All Together Now!
The York Enterprising Communities project works with small independent enterprises and projects that are instrumental in helping people to build meaningful and lasting relationships – local people helping other local people – working together to improve lives. An integral aspect of this is to connect the people who run these projects, so that they too can develop mutually beneficial associations.
Community Catalysts has given Nations of York Collective a big push by introducing us to other like-minded people working for similar causes in York. I have recently hosted a very successful cooking contest together with United Bikes, and thanks to Experience Counts York, we have found a new committed volunteer, willing to host one of our traditional cooking classes. Luisa Garcia (Nations of York Collective)
To this end, we host regular get-togethers, which are informal, yet carefully organised to maximise the benefits of attendance for each and every participant. They also foster interdependence, whilst providing a supportive atmosphere – one where healthy competition and cooperative growth and development co-exist seamlessly for the benefit of both those who provide and receive the wide variety of services being offered by the participants.
Having previously worked for a very large organisation, the NHS, it can feel daunting to be part of a small project. The positives are being able to respond to very local need and implement change quickly. The negatives can be to feel isolated, as often our projects are very unique. Community Catalysts enables us to meet in a safe, open and accommodating environment to vent frustrations, ask for help, share triumphs and gain links with people who can help move the project on. I spend a lot of time listening to the experiences of others and hope to learn from their journeys. I spend an equal amount of time asking for help! It’s good to have somewhere to go, to gain support and to feel a little less like you are the only one in the world doing this! Katie Barker (Sharing Life)
Another vital element of these get-togethers is that of appropriately connecting participants with other strength-based practices, such as Social Prescribing, Local Area Coordination, and Community Health Champions. We also link people to those who can potentially help them, whether it be offering advice on business, funding, marketing, premises – joining the dots by helping people to source and connect with those who can fill the gaps in their current knowledge.
If you run a new or existing project and you think you would benefit from participating in the project and the peer-support available at these meetings, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
by Mark Finch
T: 07741 260 676