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Telford and Wrekin

Supporting passionate people to develop local community businesses with a health, care and wellbeing focus.

Initially a pilot partnership project alongside two local authorities including Telford and Wrekin. The pilot ran from April 2017 until March 2019 and was funded by Power to Change.

During that time, locally-based Catalysts supported and nurtured 181 community businesses – businesses that are run by, and for, their local community with any profits going straight back into the local area, strengthening local economies and creating real choice within communities. The Catalysts shared their expert knowledge in health and care regulation and legislation with the community business leaders to help them negotiate barriers to offer safe and high-quality services.

“Very much a part of it is talking to people and [the Catalyst] allows plenty of time for that, to talk to people and understand what their business is and what they do…. understanding what they do, where their problems are and helping each other, really.”

Community Business leader

“We’d started to think about the role of community businesses in care and support; we knew that they support their communities; we know they improve wellbeing and reduce isolation; but actually, what would it take to really enable community businesses to move forward in quite a structured way. So this gave us a real opportunity to test that live in a couple of places through Community Catalysts using their model and test out what kind of support that community businesses need to move forward in their care provision journey…It’s really helped us to do the bit around how do we create the conditions for community businesses.”

Susie Finlayson, Power to Change

In 2021 we launched a separate project to build on learning from Telford and Wrekin and explore how to increase the role and opportunities for communities to collectively improve the health and care within their neighbourhoods. Find out more.

John Cocker, Health Improvement Practitioner at Telford and Wrekin Council, talks about the work of Community Catalysts in supporting community businesses:

Susie Finlayson, Development Manager at Power to Change, talks about the agility of community businesses, particularly through Covid: