Working with local people in Central Bedfordshire to improve the way health and care works for everyone

17 July 2018 · Categories: Communities Care

Within my first few months of coordinating the community micro-enterprise project in Central Bedfordshire I have had the pleasure meeting some wonderful local people who have made me feel very welcome. Despite working in different areas across the Bedfordshire region previously, what never ceases to amaze me is the sheer amount of determination and drive from the local people wanting to support and contribute back to their community.

My Community Catalysts project runs for 2 years and aims to support local people to set up and run their own very small enterprises offering help and support for older and disabled people who want to live life their way. By breaking down barriers, problem solving and connecting people in communities I hope to be a driving catalyst for change and build on the already existing good stuff going on in Central Bedfordshire.

In these early days I have spent my time connecting with all this good stuff – meeting local enablers, stakeholders and providers. This has enabled me to make really good community connections and raise the profile of the project. My early work has been enhanced by Village and Community Agents locally and I am particularly excited by the new Social Prescribing initiative that is just taking off in the area. As an ex Community Navigator under a similar scheme in a neighbouring borough I am keen to see how our community micro-enterprise project and Social Prescribing might link to better support to people to have a good life in their community.

Having had conversations with senior personnel and local stakeholder organisations across Central Bedfordshire it is clear that there is collective buy in – a real will to encourage and support small local enterprises.  This is shown most strongly in our project group which is made up of a variety of people from all sectors who have come together to drive the work forward. Central Bedfordshire Council recognises the need to encourage and work collaboratively with community enterprises and are committed to creating the conditions to make things happen.

I am delighted to welcome Community Catalysts to Central Bedfordshire and look forward to the impact the neighbourhood-based services they develop will make in supporting the more vulnerable members of our communities. – Julie Ogley, Director of Social Care, Housing and Health

I am really looking forward to connecting further with local people to encourage and support new and existing community enterprises to do great things!!


Alistair Bucknall
Community Enterprise Catalyst (Central Bedfordshire)


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