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Supporting Communities

“The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbour. .”

                                                                                                               Hubert Humphrey

What we do

  • Community needs assessments
  • Consultation and engagement
  • Capacity and aspiration building
  • Project management
  • Research and feasibility
  • Partnership building and liaison
  • Neighbourhood planning
  • Social enterprise development
  • Business planning

Our approach

We work closely with authorities, agencies, and communities to help identify practical and well thought out sustainable solutions to local issues based upon local circumstances and aspirations.

We support the Transition Communities and One Planet Living concepts and help people to identify their assets and address patterns of living and working that are unsustainable.

We have extensive experience in working with communities and have developed and supported many volunteer groups, charities and social enterprises.

Our approach is to really listen and understand the aspirations of a community or authority and work closely with them to develop ideas that will solve problems both today and in the future.

We also work closely with our partner the Sustainable Land Trust to facilitate and support community projects.

Why people like us

We try to help people find a voice and we operate on a ’host and float‘ basis where we support a new group or individual until they have a capacity and confidence to use their new skills to manage a project or enterprise on their own.

 

Case Studies

Feeling Good about Food

We have been delighted to be involved in the founding and development of the Feel Good Food Group, a community enterprise based in and around Sherwood Forest.

The group evolved out of discussions between parents about the availability of affordable organic fruit and vegetables in their area. We were able to support the development of the idea for the group and helped to mentor their new Project Manager to become acquainted with the third sector and social enterprise.

The group has a membership of over 20 families, as well as schools and a child day nursery. Members grow produce in their own gardens and share the results with other members. There is also a community garden where members meet once a week to learn new skills and gain confidence in growing large scale or difficult produce.

The scheme runs on a LETS system where ’Robins’ form an alternative currency and members can buy produce or skills from other people within the group.

White Goods Recycling in Erewash

This project involved working with Erewash Local Strategic Partnership to determine the feasibility of developing a white goods recycling enterprise that provides skills, training, education and employment opportunities for members of the community.

We have worked in several community based recycling schemes across the East Midlands and have used our knowledge which has been developed over the last ten years in the practicalities of running such a project.

Our staff were involved in developing Recycling Ollerton and Boughton, a nationally acclaimed charity which provides opportunities for people with learning difficulties to integrate with other members of the community through doorstep collections and social activities.

Our key focus for Erewash was to establish whether the proposal is sustainable, and to identify activities that would contribute to their aspirations to develop sustainable communities within the Borough.

Ethos

We work within the National Standards of Community Engagement and the Consultation Charter and follow best practice advice from the following organisations:

  • Community Planning
  • Consultation Institute
  • Royal Town Planning Institute

Contributing to Rural Regeneration

We have many years experience in working within rural regeneration and have supported both individuals and groups to aspire and succeed through our training and support programmes.

Our staff are creative and innovative in their approaches and can often find solutions and linkages that creates new opportunities within a community.

One such project is the development of the CO21 Eco-Shop in New Ollerton, Nottinghamshire. The aim was to stimulate economic activity, and in particular retail and tourism within the area. Working with Ecologic, we developed the concept of the shop which will provide a showcase and central marketing point for local environmental or socially focused rural businesses.

The ultimate aim is to create a local brand where products can be sold over the internet and marketed to visitors. In addition the shop stocks a range of eco- products that people can buy or have demonstrated to them. The shop contains a noticeboard for local community groups, and it also aims to provide regular seminars and training events in sustainable living.