Text size: A A A A


  • RT @SchSocEnt: Across the country, 84% of local government investment in charities goes to larger charities. This means rich, person-centre…About 23 hours ago
  • RT @JRFBolton: Somerset County Council raised council tax 3% this year. The council voted for all the money to go back into the local econo…About 23 hours ago
  • RT @TLAP1: JOB ALERT! We have an excellent opportunity for an experienced project administrator to join TLAP. Closing date 23 July https:/…13 July
  • RT @possett: Big thanks to Julie and Victoria for engaging community businesses in finding ways to be sustainable and targeting audiences @…13 July
  • RT @ategiLtd: Exciting opportunity to join our growing Shared Lives Service, get full details on our website https://t.co/q7YGMprzNx @ate13 July

current work

current work

Central Bedfordshire Council

Community Enterprise

The Central Bedfordshire Community Micro Enterprise Project runs from January 2018 for 2 years with a focus on developing new community led services and supports that offer homecare, primarily for older people, but also community enterprises offering care and support services to other groups of people. Established community enterprises, interested in diversification or development of their model and/or offer will also be supported. The project also aims to capture learning and actively use this to affect local system and culture change. Alistair Bucknall has now been employed as the local Community Enterprise Catalyst to coordinate the delivery of the project.

Julie Ogley, Director of Social Care, Housing and Health:

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.

Hertfordshire County Council

Community Enterprise

We are pleased to support Hertfordshire County Council with this  new Community Micro-enterprise Project which runs from January 2018 for 17 months. The project aims to work with local people who want to develop small enterprises offering homecare or help at home to older and disabled people in their area. The initial focus will be in the St Albans, Hertsmere and Dacorum areas where increasing the number and range of homecare and help at home options available to local people is seen as real priority. Enterprises in other parts of Hertfordshire that fit well with local priorities can also be supported. Community Catalysts will build on things that already work well and to use learning from the project to affect local system and culture change – working hard to improve the way that health and care works for everyone in the county.

Tom Watkins has now been employed as the local Community Enterprise Catalyst to coordinate the delivery of the project.

Ian MacBeath, Director of Adult Care Services, Hertfordshire County Council:

I am delighted to welcome Community Catalysts to Hertfordshire. We want to explore whether encouraging smaller enterprises in local neighbourhoods will help people connect more to their community as well being supported to stay safe and well.

So what, what next – Transforming Care project

Enterprising People

Part of the Transforming Care programme and the idea of the national empowerment steering group who are supported by the Local Government Association (LGA). The project runs from December 2017 until July 2018 and will take place in the Black Country in partnership with the Black Country Transforming Care Partnership. Transforming Care has a focus on getting people with a learning disability and/or autism out of hospital and back into their communities. Everyone agrees that getting people out of hospital is important but making sure people have good lives out of hospital is important too. The project will focus on people who have recently moved out of hospital, their families and supporters, find different ways of doing things and new ways to support people to have good lives, make connections and contribute to their community. The Local Government Association, the empowerment group and Community Catalysts will share what we learn from the work. For more information

Great Communities

Analyse Imagine Transform

MacIntyre is a national charity providing support and making a positive contribution to the lives of people with learning disabilities for over 50 years. With considerable investment from MacIntyre, Community Catalysts and MacIntyre have formed an exciting partnership, working together to design and deliver the ground-breaking Great Communities project. Starting in Warrington the project will work with people supported by MacIntyre to help them to enhance their own lives and make a contribution to their community. In a time of austerity and cuts in services the project will also act as a catalyst for change to make Warrington a more connected and inclusive place and to stop people with a learning disability falling through the net. Lessons learned and approaches developed in the test site will be used to underpin wider, national transformational change within the sector.

Power to Change

Community Business

Power to Change is the organisation set up to grow and support community businesses in England using funding from the Big Lottery.  They have funded Community Catalysts to design and manage an exciting new project called “Enterprising Communities” using an adaptation of our approach that has been tried and tested with community enterprise for community business. This is a pioneering programme of work, the learning from which will inform the establishment of a wider community of practice of people working innovatively to harness the resource of communities. We are testing our approach in two project sites – Telford and Wrekin and Warwickshire . We have been encouraged by the numbers of amazing community businesses and enterprises already working in each area. Our job now is to select the businesses and enterprises that we will work with that we believe have most potential to deliver vital care, health and wellbeing services for local people.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Community Enterprise

Building the business case for investment in support for community enterprise.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. It aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK by funding the charitable work of organisations that are building an inclusive, creative and sustainable society. They have funded Community Catalysts to extend Enterprising Communities into a second phase which has a focus on community enterprise that tackle loneliness and increase community well-being.

Phase 2 also enables us to work with the University of Birmingham to evaluate the impact of the project and Community Catalysts’ approach. The results of this evaluation will inform the case for investment in support for enterprising local people. After a careful selection process we are now working in partnership with local authority partners in York and Herefordshire.

City of York Council

Mark Finch has now been employed as the local York Community Catalyst to coordinate the delivery of the project over a 2 year period. We are excited by the current commitment to asset based approaches in the city as they complement the Enterprising Communities Project. Mark is working in partnership with the Local Area Co-ordinators and Community Facilitators who are employed by the council to gain a good understanding of the local communities within which he will be working.

Martin Farran, the Corporate Director of Health, Housing and Adult Social Care:

City of York Council is absolutely delighted to be partnering with Community Catalysts on the delivery of the Enterprising Communities project. Addressing loneliness and isolation is a key priority within our new Health and Wellbeing Strategy and the opportunity to work with communities to explore community enterprise solutions that help tackle this challenge is timely for the city.

However, we recognise that this does not happen on its own and as leaders of ‘place’ we need to focus more on early intervention, prevention and wider strength based approaches that help to build community capacity, local infrastructure and social networks. This is why we have chosen to invest in the Enterprising Communities project which we see as complementary to our Local Area Coordination programme and the wider transformation of Adult Social Care.

York is at the start of its journey to becoming an asset based place, and the partnership with Community Catalysts will further complement our plans to strengthen community resilience through harnessing the untapped skills and gifts of local people. Exploring how we co-produce the development of sustainable community enterprises and the development of a more personalised social care market will be a key part of our asset based model. 

Herefordshire Council

Tess Brooks has now been employed as the local Herefordshire Community Catalyst to coordinate the delivery of the project over a 2 year period. Tess is working in partnership with the Local Area Co-ordinators and Community Facilitators who are employed by the council to gain a good understanding of the local communities within which she will be working.

Martin Samuels, Director for Adults and Wellbeing:

Herefordshire Council is very much looking forward to working with Community Catalysts on the Enterprising Communities project. We are increasingly recognising that there needs to be a significant shift in focus and emphasis in the way we secure good results for our residents. Rather than the public sector seeking to play the central role, stepping in whenever people are struggling, we need to instead focus our efforts on facilitating the development of communities that help people to stay well, and that give them that extra assistance when they are  isolated or in need of support. This also ties in to the focus of The Reverend Lady Lisvane, High Sheriff of Herefordshire, whose focus  for this year is upon organisations that support people who, for whatever reason, are isolated.

Our new ‘blueprint’ is centred on the individual having choice and control of their own life, within the context of their wider support network of friends, family and community. As the public service, we have a key role in creating the conditions where those networks can develop and flourish, and in providing more intensive care when people need more than their network can offer.
The work with Community Catalysts offers an exciting opportunity for us to work with local communities to make this a reality. The availability of a vibrant range of local services, able to respond quickly to people’s varying needs, is a central feature of the new community approach. This initiative will give us a real head start in growing local capacity and embedding the expertise to make this self-sustaining.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Analyse Imagine Transform

Community Catalysts is working  with Rotherham Council making connections between disabled people and their local community. Our local Catalyst Harry Clarkson has been working within the local community to forge connections, build capacity and seed and nurture relationships with people who use council social care services. Harry is also supporting the development of new community enterprises to increase the choice for people who need some help to live a good life.

Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) – NHS England

Analyse Imagine Transform

‘Following an announcement by Simon Stevens in 2014, the Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme was formally launched in April 2015 as a partnership between NHS England and the Local Government Association. IPC is a new approach to joining up health, social care and other services at the level of the individual. It enables people, carers and families to blend and control the resources available to them across the system in order to ‘commission’ their own care through personalised care planning and personal budgets’           NHS England

Community Catalysts is an IPC partner – one of the voluntary and community sector organisations contributing their expertise to the programme. We were also a member of the Commissioning and Market Development Collaborative Development Group.


We are working with the council and CCG in Islington to help them analyse and understand current sources of information for people with complex multiple health conditions and young people with mental health problems looking for activities and services that will help improve their health and wellbeing. This analysis helps inform their strategy to improve the quality and accessibility of information.


We have been working with Lincolnshire IPC bringing our market development expertise in the health and care sector. Initially we undertook some diagnostic work and worked with enterprise development agencies, exploring the role they might play in the development of a more personalised health and care marketplace across Lincolnshire. We then moved on to work in partnership with the new Neighbourhood Team in Gainsborough to develop and test new approaches to community-led marketplace development in practice. Finally we produced a report and ‘top tips’ document designed to inform the roll out of the Neighbourhood Team model across the county.


We are working with the council and CCG in Luton in support of their local IPC programme. Our work has a focus on focus on adults with a learning disability linked to the Transforming Care agenda and people with mental health issues with experience of the Care Programme Approach (CPA) and/or Section 117 of the Mental Health Act. Initial work takes the form of diagnostic work to determine what is needed to develop a more personalised and community driven health and care ‘marketplace’ for people in these 2 groups. The second phase of work will then support local partners to enable them nurture community driven ‘start-up’ enterprises and influencing systems change.

Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire

We are working with both the City and County of Nottingham to think about control, choice and gaps in service options for children and young people and their families.  We have designed a series of action learning workshops designed to explore person centred ‘market.

Working with you has been very informative and  challenging (in a positive way). But always fun! I really hope we are able to benefit from more @commcats expertise in the future to support delivery of #personalisecare across the ICS to acheive meaningful choice and control.

South West Integrated Personal Commissioning Team

We are working with the Integrated Personal Commissioning Team to design two learning sets for primary care practitioners. They will focus on helping participants understand the breadth and value of local community resource and identify and remove barriers to access for people using primary care services.

Quality Checking Enterprises – NHS England

Enterprising People

Community Catalysts are working in partnership with Inclusion North on this project which has been commissioned by NHS England. NHS England wants to give people with a learning disability the skills and resources to check how the quality of NHS services across England Community Catalysts and Inclusion North have been commissioned to help people with a learning disability to think through all the challenges and opportunities of running their own enterprise, build their skills and confidence, get their enterprise off the ground and link with other people doing the same thing.

Perth & Kinross Council

Analyse Imagine Transform

Community Catalysts has been commissioned by Perth and Kinross Council to undertake a short project on self-directed support – reviewing the current approach to supporting people in their own homes and identify future actions to develop the local marketplace.

Camphill Village Trust

Analyse Imagine Transform

Community Catalysts worked with CVT in 2015/2016 to develop the business case for investment in the development of a Shared Lives service across eight of the nine communities. The Board of Trustees agreed the necessary investment at their meeting in April 2016 and since then Community Catalysts has been working with CVT on the establishment of their Shared Lives service.

Thurrock Council

Community Enterprise

Community Catalysts supported local Catalyst Sue Wellard (employed by Thurrock Council) in an initial one year project to stimulate and support local community micro-enterprise. This was a particularly exciting opportunity as the project ran alongside a programme called Local Area Coordination (LAC) which is helping people in Thurrock who need some support to build their vision for a good life, stay strong and control services and resources. Our project complemented the work being delivered by the LAC team as they identified gaps in provision locally which could be filled by community entrepreneurs.

The successes achieved in the first year convinced Thurrock Council to extend the project into a second year, with a specific focus on the cultural and systems changes needed to ensure that the use of community-led support and services became mainstream. We are really pleased that, as year 2 comes to an end, the Council has recognised the positive impact of the work and made Sue’s post permanent. They have also commissioned Community Catalysts for a further year to provide Sue with the support and advice she needs to continue to be effective.

Les Billingham | Head of Adult Social Care & Community Development | Adults, Housing and Health:

We are becoming increasingly aware that the solution to the crisis facing our health and social care system will be found, to a significant extent, within communities that are better connected, more welcoming and resilient; the work Community Catalysts have done supporting us to develop such communities within Thurrock has been invaluable and enabled us to begin to see our ambitions become reality.

Camphill Village Trust

Analyse Imagine Transform

Camphill Village Trust (CVT) is a progressive UK charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems and other support needs through 9 urban and rural communities in England http://www.cvt.org.uk/.

Community Catalysts is working on a exciting partnership project with CVT with the two organisations pooling their considerable knowledge and expertise. We will help to shine a spotlight on the organisation’s core CVT values of contribution and enterprise and explore development opportunities for individuals, communities and the wider organisation.  We have discovered much about existing enterprising activity (and there is a lot), explored people’s ideas and aspirations and helped people think about new ways to bring new people who need support to live their lives into CVT communities.

Somerset County Council 

Community Enterprise

Our third year report has just been published and shows our continuing success in helping local people in West and South Somerset to provide supports and services that allow older and disabled neighbours to stay at home and feel part of their community. There are now 223 community enterprises offering help to older people to enable them to stay at home. 58% of these providers offer personal care services, including for people with more complex care needs. This care is often provided alongside home help, domestic and social support. 42% offer home help type services including support, companionship, domestic help, gardening, cleaning, trips out, transport. 3,500 hours of care a week are delivered by community micro-enterprises in Somerset.

We are pleased to be supporting Somerset County Council into a fourth year with a focus on supporting 16 self-sustaining independent provider networks of community enterprises, to support with the legacy of our work as the project comes to an end in October 2018.

Read about what is happening in Somerset and some examples of people doing great work


 London Borough of Newham

Community Enterprise

After a four year programme Newham council are continuing support to community entrepreneurs locally by identifying a local “community enterprise champion” who remains connected to our community of practice. Attendance at our national co-ordinator meeting will continue to connect and inspire the local worker.