COMMUNITY | Community Catalysts help make a difference

Have you heard of Community Catalysts? The UK wide organisation helps those who need care and support to live the life they want through different community initiatives, and has been successfully making a difference across Herefordshire for over 12 months.

Herefordshire’s dedicated Community Catalyst, Tess Brooks, is working on a two year Enterprising Communities project, to help reduce social isolation and loneliness across the county, through the creation of local community enterprises, businesses and groups.

We asked Tess about her role and the positive results it’s achieved so far in Herefordshire, she told us:

“One of the best things about working at Community Catalysts is its focus on people, and not the stereotypes of ‘vulnerable’, ‘lonely’ or ‘disempowered’ people, waiting to be saved by some sort of intervention. It’s the real people that I work with every day, all kinds of them, helping to establish and grow local community enterprises and businesses to further strengthen our communities.

“I’m delighted with what we’ve been able to achieve in just over a year in Herefordshire. We’ve helped to create or sustain 57 local jobs through 50 different local enterprises, which support 116 local volunteers, all of whom make a significant difference in our communities. There’s now 1,160 more options for local people with 488 people in Herefordshire now doing things they weren’t or couldn’t do before (this doesn’t even take into consideration the positive impact this will have also had on family and friends!).

“There’s so many great stories and inspiring local people behind this success and it’s been a pleasure to have worked with all of them. It’s real people like…

Bonnie: Who established a local meals on wheels service to help older adults stay independent.

Mike: Who decided to set up a mobility aid shop instead of retiring.

Emma: Who set up a counselling service to help local people find happiness.

“If you’re looking to make a difference in your local area by setting up a community enterprise, business or group, which can help to reduce isolation and loneliness, then I’d love to hear from you!”

If you’d like to get in touch with Tess, please e-mail tess.brooks@communitycatalysts.co.uk or to find out more about the Community Catalysts, visit www.communitycatalysts.co.uk.