Thanet-based social entrepreneur Alexander Roarke awarded up to £10,000 and place on learning programme to improve local community

Alexander Roarke, Director of Thanet Iceberg Project in Thanet, is one of 71 leaders across England selected for a competitive learning programme and grant of up to £10,000.

The Community Business Trade Up Programme is run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, in partnership with Power to Change. The programme supports people improving their local communities through trade.

The programme will help the Alexander Roarke (known to all simply as Roarke) to grow the Thanet Iceberg Project, the charity behind the locally successful The Kitchen CT9 community cafe, which works to help individuals and households across Thanet to combat the causes of poverty whilst overcoming its symptoms.

Roarke has just begun a nine-month learning programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE). SSE helps people develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to tackle society?s biggest problems.

Roarke said: “I am delighted to have been accepted onto the Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, in partnership with Power to Change. The programme and grant of up to £10,000 will help me grow Thanet Iceberg Project, so that we can support more people in Thanet.”

Amber Sorrell, programme manager at the School for Social Entrepreneurs, says: “We are thrilled to welcome Roarke onto the programme, where they?ll learn alongside other community leaders how to create lasting social impact for the region. We are confident Roarke has the entrepreneurial qualities and motivation to increase their impact on Thanet even further, which is why we have awarded him a highly-coveted place.”

Find out more about the programme and register your interest for the 2020/21 programme at


For further information, please contact:

  • Alexander Roarke, Director, Thanet Iceberg Project: [email protected] / 01843 500021
  • Hannah Corbett, communications manager, the School for Social Entrepreneurs: [email protected] / 0207 089 9120

Notes to editors

About Thanet Iceberg Project

Working with households who are combating the symptoms of poverty whilst overcoming the causes,  we help 100s of households every year get back on track by signposting and supporting them as they access our range of services.

We currently operate out of two venues: a second hand furniture lock up (“The Loft”) and a community cafe (“The Kitchen CT9”).  We believe that in order to tackle the underlying causes of peoples’ poverty we have to first tackle their immediate needs.  Food in the belly and somewhere comfortable to go home to are high priorities for anybody. Via our “Crossroads” project, we provide a liaison service with many local help organisations to help individuals with form filling, appointment making, chaperoning, phone calls, etc.

Thanet Iceberg Project is registered in England under No. 11263439 with its registered office at 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AX

About the Community Business Trade Up Programme

The Community Business Trade Up Programme is run by School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), in partnership with Power to Change. The programme includes 12 learning days, spread over nine months. It includes a Match Trading grant of up to £10,000 for early-stage community businesses that are planning to grow. It supports community business leaders to increase their income and build stronger organisations, so they can create more benefit to their local areas. The programme has supported over 200 community businesses so far, and will support another 71 in this phase at seven SSE locations across England. This phase runs from April 2020 to December 2020.

About the School for Social Entrepreneurs

We can’t fix issues like poverty, climate change and ill-health alone. That’s why the School for Social Entrepreneurs exists. SSE helps 1,000 people a year develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to tackle society’s biggest problems. It runs courses that equip people to start, scale and strengthen organisations that make a positive difference. But it is not a traditional school. Learning with SSE is inspiring, action-based and accessible. SSE supports people in others ways too, such as funding and mentoring. Lord Michael Young founded SSE in 1997, and it’s grown to a network of schools across the UK, Canada and India. Together, SSE is changing lives and transforming communities.

About Power to Change

Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England.

Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector owns assets worth £890m, and comprises 9,000 community businesses across England who employ 33,600 people. (Source: Community Business Market 2019)

From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received its endowment from The National Lottery Community Fund in 2015.

For more information please contact: Alex Valk 07384 812777 [email protected] @peoplesbiz

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest community funder in the UK. We’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.  

We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life. Website Twitter Facebook Instagram