In my new role coordinating the Community Catalysts Enterprising Communities Project, I have the great pleasure of working in the beautiful city of York. This 2-year project aims to stimulate the development of community enterprises supporting people who are lonely or isolated and has a focus on community wellbeing. It also fits nicely into the City of York’s strategic commitment to asset based approaches.
I am new to the City but have been made to feel extremely welcome. When I first arrived everyone was telling me how small York is, but it certainly didn’t feel that way to me! It has already been quite an adventure getting to know the place and the people but, like any city, York is a hive of activity and exploring it will be an ongoing process.
A major disadvantage of being new to an area is not knowing anybody. Conversely, a major advantage of this is…not knowing anybody! As a newbie, York is a blank canvas and it’s good to have the opportunity to join the dots and create my own picture, which will support the development of this project.
One of my early tasks has been to learn about, and meet, all the help and support services which are available to community enterprises in York. Knowledge of, and an ongoing working relationship, with these services will enable me to add value to my own tailored advice by signposting to the likes of York CVS/Make It York and Big Local.
A big part of my role is to scope out existing community enterprises in York, that tackle loneliness and isolation. Working alongside the Local Area Co-ordinators and Community Facilitators, amongst others, has given me a great starter for ten and the list is growing!
The City of York Council recognises that ongoing collaboration with community enterprises is vital to shaping and building the marketplace to ensure that real choice of high quality services and supports is available. The work to stimulate and develop community enterprise has the firm commitment of senior personnel in the Council and other key stakeholder organisations. In short, those who have the influence to drive forward the work of the Enterprising Communities Project, solve problems and remove barriers are all fully engaged and committed to this work.
I’m really looking forward to meeting existing providers, encouraging new community enterprises, opening the right doors and joining all the dots. By solving small problems, brokering connections, asking obvious questions, challenging the status-quo and learning lessons in the process, this project really can be a real catalyst for change that builds on all the great stuff already going on here in York.
York Community Catalyst