#WeekNotes S1E1 — Year Here Kickoff Bootcamp


  1. It was my first week of my course in social innovation with Year Here. From Monday to Friday I was surrounded by 17 inspiring peers driven to change society for the better. We participated in service design challenges and personal development exercises that sought to develop our leadership, collaboration and social innovation skills.
  2. I said goodbye to my parents as I moved from their house down in lovely ole’ Surrey (big up the Surrey massive) to my friends floor in Bermondsey London.


Designing a service improvement for a homeless shelter in North London.

The shelter we worked at was a pioneering homeless day centre that has been providing help for people who are homeless for over 20 years.

  • self-organising,
  • evaluating the process we would have to use to solve the issue;
  • dividing and conquering (splitting into groups and breaking the task into manageable chunks);
  • designing questions for the homeless clients of the centre and the staff & volunteers of the centre;
  • asking the different stakeholders the questions we had created;
  • designing a solution to the brief we had been given.
A snapchat of how HAB were doing on that day.
A longer term feedback solution.
  1. Overcame barriers to entry for homeless clients such as:
    = language issues,
    = disenfranchisement,
  2. Empowered homeless clients to be involved in the feedback process.
  3. Illustrated a snapshot of how clients were finding the services today.
  4. Allowed the shelter to track the performance of services/facilities over the short and long term.
  5. Kept all stakeholders in the loop of the feedback process.

Food from Fat Macy’s

After our eventful day it was time for our Welcome Dinner at the Bromley-by-Bow community centre in East London. The centre is a pioneering charity that combines an extensive neighbourhood hub with a medical practice and a community research project.


  1. My body can function even if I get limited sleep.
  2. After 3 days of limited sleep and a couple of evenings having tipples of wine I start to feel bloody fatigued and get a bit grouchy.
  3. The ambition of social innovators is not necessarily matched by all those in the social sector — thinking about the client who opposed an idea of a feedback because they didn’t want negative feedback… (lol).
  4. Self-esteem is critical to empowerment. Self-esteem is critical to how one carry’s oneself, how one communicates and how one interacts with the world. The self-esteem of those who have been battered by disadvantage, abuse and exploitation (such as those plagued by homelessness) is lowwwww.
  5. Social sector solutions need to address one’s ‘belief system’ (i.e. their self-esteem) if empowerment is to be attained. It is no good giving someone a trillion pounds to innovate if they don’t believe they are worthy of innovation.
  6. Spending silent time looking into someone’s eyes and thinking about the things they might have experienced in life is extremely moving.
  7. Thinking about questions like “name a time in your childhood that was magical” or “talk about a time someone made you believe in yourself” or “what do you appreciate in yourself” makes you bawl 235245345 tears.
  8. It’s amazing what you can do under-pressure. Don’t overthink it. Just do it! What’s the problem? How might we solve this? Test it! GO!



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Matt Pullen

Matt Pullen

Passionate about redesigning unjust systems and structures and empowering people to prosper. Tweet tweeting @_mattpullen