About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Date started: 2014
Website: www.thebookreserve.org
Twitter: @thebookreserve
Location: Belfast

The Book Reserve is two businesses in one, a second-hand book seller and a cafe, set up specifically to employ and train young at-risk parents.

Each year, the social enterprise provides training and employment for twelve young parents who have been through the justice system. At the same time, they are given advice and support to help them provide a stable and secure environment for their children.

The aim is to break generational cycles of offending (stats show that 60 per cent of children who have parents who are offenders will grow up to offend themselves), while keeping the young people out of prison. “If they are in a job,” notes co-founder Roger Warnock, “their chances of re-offending plummet.” The young parents are also supported and advised when they go on to apply for further employment.

Founded by Roger Warnock and Paul McMinn, the social enterprise has received seed investment from a range of government departments and is looking to scale across the UK and Ireland.