The team are continuing their celebrations this week as we all look back on the first year of the Community Wealth Builder project and it’s achievements.
The programme set out to support new and existing social business across the Sheffield City Region and over it’s first year has seen a fantastic response from social enterprises, cooperatives and community interest companies.
Read what the team have had to say, including the Director of Public Health, Rupert Suckling, on hopefully the first of many successful years of the project…
Community Wealth Builder Celebrates Its First Year
South Yorkshire’s Community Wealth Builders programme is celebrating a successful first year supporting South Yorkshire’s social enterprises.
The Community Wealth Builder project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and provides support to new and existing social businesses and charities across South Yorkshire using a person-centred approach to local economic development. Support is tailored to meet individual needs but includes one to one advice, workshops, training, and networking events.
There have been lots of new enterprises directly started to help people and provide support during the pandemic. So far, the project is supporting 71 pre, new-start and existing social enterprises.
The effects of social distancing, lockdown, loss of family members and loss of work over the past year are having a huge impact on the region’s mental health. Numerous social enterprises across South Yorkshire have been responding to this need by finding creative ways to support people to keep healthy during these difficult times.
Dr Rupert Sucking, Director of Public Health in Doncaster, said:
“In its first year, this valuable project has created links between local people, community-based enterprises and the region’s anchor organisations, breaking down barriers to procurement and fostering a buy local approach. COVID has widened pre-existing inequalities in society, and our social enterprises have been at the heart of helping Doncaster to recover.”
Councillor Nigel Ball, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure and Culture said:
“Social enterprises have a vital role to play in the public health sector. They bring both creativity and innovation to complex social problems and they are passionate about making sustainable changes in the communities in which they work”
Stacey Parry, Well Doncaster Improvement Officer said:
“We’re giving social enterprises tailored support to enable them to succeed. Businesses we’ve supported this year include Refurnish, People’s Focus Group, S4All, Empowered in Nature and Manna. Support has included adapting their services to become COVID secure, plus help with accessing funding and introducing new services or products.
“Bee You Counselling and Wellbeing Services in Mexborough came forward for support at pre-start stage as they recognised the effect the pandemic was having on people’s mental health and wanted to help. With our support they have secured premises, have accessed various grant pots and have been introduced to key services across Doncaster who are referring their clients.”
There have been training programmes for social enterprises with advice and information about starting up, accessing grant funding and achieving growth. More training and development activity is planned for 2021, including networking groups and mentoring circles.
Community Wealth Builders now has an online platform, a one-stop-shop for information, advice and guidance. The website hosts webinars, online training, factsheets and links to live procurement opportunities across South Yorkshire. People can find out more and register at www.communitywealthbuilder.co.uk