Tag Archives: Social Enterprise

Fair Trade Talking Mats bags

freeset bag

Talking Mats is delighted to support Fair Trade through the purchase of new style bags which has come about through the initiative of one of our team, Margo Mackay. She has written the following blog:

The arrival of seven large boxes shipped from Kolkata caused great excitement in the Talking Mats office last week. For me personally opening up the boxes from the Freeset factory immediately brought a series of images to mind. Just over one year ago, at the start of 2014, I was part of a delegation of Scottish women who visited India to see businesses set up to help women who had been trafficked.

A tour around the factory revealed well organised systems with women busy working in production; cutting, sewing and printing bags ordered from all over the world. A factory like any other but with a significant difference. Most of the employees had previously been trapped in India’s sex trade which had robbed them of dignity. For them, getting a job in the Freeset factory gives the women a chance to regain control of their lives in a caring community.

They are given fair pay and conditions, offered education and health care. They are supported to make their journey out of prostitution and into a new way of living, restoring hope. Although a business, Freeset is also a community. The women are often dealing with health problems (including HIV/AIDS), and psychological effects from abuse and exclusion from society. This makes for a challenging workplace and much effort is put into creating a compassionate environment where the women are supported and their needs met.

As a Social Enterprise business, through selling our Talking Mats products, we are now participating in a woman’s journey to freedom. The transformation in women’s lives is clearly apparent, simply because they’ve been given a chance. We are proud to be supporting this enterprise.
Why don’t you have a look for yourself on their website?  http://freesetglobal.com/

And why don’t you treat yourself to one of these attractive bags by buying one of our products

Annual Report: Talking Mats style


It’s that time again when we have to write our Annual Report. This year we decided to make it (hopefully) more interesting and informative to read and (definitely) more enjoyable to write.  So we have done it in the form of mind maps.
The first is a summary of all that we have achieved in the past year. We have broken it down into the various strands of our Social Enterprise business. Click on the mind map to be able to read it!

Talking Mats year in Numbers 2013 - 2014

The second is an attempt to measure the social impact that Talking Mats has – never an easy thing to quantify.We have based it on Health and Social Care Outcomes used by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland 2013. Click on mind map.

Health and Social Care Outcomes
We were delighted to receive this comment – “You can tell they are communication professionals. No waffle – really clear and just what you want to know. The best example of an annual report I have ever seen!”

Please let us know if you have any innovative ways of presenting reports

On Thursday 12th September Talking Mats we had a great evening as we launched:

  • First version of Digital Talking Mats
  • New Children and Young People’s resource
  • New Health and Well-being resource
  • New symbols
  • New website

Over 80 people attended the event which took place at the beautiful Stirling College Campus. The speakers gave funny and heart warming short talks about their involvement with Talking Mats.


We were honoured to have Greig McMurchie and Anne McGuire MP to do the official ribbon pulling launch.



Kirsty and Joan demonstrated how to use the app and after this guests mingled and explored the app and the new website.