In 2006 we created a social enterprise to supply low-cost consultants to the charity sector, involving well-paid internships for bright new graduated, mentored by experienced charity sector managers, to monitor and evaluate small charity’s work.
In 2007 we formed an IT social enterprise to supply support services, equipment, training software and web design to the charity sector.
In 2008 we worked with a leading mental health charity, creating a programme to find volunteering opportunities for people with mental health needs.
2009 saw many new members join OpenPathways, from community centres to second tier support organisations. Open source software became a big part of what we do from 2009, seeing the introduction of our free software library for organisations. We started our free workshops showing Time Bank members how to build computers from scratch; attendees came away with real confidence and gained practical skills saving them money next time their computer hardware fails.
2010 was a busy year, featuring Future Jobs Fund staff joining our team, making a real difference in the IT support services, while learning skills to enable their return to work. In summer 2010 we launched a “community cloud” which enabled one of our second tier client organisations to move away from expensive hardware servers (which are very expensive to buy and costly to upgrade) to a more eco-friendly (and budget friendly!) cloud alternative.
2011 has seen a Millennium Fund award kick-start some community food projects – we’re working with several community centres to develop social enterprises involving selling food created in their kitchens to the public, creating unrestricted income that cross-subsidises work than Councils can no longer fund.
OpenPathways became an official partner of Raceonline 2012 early this year and has been helping to bridge the digital divide among Britons.