Ben Donnelly

ben_donnelly.jpgBen Donnelly, founder of Elixir Foundations is dedicated to helping recovering addicts, ex-offenders and the long term unemployed to rebuild their lives. Elixir was a proud finalist at the recent RBS Social Enterprise 100 (SE100) Awards.

Elixir CEO, Ben Donnelly has overcome his own drug and alcohol addictions and understands first hand, the barriers faced to rebuilding lives, families, careers and communities.

Elixir Foundations is a Community Interest Company with a commercially sustainable business model.  They improve the lives of volunteers whilst offering high quality services to local businesses, in a way that maximises positive impact on the local community and the environment.

Ben's vision started with providing supported housing to this client group, but he wanted to explore other ways to support his client group in a sustainable way.  

With his coach at Striding Out he started to explore social enterprise models operating in different industries, which would build on his skill sets, and interests, generate a sustainable income, and also provide training and employment opportunities for the clients he was supporting.

Striding Out connected him to social entrepreneurs across the UK, to assist his research on what was currently working in the sector. Through these connections he was able to launch three spin off social enterprises in the gardening, property services and PVCU recycling sectors, and he also secured a £1m deal with 3SC to deliver a Future Jobs Fund contract, which enabled him to employ and train 200 young people over a 6mth period.

Striding Out coaches have since been supporting the development of the newly formed team, providing leadership and management coaching and training to the new staff members.

Elixir has gone from strength to strength, expanding its site in Liverpool as well as expanding to other parts of the UK.  


Striding Out has been great in supporting us with practical (and accurate) advice to develop objectives.  We have also benefited from the contacts and networking through Striding Out experiences in running and working with successful social enterprises.