Our Social Enterprise of the Week:


Shine are a Leeds based conference, meeting and events centre with a difference. Not only do they provide professional meeting rooms for hire along with fantastic food from their fair-trade café, they are also creating opportunities for women ex-offenders to rebuild their lives.

Their Vision / Mission:

Set up in 2008, Shine are on a mission to raise aspirations and provide real opportunities for disadvantaged communities. They work to help children, local artists and entrepreneurs, the environment and women just released from prison. Often women who have been in prison struggle on release to secure a job and home which can result in families being split apart as children can be taken away from their mothers. Shine help these women by providing them with training and employment as well as giving them emotional and logistical support, meaning they can get their lives back on track. By giving these women support and jobs they are able to become productive members of society, making them less likely to re-offend in the future.

Shine also work closely with schools encouraging children to experience arts and nature. Their fruit and vegetable garden scheme enables children to learn about healthy eating while planting and picking their own food. They also run a theatre production company where children who would not otherwise have had the opportunity, can attend world-class theatre productions.

The most impressive thing about Shine is the building. It used to be the old Harehills Grammer School and the refurbishment of such an iconic and beautiful building is magnificent. Great care has been taken to make sure it is light and open, but it also is very in keeping with the old school theme with offices named after the classrooms they used to be e.g. The Geography room. “I would advise you not to take the lift if possible as the staircase always takes me back to my old Leeds Grammer school days, it’s such a fantastic building.” Says GUD MD Rory Mason.

Shine is also a very environmentally conscious organisation, using 100% compostable or recyclable materials in their café and working within the local neighborhood to plant flower gardens and improve cycle routes.

Why We Chose Them:

Ground Up Digital actually used to have a hot desk in shine when we first formed back in March 2019. It was a fantastic time and we were very well looked after by Dawn and the team and still to this day use the meeting rooms as we love to support fellow social enterprises.

It’s great to see what a huge range of positive causes Shine supports, working with everyone from children to ex-offenders. We love the fact that they are inclusive to all and are supporting people who may have otherwise been marginalised by society, enabling them to turn their lives around.

The Work They Do:

How They Align With Our Values:

Here at Ground Up Digital we have a remarkably similar social mission to Shine, as we offer job opportunities to people who may have struggled to find work previously due to neurodiversity or past mistakes. It’s fantastic that Shine are a social enterprise that share our values so closely.

You can read more about our values here: https://groundup.digital/our-values/

How You Can Support Them:

By using Shine’s meeting rooms or café you will be helping them to create positive change. Find out more here: https://shinecollective.co.uk/meeting-rooms-leeds/