Friday, October 09, 2009

More Thoughts On Social Enterprise

I am still thinking about social enterprise. Here is one idea:

On the notice board in the Ledbury Centre - our church’s little building - are some leaflets about All Being Well. This is a project serving Ladywood set up in partnership between Karis Neighbour Scheme - a Christian charity that we work with - and Spring To Life – which runs as a Community Interest Company (one of the relatively new legal statuses for social enterprises). All Being Well is run by Jude Greenwood whom I met at the recent Community Fun Day. Jude runs a number of courses such as stress management, assertiveness training and anger management. These look like places for locals to discuss how to overcome their problems and learn principles that they can apply to their lives.

These courses reminded me of the personal and social development courses that I've been to at Fircroft College. The idea is to discuss some really practical psychological principles and apply them to your life. On Fircroft's site there are testimonies of how they have impacted people lives. I assume at Fircroft they are funded like other college courses as we did learner agreements and achieved qualifications whereas the All Being Well courses are funded by the National Lottery. It is clear on the Spring To Life site that they are working with a Christian ethos.

Interestingly I have just noticed that the same people who taught me on the self development course at Fircroft also teach a couple of courses on bid writing and funding strategies. Might be worth doing these courses next?

I seem to remember that one of the original aims the Ledbury Centre was to run projects into the community. It’s great that now we have our Drop In Centre running there one day a week. These sound like the sort of courses that our church was thinking about running when we first got this little building. I wonder if there still are lots of things that could be set up and run in Ladywood. How would a multi-media or multi-sensory approach to such courses go down in our community? Perhaps we could incorporate music or art? A community arts project even? Just crazy some ideas!

Karis Neighbour Scheme probably knows more about the needs in Ladywood and whether there could be any need for anything like this. The examples of social enterprises from Greenbelt made me think along the lines of fair trade stalls perhaps selling eco-friendly stuff as well. But we can see from the All Being Well example that if someone knows what they are doing they might be able to set up social enterprise to get sustainable funding perhaps from a variety of sources to run courses and projects like these into the community.

What do you think?


jonny said...

great thinking. i think too often we think we need to do everything in our churches rather than work with good stuff that is already in the community...

David Nikel said...

Some great ideas. Myself and some others have done some thinking on this over the past few months and would be happy to chat?