gay Adventures in Education. As always, the Social Change UK website is where you can find out the latest on Tea with the Changemakers. social-change.co.uk/tea-with-the-changemakers A little note on cancel culture... Here at Social Change UK, we are not always the biggest fans of cancel culture. If someone has made a mistake in the past, is sorry for it, and they are now doing amazing things - we believe that they still deserve a platform to deliver their message and be celebrated for the great work they’re currently doing.   Loretta J Ross, American scholar and activist, perfectly summed up the way feel in their 2021 TEDx talk- “Don’t call people out -- call them in.” We know that we’ve all got different views, but this is ours- and we hope that you’ll respect that.
Mercy Shibemba - HIV Activist
May 31 2022
Mercy Shibemba - HIV Activist
This week Kelly’s chatting to HIV rights advocate and campaigner, Mercy Shibemba. Mercy strives to raise the profile of young people living with HIV, as she herself was born with it, and is one of 3000 people under the age 24 in the UK living with HIV. For the majority of her life Mercy has been campaigning to tackle the stigma and break the discriminatory myths surrounding HIV. Her efforts were recognised in May 2017 when she was awarded the Diana Legacy award, which was presented to her by Prince William and Harry.  Since then, Mercy has gone on to give a TED talk, contribute to and deliver The HIV Commission to The House of Lords, and is currently working in partnership with BBC Radio 1 Xtra and Children in Need to empower black children and young people through the We Move Fund! “It’s better to know your status and know the facts, and because of that you should be able to be proud that you can still live a full and happy life” Mercy Shibemba. 05:28 - We’re board with the portrayal of HIV. 11:11 - Mercy’s experience of being outed as HIV school. 13:39 - What can schools do to better support young people living with HIV? 17:33 - How can we be supportive when asking questions about HIV? 23:17 – The media, and their portrayal of HIV. 25:58 – It's a sin.29:33 - The HIV Commission. Check out Mercy’s Twitter, where you can support her! Take a look at the We Move Fund! Visit the Social Change UK website to keep up with the latest episodes.
Jaime Thurston - Founder and CEO of 52 Lives
May 24 2022
Jaime Thurston - Founder and CEO of 52 Lives
52 Lives is a charity with the mission to help an individual or family for every week of the year. Since its inception in 2013, 52 Lives has helped over 12,000 people, hugely surpassing their target! Jaime Thurston, the founder and CEO of 52 Lives, is on the podcast this week chatting with Kelly. 52 Lives was originally a Facebook page before it was a charity, set up by Jaime to help those in need after seeing a call for help on the social network - a lady was in desperate need of a rug, after she was forced out of her home as a result of an awful domestic situation; her new rented accommodation had no carpet, so her children were in danger of cutting their feet on the bare wooden floor. 52 Lives snowballed into something more than a Facebook page after Jaime’s husband nominated her for a spot on ITV’s long-running show ‘Surprise Surprise!’ in 2016. After Jaime’s appearance, she was inundated with requests from people wanting to donate and help out, which resulted in her turning her Facebook page into a registered charity so that she could accept the many donations! Jaime has forged some amazing connections and partnerships, which mean that 100% of what is donated and raised by supporters goes directly to the people who need it. “Our aim is to change somebody’s’ life every week, every year, and inspire people to be kind” - Jaime’s mission statement. 02:27 - Surprise Surprise! 05:44 - Find out what made Jaime want to start 52 Lives. 08:47 - Hear some of Jaime’s favourite stories about people she has helped.  11:52 - We’re living through a cost-of-living crisis - ‘are there any requests that are recurring?’ - Kelly 15:12 - Kindness; it’s a science and it’s good for your heart. 19:02 - The School of Kindness. 23:45 - 52 Lives Partnerships 28:42 - What’s next for 52 Lives? Check out 52 Lives website, and how you can get involved! Visit the Social Change UK website to find out more about Tea with the Changemakers.
Fran Beer - Founder and CEO of The Beeswax Wrap Co.
May 17 2022
Fran Beer - Founder and CEO of The Beeswax Wrap Co.
The Beeswax Wrap Co. make an innovative yet tried-and-true product-that eliminates the need for cling film and unnecessary plastics in the kitchen, and the firm’s founder and CEO, Fran Beer, is on the show this week chatting with Kelly. Fran founded the company after she fell out of love with the advertising world; after training to become an acupuncturist and studying the harm that plastics do to our bodies, Fran went looking for an alternative to cling film. Starting off by making the wraps in her kitchen as a hobby, family and friends subsequently took interest in them, so Fran set up a stall at a local market in 2017 and completely sold out, highlighting the huge gap in the market she’d identified. Five years on, the company’s home is now in a 1,200 square foot workshop employing 10 staff, and the brand has partnerships with Cath Kidston, Prue Leith, The National Trust, Emma Bridgewater, and Liberty London. Fran speaking on beeswax wraps, “They can be used for up to 6 years, they’re a really nice sustainable alternative to a single use plastic that many of us rely on every day of our lives.”02:07 - Beeswax wraps can make your food last longer “Cling film seals everything in, the mould and the bacteria builds quite quickly because the food sweats.” - Fran 02:54 - Why should you switch to a beeswax wrap? 04:10 - Fran tells Kelly how partnerships have boosted her business. 07:57 - How did Fran go about setting up The Beeswax Wrap Co. and make it what it is today?18:55 - Fran and Kelly discuss the pride and benefit of being a B-corp. 23:37 - “What’s the next shift we need to see on plastic?” - Kelly 38:42 - Fran gives us permission to “be a bit of pain the bum” and ask questions about the source and sustainability of products. 39:47 - Find out how Fran takes her tea. Check out The Beeswax Warp Co. and buy direct from their website. www.beeswaxwraps.co.uk/shop/ Find out more about B-Corp.www.bcorporation.net/en-us/ Visit the Social Change UK website to find out more about Tea with the Changemakers.
Charlie Bethel - CEO of the UK Men's Shed Association
May 10 2022
Charlie Bethel - CEO of the UK Men's Shed Association
This episode contains sensitive content and discussions about suicide. Charlie Bethel CEO of the UK Men’s Shed Association, the organisation that champions and supports the development of safe spaces for men to connect, is on the show this week chatting to Andy. Charlie joined the association in 2018 having worked in the third sector for over 20 years. His role focuses on delivering the organisation’s goal of ‘Healthy and Happy Men’. To define what a men’s shed actually is can be quite difficult as they serve a multitude of purposes - they obviously provide a space for DIY, but also help to combat loneliness, champion good mental health, and forge connection within communities. Charlie sums up the work that the UK Men’s Shed Association does perfectly - “adding years to life, and life to years” 02:40 - Charlie illustrates why the UK Men’s Shed Association works, by way of a broken lawnmower in a box room. 03:20 - “It’s through this distraction of making, shoulder to shoulder, that people have the conversations and talk about something that’s worrying them” - Charlie  05:30 - “...those that can do, and those that can’t talk about it - but with the sheds, are you encouraging both?” - Andy 09:50 - Charlie shares a story involving a ‘shedder’ he met a few years ago, about how the sheds can lower men’s facades and create safe spaces in which men can be honest.17:20 - “Is this a generational thing?” - Andy21:40 - “There are over 750 open men’s sheds in the country, and another 200 in development.” - Charlie 26:50 - Charlie speaks on The Charter for Wellbeing in Craft and DIY, and the conversation that inspired it. 30:10 - “What would help create more of these great community hubs?” - Andy 36:25 - Find out how Charlie takes his tea... Check out the UK Men’s Shed Association, and where you can find your nearest shed. menssheds.org.uk Visit the Social Change UK website to find out more about Tea with the Changemakers. social-change.co.uk/tea-with-the-changemakers
Joshua Coombes - #DoSomethingForNothing
May 3 2022
Joshua Coombes - #DoSomethingForNothing
Joshua Coombes – Founder, #DoSomethingForNothingJoining Kelly for a chat this week is Joshua Coombes, founder of the #DoSomethingForNothing movement, which started when Joshua gave a haircut to a homeless man; offering his time, skill, and experience to someone who needed help, simply out of kindness and for want of nothing in return.    Joshua has been giving free haircuts to the homeless since 2015, documenting their stories and transformations on Instagram, striking a chord with over 150,000 followers. Joshua joins us from Beirut in Lebanon, where he’s currently on a trip with his girlfriend who runs the Worldwide Tribe - together, they’re documenting stories of people who have been displaced.Joshua’s work has resonated with thousands of people around the globe, and the #DoSomethingForNothing movement continues to see people utilise their skills, connect with others, and dedicate their time to those who need them most. “None of us are above life happening” - Joshua Coombes  03:53 - "the isolation from rest of society is huge” - Joshua 07:38 - Joshua tells David’s story, a story that stuck with him throughout all of his work.  12:15 - “Where there is war, innocent people will always suffer” - Joshua’s response to the war in Ukraine. 13:54 - Joshua speaks about the trip he’s currently on with his girlfriend who runs Worldwide Tribe. theworldwidetribe.com 19:25 - Joshua talks about his book, ‘Do Something for Nothing’ -  All of the proceeds are reinvested in not-for-profit art to continue to support people. 22:38 - Joshua celebrates another contributor to the #DoSomethingForNothing movement, a man in America who started mowing people’s lawns. 25:35 - “Kindness doesn’t have to cost” - Kelly  Check out Joshua’s website, Do Something for Nothing. www.dosomethingfornothing.org Buy his book on Amazon - 100% of the author’s proceeds will be put back into future not-for-profit arts projects that highlight the lives of isolated people. www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1911632167 Make sure to give Joshua a follow on Instagram to keep up with his latest projects. www.instagram.com/joshuacoombes Visit the Social Change UK website to find out more about Tea with the Changemakers.
Michelle Kennedy - Founder and CEO of Peanut
Apr 26 2022
Michelle Kennedy - Founder and CEO of Peanut
Michelle Kennedy, Founder and CEO of Peanut, the app that helps women navigate fertility, pregnancy, motherhood, and the menopause, is on the show this week chatting to Kelly. Michelle founded Peanut in 2017, and last year the app was named one of Apple’s Best of 2021, a huge achievement for the Peanut team! Michelle was integral to the founding of Bumble, the female- centred dating app, and upon Peanut’s release it was branded as the “Tinder for mummies”! However, it’s now so much more, and in this episode, Michelle will tell you why. What hasn’t changed are the foundations of the app; “it’s a safe space for conversations on any topic”, aiming to “reduce feelings of isolation and empower women to connect”. “There is a place for a social network which is based on principles of care, kindness and support; we’re proof of that.” Michelle Kennedy.  03:31 - The story behind Peanut. 09:16 - “We’re a community and communities have standards, and our standards are based around care and kindness.” - Michelle. 12:29 - “The Peanut community are the most amazing women” - Michelle. 13:40 - What is the most talked about issue on Peanut? 15:10 - “How many people are on Peanut?” - Kelly 16:40 - Peanut is one of Apple’s Best Apps of 2021! 18:00 - Michelle speaks about Peanut Menopause. 26:57 - Michelle speaks to Kelly about her new venture, Peanut StarHer, and her need to invest in other businesses founded by women. 30:50 - How is it being a woman in tech?  Check out and download Peanut. the Social Change UK website to find out more.