Exploring community business through a health and care lens

27 January 2022 · Categories: Bulletins, Innovators Learn

A busy year ahead!

Hello and a belated Happy New Year! This month is the time to reflect on the year gone by and look forward. A time to start afresh, re-energise and plan for the year ahead. So, hands up, who has made a resolution? I have! 🙌

Last summer, I broke a lifetime long aversion to running and embarked on the Couch to 5k programme, and to my surprise I loved it! Since then, I have continued to run at least 5km, twice a week because it has really made a difference. Maintaining this worthwhile activity has been getting harder through the cold, dark and wet months! I have therefore used the new year to recommit and have set myself a goal to run 50km in January. I am using an app to help me and so far, with my coach in my pocket, I am on track! 🏆

So what about Community Catalysts. How did we do in 2021? And what has 2022 got in store?

Looking back, 2021 was a good year for Community Catalysts. A great year in fact! We worked on over 40 different projects across the UK, developing new community enterprise programmes; supporting the development of Local Area Coordination; and working with a range of organisations to ensure that people who need support to live their lives have a say in what their care and support looks like and how it is delivered.

We are delighted at the number of people being supported by Community Catalysts to start their own adventures in offering care and support services.  Local people are being empowered to explore their own potential and, in turn, are offering support that is right for the people in their communities to help them live the way they want.

Pippa Corner, Deputy Director, HESC, Oxfordshire County Council

Throughout the year, our fantastic team continued to adapt to the challenging and changing conditions presented by the pandemic and the increasing demand on the sector. Raising their game and working flexibly, using technology to connect to potential entrepreneurs, community leaders, system leaders and each other, adapting how they worked and sharing what they learned. This dedication and passion for what they do ensured we stayed on track and continued to drive forward change. Catalysts by name; Catalysts by nature!

We also continued to get our messages heard by policy makers and key movers and shakers. Driving home the need for innovation in health and social care provision and for people who draw on support to be actively involved in codesigning and coproducing future solutions.

As we begin 2022 the future looks bright as we develop new community enterprise projects, strengthen the Local Area Coordination Network, launch new products and explore new ideas – some are featured in this newsletter!

I would love to hear what you think about what we do, what we could do more of or even better – get in touch at pip.cannons@communitycatalysts.co.uk  

I am looking forward to a very happy and fulfilling 2022 and wish you all the very best for the year ahead.

Pip Cannons
CEO at Community Catalysts


Uncovering the potential of community businesses in health and care…and the importance of community anchors

Over the last few months, we’ve started a new piece of work funded by Power to Change which is all about community businesses and how we can develop more of them to support health and care.

In her first blog, our Naomi explores what we mean by a ‘community business’ and visits already established community businesses and enterprises like Pulp Friction, Space Inclusive and Dexx Life Skills Centre to find out more about what a good quality offer looks like and what people might need to get started.

Read the full blog

In her second blog, Naomi reflects on the latest Power to Change Community Business Market Report 2021 which found that community businesses saw an increase in demand for their services during the pandemic, particularly in mental health support, financial advice, health and social care and food provision.

Naomi recently visited Telford and Wrekin and some of the community businesses we previously supported to see the impact of Covid for herself. Some of these community businesses really stepped up in the pandemic and were acting as community anchors – a type of community business connecting people together by providing activities from a building they own or manage and building links with other services.

Read the full blog

We’re really keen to learn from and connect with more community businesses, particularly those who offer care or support to people within their communities. We’d also love to chat if you want to understand more about community businesses and creating the right conditions for them to thrive in your local area. If you want to join the conversation, please get in touch at: naomi.sampson@communitycatalysts.co.uk


What is a community business?

In the following video, Andy Taylor from Wigan and Leigh Community Cooperative and our Chris Clarke catch up about community businesses.

Topics include:
– What a community business is
– Why community involvement is so important
– What type of organisations can be a community business
– What community businesses can offer

You can also find out more from local people about how community businesses support them and their communities…and the impact they have in the video below:


Come and join our team!

We’re currently recruiting for a Community Enterprise Catalyst to lead our new piece of work in partnership with Devon County Council. We’re looking for an energetic, and imaginative person to coordinate things for us.

As part of the project, you will find and mentor local people and community organisations, helping them to create new ways for older people who need help at home to live the life they want. Watch the video below to learn more about the role and our team. Check out our website for more information and to apply.

Salary: £32,960
Hours: 37.5 hours per week
Contract: 2 year fixed term contract
Closing date for applications: 8th February 1pm

We’re looking to recruit to a few different roles over the next couple of months so do keep checking back here if you’re interested in joining our team…and keep an eye out for updates on social media. 

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