Community Catalysts is a community interest company with over 10 years of experience in helping people and communities across the country to use their talents to start and run community enterprises and community businesses that support and care for other local people.
We were commissioned by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) in 2019 to deliver an innovative project, nurturing new and existing community enterprises across the vibrant, rural Ryedale area. At the time, care and support needs were high and, due to the rural nature of the area, the choice of services was limited. Our project aims to offer more options for local people, create inclusive communities and keep local money local which is particularly key in rural areas.
The Community Catalyst – Kathy Peacock, who is running the project, is supported by North Yorkshire County Council, Ryedale District Council, Stronger Communities and many voluntary organisations, who not only promote the project but also promoted the new community enterprises who have set up as part of the project and now offer quality care and support.
As part of the project, Kathy supports people to go through our ‘Doing it Right’ framework which ensures their community enterprises are legal and ethical. Sam, who runs Direct Social Care, says -
|‘Kathy helped me with everything I needed. She helped me develop my business idea, checked my procedures to make sure they were right and helped with marketing. Without her support I don’t think I would have set up on my own. It’s the best thing I have ever done and love going to work!’|
These community enterprises have a more personalised approach in the care and support they offer and they understand the unique challenges that people in rural areas have in getting that support. They are consistent, reliable and flexible and build strong relationships, nurturing connections within and between rural communities. As an example of this, one of the community enterprises recently supported a customer to create a Facebook page so she could talk to her friends and family and stay connected to the wider community during the pandemic.
Kathy is currently supporting 20 people which includes 6 who have successfully set up their own community enterprises across Ryedale, creating more choice and strengthening the rural economy. Positive feedback from the people and families supported by the community enterprises are a testament to this innovative way of working. A family member who uses one of the community enterprises said:
|‘Thank you for all you have done for mum…you have been a ray of sunshine…she looks better each week time goes on’|
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