One of the recurring themes was how so many people had been sucked into a whole new world of friendship and connections simply by taking up one chance encounter, having a cup of coffee in a cafe or joining a social session.
It’s time for us to celebrate the end of our Enterprising Communities Project in Telford. The two-year project helped to develop community businesses and supported them to grow and become more sustainable. As part of the celebration event coming up next week, I headed down to Telford to speak to people who run, use, volunteer, work and play – sometimes all of the above – at the community businesses there.
A number of the businesses run as community centres, making some money from activities, room hire, cafes and a whole host of other things. Chatting to the people I met, one of the recurring themes that really struck me was how so many people I spoke to been sucked into a whole new world of friendship and connections simply by taking up one chance encounter, having a cup of coffee in a cafe or joining a social session.
Take Ellen. She had triplet girls who had just gone off to school. Bored and unable to find work to fit around her childcare responsibilities, Ellen wandered along to a crafting session at Forge Urban Revival, a local community business. And down the rabbit hole she fell! Ellen told us how everyone was so friendly at the group that she started coming back – she started coming to other activities like soup social and making new friends. She is now even setting up her own scheme – a school clothes swap shop so that parents can be greener, recycle more and save money.
Just from one little venture, Ellen has gone from ‘staring at four walls’ to be a catalyst for change herself. And that’s what we love to hear!
We have supported 12 community businesses who between them help over 1,500 local people
Over the last 2 years we have provided focused support for 12 actual and potential community businesses in Telford and Wrekin. Between them these businesses help over 1,500 local people. We have provided information, help and signposting to additional 40 individuals or organisations. We’re really looking forward to celebrating many more stories from this project at our celebration event in Telford at the end of February.
Communication and Marketing Officer