Media Centre SEUK News & Press Releases Michael Sheen joins Social Enterprise UK as Patron Actor and social activist Michael Sheen will be joining Social Enterprise UK as patron and supporter, working with the organisation to promote and champion social enterprise models that can help tackle our most pressing challenges. Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) is the national body for social enterprises – businesses that have a primary social motive and who reinvest their profits into tackling social and environmental problems. There are over 78,000 in the UK contributing over £24 billion to the economy, employing a million people and operating in areas as diverse as manufacturing, community energy, leisure, health and community services. Through where they work and who they employ they create opportunities, reduce inequalities and promote diversity. 31% are based in the UK’s most disadvantaged areas, 59% employ people marginalised in the workforce and 40% are led by women. Michael Sheen said: “The world faces many challenges right now and you can either get sucked up in the negativity that breeds or you can put yourself forward and empower, resource and provide some solutions – which is exactly what I intend to do with this new role. By joining SEUK as both a Patron and a supporter I aim to help raise the level of public debate on the alternative solutions a social economy can provide, to shine a light on people creating and running social enterprises and the difference that makes. Social entrepreneurship is a real force for good and the sector has grown enormously, but we are scratching the surface of what can really be achieved. Social entrepreneurs can be a dominant force but we need to raise the ambition, open more doors, communicate better with the wider public. As Patron I want to work with the movement and show the world what it might mean to ‘take back control’. An economy that works for everyone, not just the few." Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, Peter Holbrook said: “We’re delighted Michael will be joining us as one of our patrons. Our country, indeed the world is crying out for greater social justice and economic models that benefit the many rather than the few. We desperately need alternatives to business as usual if we are to have any chance of tackling an unprecedented range of threats to our collective well being and prosperity. Michael’s passion for a fairer society and his interest in social enterprise as a way of achieving this, combined with his influence will be invaluable in amplifying the voice of the sector. We’re looking forward to working with him to help spread the message that there are ways of doing business that put people first, that gives communities ownership over the services they use and that can address the inequalities so deeply embedded in society. It’s an incredibly exciting time for the movement with start-up rates soaring and public awareness on the up. Michael’s ambition and ideas will help us further increase our reach and showcase the massive impact social enterprises are having on the communities they work in.” Ends Notes to Editors For more information, contact the Social Enterprise UK press office: [email protected] or 020 3589 4959. Social Enterprise UK Together with our members we are the voice for social enterprise in the UK. We do research, provide information and tools, share knowledge, build networks, raise awareness and campaign to create a business environment where social enterprises thrive. Our members range from local grass-roots organisations to multi-million pound businesses. SEUK's other patrons are Claire Dove OBE DL, Baroness Glenys Thornton, Lord Bird and David Gold. www.socialenterprise.org.uk Michael Sheen Michael has proved himself equally accomplished on both stage and screen. His many award-winning stage performances include Caligula and Frost/Nixon at the Donmar Theatre, and Hamlet at the Young Vic. He created, co-directed, and performed in the groundbreaking three-day live event The Passion in Port Talbot for National Theatre Wales. Sheen has starred in three films nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award: The Queen, directed by Stephen Frears, Frost/Nixon, directed by Ron Howard, and Midnight in Paris, directed by Woody Allen. He is known to millions as a vampire in The Twilight Saga films and a werewolf in the Underworld franchise. His other feature credits include The Damned United, directed by Tom Hooper; Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland; Tron: Legacy, directed by Joseph Kosinski and the critically acclaimed adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel, Far From the Madding Crowd, directed by Thomas Vinterberg. His most recently released film was Passengers in which he starred alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. On television, Sheen has earned multiple awards and nominations for his performances in projects such as Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!, directed by Andy De Emmony, Dirty Filthy Love, directed by Adrian Shergold, as Tony Blair in HBO's The Special Relationship and as Dr. Bill Masters in four seasons of the acclaimed Showtime series, Masters of Sex, on which he was also a producer. He has created memorable characterizations for NBC's 30 Rock, HBO's mockumentary 7 Days In Hell, the IFC miniseries spoof Spoils of Babylon, and Michael Bolton's Big Sexy Valentine's Day Special for Netflix. In 2009, he was honoured by the Queen with an O.B.E. for his services to Drama. Coming soon he will appear opposite Richard Gere in Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, in Home Again with Reese Witherspoon, and with Ben Stiller in Mike White’s comedy Brad's Status. He is currently filming Netflix’s new period revenge thriller Apostle, alongside Dan Stevens, written and directed by Gareth Evans and shot in his hometown of Port Talbot.