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@CommCats

current work

current work

Embracing Ageing

Discover and learn

We all age but sadly, despite this positive and inevitable reality, across the UK the current attitude and response to our ageing society is mainly focused on concerns about care for older people and preparation for later life, not on the implications for everyone whatever their age. To address this issue Community Catalysts and the Centre for Policy on Ageing have designed a major project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and in partnership with New Philanthropy Capital (NPC). The project aims to try to demonstrate how people in a neighbourhood can work together with local organisations and businesses to:

• Plan together to respond to the opportunities and challenges of living longer
• Align local resource to meet local priorities
• Design and test specific local services and products attuned to an ageing society

The project is in two phases. The first has a focus on finding and learning from people who already have expertise in this area and know what is possible. If the first phase is successful the second will work in one or more localities, taking the learning from phase one and working with local people to put it into practice.

People doing it for themselves

Discover and learn

People who are older or disabled sometimes need care or support to live their lives. The help that people need can overshadow their skills, interests and talents and these can remain unseen and untapped. The money going into support is often misdirected and delivers poor outcomes. The waste of talent is a tragedy for the individual and impoverishes their communities. Community Catalysts, supported by the Big Lottery, has developed a project to look at this issue. We want to better understand the conditions that enable people to believe in themselves and use their gifts. For example, to start an enterprise or group or lead change in their local community. We want to use this learning to influence central and local government to create the conditions that will enable many more people to make a difference to their own lives and the lives of others.  We want to create the conditions for people to ‘do it for themselves’ whilst also challenging the stereotypes and stigma that stand in the way of people living their good life. Our project is in two parts with phase one, the design phase, running from November 2018 to August 2019 and phase two, the development phase emerging later if phase one is successful.

Embracing Community: A Community Connector Programme with Camphill Village Trust

Analyse Imagine Transform

Camphill Village Trust commissioned us in November 2018 to run a two year programme of work, helping people living in Botton Village (a Camphill community in the North Yorkshire Moors) to use their resources (people, land and buildings) to help the people living in the areas around to tackle local issues.

Our Community Connector started work at the end of January 2019. She has successfully completed the first phase of her work, working with people living in Botton to survey local villages and farms to find out about the issues that are bothering people. She met with her co-production group (including Botton and local champions) in the middle of May to think about the results from the survey and generate ideas about how to tackle them. She is putting together a plan that will put some of these ideas into action immediately.

Rochdale Borough Council

Community Enterprise

The Rochdale Community Micro Enterprise Project runs from March 2019 for 2 years with a focus on developing new community led services and supports that offer homecare and support primarily for older people, but also community enterprises offering support services in the community for people with a learning disability.

Established community micro-enterprises, interested in diversification or development of their model and/or offer will also be supported.

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

Tracey Harrison, Assistant Director for Commissioning, Public Health and Adult Care, Rochdale Borough Council

I am delighted that the council is working in partnership with Community Catalysts to improve the health and wellbeing of residents across the borough. We are keen to develop strong links with visionary micro-organisations, whose innovative approach ensures people receive high quality care and support when and where they need it. This excellent service will complement our other transformation projects and is central to our drive to deliver high class services, with the individual care needs of residents at the heart of everything we do. It is great to have commissioned such a pioneering project, as we continue to forge strong links with the voluntary sector to meet the care needs of individuals in their communities.

Leeds City Council

Community Enterprise

We are delighted to start a new programme with Leeds City Council.

The Leeds Community Micro-enterprise Project runs from March 2019 for 2 years and will build on all the good work in the area to support local people who want to develop small enterprises and ventures offering highly personal care and help at home to older people and others that need support in their area. As well as helping people to set up new enterprises Community Catalysts can advise established small groups and organisations that want to diversify or extend what they offer.

The project will cover the whole of Leeds City Council area but will have a particular focus on North Leeds, Otley, Wetherby and the City Centre where increasing the number and range of homecare options available to local people or similar is seen as real priority.

Elaine Davin-Jones has been employed by Community Catalysts to lead the project in Leeds.

Caroline Baria, Deputy Director of Integrated Commissioning, Leeds City Council

I am delighted to welcome Community Catalysts to Leeds and look forward to the impact the neighbourhood-based services they develop will make in supporting a wide range of people within our communities. We have seen the achievements Community Catalysts have made in many parts of the country and are excited to work with them to achieve similar success in Leeds. The project is about helping local people to help local people, and the Council and Community Catalysts will work with local communities, primary care, voluntary sector and the community groups to help people to support each other. Community Catalysts are initially starting in the areas of the North and East Leeds where have the greatest difficulty matching people’s needs with available care, with the aim to bring this approach to life across the whole of the city.

Dorset Council

Community Enterprise

We are excited to start a new partnership with Dorset Council and technology company Bronze Labs.

The Dorset Community Enterprise Project runs from December 2018 for 2 years and aims to work with local people who want to develop small enterprises and ventures offering highly personal care and help at home to older people and others that need support in their area. Work will start in the Sherborne Rural and Three Valleys in West Dorset and Blackmore Vale and Winterbourne in North Dorset, where increasing the number and range of homecare and support options available to local people is seen as real priority.

Mathew Kendall, Executive Director for People – Adults, Dorset Council

We have watched the achievements Community Catalysts have made in many parts of the country and are excited to work with them to achieve similar success in Dorset. The project is about helping local people to help local people. We will work with local communities, primary care, voluntary sector and community groups to help people to support each other. We are starting in areas of North and West Dorset where we have the greatest difficulty matching people’s needs with available care, with the aim to bring this approach to life across the whole of Dorset.

The project in Dorset and a parallel initiative in Shropshire are supported by a partnership with technology company Bronze Labs and their Tribe web platform.

Anita Wingad has been employed by Community Catalysts to lead the project in Dorset

Norfolk County Council

Community Enterprise

Norfolk County Council have commissioned Community Catalysts to work with the Council and other local partners on the Norfolk Community Micro-enterprise Project. The project runs from August 2018 for just over two years with an initial focus on investigation and preparation.

The primary focus will be in North Norfolk, Norwich County Council area and the Broadland District Council area, where increasing the number and range of homecare and help at home options available to local people is seen as real priority.

As well as helping people to set up new enterprises Community Catalysts will also advise small groups and organisations already established in Norfolk and looking to diversify or extend what they offer.

Sera Hall, Director of Integrated Commissioning

We are delighted to be working with Community Catalysts CIC to explore the potential and talent within our communities to develop micro-enterprises which help people in their own homes.

As part of our Promoting Independence strategy we want to shift focus to strengthening prevention and early help, supporting people to stay independent for longer.

Community Catalysts have a strong track record in supporting people to set up sustainable and high quality micro-enterprises which truly meet the needs in their communities. This project will increase capacity and the choice of services that are delivered by local people for local people.

Debra Morris has been appointed as the local catalyst to lead the project locally and took up her post in January 2019.

Birmingham City Council

Community Enterprise

We are working with the Council and other local partners on the Community Micro-enterprise Project which runs from August 2018 for 18 months. The project aims to work with local people who want to develop small enterprises and ventures that complement established day centres and services – offering highly personal alternatives for disabled people and others in their area.  Work will start in the Hodge Hill, Erdington and Hall Green areas of the City and work alongside a roll out of strengths based, innovative approaches to social care and social work already underway in these areas.

We have employed Zoe Miller to coordinate the project locally who took up the position on 1st October.

Melanie Brooks, Birmingham City Council Interim Assistant Director, Social Care and Health

Birmingham City Council is pleased to have partnered with Community Catalysts on this innovative journey. Community Catalysts have a successful track record of working in and with communities to develop sustainable ventures which involve and serve local people. The approach we have taken, by building from grass roots, will help us gain a real understanding and insight into the particular needs of our diverse communities, and help shape how together we develop and strengthen complementary alternatives to care services with local citizens, who expect more direct control and influence over their lives and communities.

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.

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.

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.

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 tackles loneliness and increase community well-being.

Phase 2 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 working in partnership with local authority partners in York and Herefordshire.

In York and Herefordshire, we are working with an inspiring range of community enterprises to help them get off the ground and grow, from dance groups, to meals on wheels services, to friendship agencies and more.

Read about one of the wonderful enterprises we are working with.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Analyse Imagine Transform

Community Catalysts has been working with Rotherham Council since 2017 on a 2 year project which aimed to make connections between people with a learning disability and their local community. Our local Catalyst Harry Clarkson has been working hard within local communities to forge connections, build capacity and seed and nurture relationships with people who use council day services. Harry has also supported the development of new community enterprises to increase the choice for people who need some help to live a good life. Due to the success of the programme the contract has now been extended from February 2019 to November 2020. Harry will continue to support the council to develop new customer pathways for people so that they have a wider choice and can use the community enterprises available. In addition he will work with other agencies to support people with a learning disability to recognise their talents and set up their own groups and ventures.

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.

Somerset County Council 

Community Enterprise

We were commissioned by Somerset Council in 2014 to help local people in the most rural parts of West and South Somerset to provide supports and services that allowed their older or disabled neighbours to stay at home and feel part of their community. We worked with the council for 4 years, at the end of which there were 425 community enterprises offering help to older people to enable them to stay at home, 362 of whom were brand-new. 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. 12,000 hours of care a week are now delivered by community micro-enterprises in Somerset to 1,500 people. 372 local jobs have been created.

Our project came to an end in October 2018. We are pleased that Somerset County Council has continued the programme in-house and that we are able to offer some ‘legacy’ support.

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