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How time flies…

I am nine months into running Community Catalysts’ two-year project in Cherwell, Oxfordshire, working with local people who want to develop community and small enterprises offering highly personalised care and support to older and disabled people. The project is funded by Oxfordshire County Council.

I am pleased to have received over 80 enquiries; I have over 30 people signed up to the programme who are setting up small enterprises offering care and support locally. A fantastic result for our local community, but especially given the challenges presented by the Covid restrictions during the life of the project so far.

It is testament to the amazing sharers and connectors in Oxfordshire: people engaging with social media, support from Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council staff, partner organisations and other local organisations, such as Citizens Advice, as well as active residents. I thank you for spreading the word. Connecting with our community is the absolute key to the success of this project.

Setting up a small enterprise offering help and support really does bring control and choice to the entrepreneurs, but just as importantly, it brings choice and control to the people that access that support. I am a firm believer in asset-based commissioning. And the best assets are… each other! I love seeing people come up with inventive solutions that suit their fellow humans.

I believe that hobbies and pastimes are a large part of what makes our lives richer and fuller. Board games, jigsaws, music, animals, reading, dancing, cycling, mechanics, knitting, woodwork… the list is extensive and reflects the uniqueness of people. By connecting with local people and communities with fantastic skills, resources, local knowledge and a desire to help people live their lives as they choose, we can genuinely make a real difference.

I am building a great list of local resources on our Oxfordshire specific Small Good Stuff page. You can also check out the directory to see which enterprises are available.

One of the people I am supporting, Beki, used to work in care but left the sector some time ago. The project offer made Beki reconsider re-entering the profession and she was the first person to come on board and complete the Do It Right Standards. Starting up Golden Care in Banbury, with over 20 years’ care experience. she finds working for herself fits in around her family commitments.

Anita was extremely helpful throughout. The amount of resources and network connections she introduced me to has become an amazing tool to build my business within the caring industry. I’m excited to see my business evolve and know that Community Catalysts will be there to support me.

Beki (Rebecca Mangan), Golden Care

Though I may not be out and about meeting people in person yet, it is so motivating and energising to work with so many talented, experienced, passionate and caring people. To all those on board with the programme, thank you.

By Anita Wingad who has been employed by Community Catalysts to lead the project in Oxfordshire.

Anita can be contacted on:

Posted on 8th June 2021 in Community Catalysts, Community enterprise