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Extending our amazing community micro-enterprise project across Suffolk

14 November 2022 · Categories: Communities Care

We all recognise the importance of being supported with the things that matter to each of us, and in the way that suits us individually. Community Catalysts are delighted to be widening work across Suffolk to support older and disabled residents to do just that.

Image of Joseph - Community Enterprise Catalyst in Sussex

Joseph – local Catalyst

The extension of the project builds on the success of our initial project in Waveney (North Suffolk) which was led by local Catalyst Joseph. The project worked closely with Suffolk County Council Senior Leaders, Social Care teams, Community and Voluntary partners and the wider business community. Through our project extension, we now have a team of 4 local Catalysts to continue this work and provide advice and mentorship across the whole of the County.

With our partners, we will support and nurture increasing numbers of local people to establish their own community micro-enterprises. Community micro-enterprises work hyper-locally and offer care and support so people can continue to live their best lives, in their own homes, doing the things they love.

Jayne, Veronica & Katy (Suffolk’s local Catalysts)

Veronica, Katy and Jayne – local Catalysts

Over the next two years, Joseph, Jayne, Veronica & Katy (Suffolk’s 4 local Catalysts) will be available to advise and support local people who would like to turn what they love about life into a creative, flexible and sustainable business idea and new career. Who wouldn’t want to spend their days doing what they love and enjoy?

Our progress across Suffolk

To support and promote the project expansion across Suffolk we held a number of online events earlier this year for community and voluntary organisations, health and social care teams and wider local partners to celebrate what has been achieved to date in Waveney, and to explore the gaps in care and support across Suffolk. Through the events, people heard directly from a new community micro-enterprise leader who shared their own experiences. Our collaborative approach was particularly welcomed and supported.

We would like to thank all of our partners but particularly Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC) and Community Action Suffolk (CAS).

Two women peeling onions together in a kitchen in their homeWe also hosted information events in Lowestoft, Stowmarket and Sudbury for people to find out more about our work and the support available to start their own community micro-enterprise. The events were well attended and there have been some really positive outcomes. One person said they wanted to work for themselves but “…just didn’t know where to start”. We are delighted to be supporting them to develop a new community micro-enterprise of their own. We are going to hold further County-wide events over the coming months………please keep a look out for them!

Last month we were inundated with lots of enquiries at the Department for Work and Pensions jobs fair at Ipswich Town Hall. We had some fantastic conversations with local people who were unable to drive, without cars or who looking for a second job. Many of these people were really excited to know that we could help them to set up a local community micro-enterprise. We even spoke to the BBC Suffolk roving reporter about the work we do, including the opportunity for people to create a second job!

Our offer

We can’t wait to be alongside people as they turn their passion for life into a local business idea that adds value to the lives of local people. As well as helping people to set up new community micro-enterprises, Community Catalysts are also available to support existing enterprises to diversify and fill the gaps that can support older and disabled people across Suffolk. Helping local people to help other local people.

We are both delighted and excited to be working with Community Catalysts on an asset-based approach, working within our communities to develop enterprises which help people in their own homes and in the community. Asset-based working is key to our desire to promote independence and build strong, resilient communities for the benefit of all those that live within them. We believe that working in this way will enable people to live independently for longer.

Colin Baldwin, Resilient Communities Officer, Public Health and Communities, Suffolk County Council

Find out more and get involved

To find out more about our project email or visit our Facebook page.

By Joseph, Veronica, Katy and Jayne – local Catalysts in Suffolk

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