Celebrating Local Heroes at The Loft
The word ‘local’. What does it mean to you? Perhaps it dials up a sense of community. Village clubs, groups or town high streets. Maybe you’re involved in your local community. Supporting school projects or helping vulnerable people. One of the many unsung heroes, donating your free time for good work or a new home worker, now living and working in your local neighbourhood.
What we do know? The word ‘local’ has been undergoing an impact transformation. Post pandemic work patterns have changed and during lockdown, the daily commute vanished for many office based workers. The new ‘work from home’ rule changed our daily view. Some of us began to experience a life lived local. And for many of us, it’s an enjoyable new experience.
It has taken a global pandemic for government, business and in fact, all of us, to reassess the way we live and work. And the Covid effect has compelled us to experience an entirely different relationship with our local neighbourhoods.
‘Local Heroes’ is a project from Spacemade that showcases and celebrates local business and enterprise talent. Spacemade provides flexible and inspiring local workspace for a range of business needs from freelancers to SMEs, entrepreneurs and hybrid workers.
The first coworking space in its portfolio to present the campaign was The Loft, Queen’s Park with further exhibitions to rollout at more Spacemade locations in future.
Launching with a photographic exhibition at Spacemade’s flexible workspace location, The Loft, Queen’s Park, Local Heroes shone a spotlight and shared the stories of incredible business talent in the local Queen’s Park area. This included members of The Loft and people who are contributing significantly to or supporting local enterprise. The specially selected businesses were voted for by Spacemade members and also selected for their individual impact.
Local business innovators featured in the exhibition included Joe Channer, a successful London financier who was born in the local area and is a recent founder of boxing gym and social enterprise space StormLDN. Also mum and daughter entrepreneurs & Queen’s Park residents, Emily Warburton-Adams and Ali Warburton who co-founded POW Food, a business and consumer food delivery service focused on good nutrition to support work productivity and performance.
The exhibition presented 8 local entrepreneurs, founders and innovators and each business story was shared across Spacemade’s own social media channels with films and inspiring quotes designed to celebrate each individual entrepreneurial endeavour and inspire a new generation of new local business leaders.
Spotlight on the neighbourhood
The way we interact with our local town or city neighbourhoods has changed forever and Spacemade is committed to spotlight the exciting business talent that chooses to locate itself local. But we are not unique in recognising this movement.
According to a BBC report, Carlos Moreno, a scientific director and professor specialising in complex systems and innovation at University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, believes there “will never be” a return to city life as it was before the coronavirus struck. When the pandemic shuttered city centres, he says, it showed how important social links are – but through a different prism.
“Many people never visited shops close to their homes before because they were busy. They didn’t know their neighbours or the parks nearby. The pandemic made us discover this. We have rediscovered locality, and this has improved quality of life.”
The Mayor of London and London Assembly have laid out a new post pandemic vision called High Streets For All, where they envisage the ‘building back better’ of new self supporting communities providing residential access to all essential services as well as local green spaces, local shops, medical & sports facilities and local workspaces too.
“Shared workspaces can enable collaboration, knowledge exchange and increase business productivity. They can also speed up the adoption of new technologies. There is an opportunity to build on the momentum of remote working by providing flexible and family friendly local work spaces”
And for Spacemade, this is where the business hopes to play a valuable role. Localisation is also about transforming how and where we work. Our neighbourhood workspaces are designed to benefit our local members and the local community. Our mission is to blend a productive and supportive working environment with positive social impact. From creating job opportunities to local partnerships, learning workshops and sourcing local suppliers, our formula will ensure opportunity flows throughout our building and our entire community.
Who are the Local Heroes at The Loft?
A successful London financier and current Group CEO of Delta Capita. Joe was born on the nearby Stonebridge estate and later moved to Queen’s Park with his family. He founded StormLDN, (located next to The Loft), as a concept that blends a boxing gym and social enterprise space dedicated to supporting local young people and encouraging positive change in the community.
Emily Warbuton Adams and Ali Warburton
Mother and daughter female founders behind the healthy nutrition food delivery business, POW Food. This business has grown from a B2B healthy food service for corporates to a consumer platform that enables healthy and delicious food delivered UK wide. Emily and Ali are passionate about the power of good nutrition for productivity and a positive mindset.
Queen’s Park Folk
Previously Queen’s Park Mums the three local mums have rebranded as Queen’s Park Folk. They are Alexia Korgaonkar, Dede Wegg-Prosser & Tala Meessmann. Although from very different professional backgrounds: primary school teacher, member of a successful band and a global events organiser they now share an ambition to run a thriving website as well as various social media platforms to highlight and promote the fantastic local businesses and wonderful local area of Queen’s Park and its surrounding areas.
With a background in product design and marketing, Simon is the Danish founder of HØJ, Located in London, HOJ is a startup designing premium accessories for CBD related ingredients. The business already has a fan community of 1,000s across the world and caters for a variety of consumer needs with award winning product designs including Grinders and Pipes.
Entrepreneur, Anabel, is founder of Psykhe, a digital shopping platform and plugin that enables customers to select products from their favourite online stores that match their mood or personality. Born in Canada, Anabel is a London based fashion writer and pioneer in the growing field of consumer shopping psychology.
Marco is Head of Digital for MusicOK,a digital music distributor, or what the industry calls a music “aggregator”. With more than a decade of presence in the digital market, the platform is built to provide independent artists, musicians, music labels and production companies the right tools and exposure to spread their creativity among new listeners, interact with fans and grow their fanbase. Marco was born in Rome, Italy, and now lives in London whilst building the MusicOK platform for current and future generations.
Will is Head of Podcasts at Infamous Media who make Secret Leaders, a weekly interview podcast with founders of startups like Monzo, BrewDog, Slack and Jo Malone who reveal their highs, lows and learnings. 2022 will become a major turning point for Will as Infamous Media will be launching new podcasts, including a show about Hong Kong’s most notorious gangster. Will loves startups and storytelling and looks forward to sharing more business-building wisdom from the Secret Leaders podcast.