Unique Network - Application of Model

We watched the powerpoint presentation with great interest this morning. During the presentation we were really struck by how closely it related to our replication project of the Unique Coffee Bar (youth cafe model) here in the East Midlands. 

Unique Coffee Bar is a 100% sustainable youth drop-in project supported by an Alternative Education social enterprise. We developed the Unique Network last year which has the aim of assisting other communities in setting up coffee bars similar to the Unique Coffee Bar in Newark. For more information on the network project see 'Unique Network'

We are currently working towards opening 5 Coffee Bars within the East Midlands in the next two years with a further 15 planned in the future. We currently have two communities who are close to opening (late this year/ early next year) and three others in the pipeline.

Here are a few points in terms of how your model relates to our project - I've also added some notes to your model diagram (below)

  • Young People (Service Users) came up with the original concept of The Unique Coffee Bar following a survey of their peers in 1997
  • Young People are involved in central decision making - although maintaining engagement in meetings is always an ongoing issue!
  • We see ourselves as the 'Innovator' in terms of creating the idea of the Unique Network project.
  • We see the 'Unique Network' project being the 'Replicator' or the vehicle for replication
  • In terms of 'Advisors/ Mentors', we are currently working with NEF (who provided funding through the Local Alchemy project) on the replication model and Eversheds (who are providing pro-bono legal advice) on developing a co-operation agreement.
  • Each replicated Coffee Bar will act as the 'Delivery Agents' and will be independent entities - managed locally.
  • IMPORTANTLY - our original Unique Coffee Bar is beginning to change some of its working patterns following learning from the development of other Coffee Bars in the network
  • In keeping with your model we envisage innovation happening across the network from any point, thus changing the 'Innovator' and refelcting the fact that Unique Coffee Bar is as much a member of the network (and can benefit from learning) as well as the original innovator.
  • We liked what you said about the blue boxes being processes rather than organisations - we think this is clearly the case in terms of the Unique Network application.
  • All Coffee Bars are run independently by local people - keeping the social capital at a local level - they will have their own brand and will be named locally. 

Unique Network - Adapted Model













  • In our application there is potentially another circle between service users and the delivery agent in that each Coffee Bar will be self managing and directly including service users in the decision making processes.

Would welcome your comments!

Thanks, MATT

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