The spotlight on...Community Catalysts

Date posted: 1st August 2022

Every month we will feature a different voluntary, community or faith sector organisation across the Bay. This time the spotlight is on…Community Catalysts 

Community Catalysts is a social enterprise working across the UK to support local people to use their skills and talents to help other local people that may need support to live the life they want. 

The projects in Cumbria work with local people who want to develop small enterprises and ventures offering a range of help and support for older and disabled people at home. People could offer help with anything from cleaning, getting washed and dressed, shopping, cooking, dog walking, trips out, DIY, gardening or companionship. 

The aim is to help diversify the local care offer to increase choice for people that may need support and to deliver hyperlocal care to those in our more rurally isolated communities.  

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What services does your organisation offer?

Community Catalysts said: "We are running a new and exciting project in the South Lakes (Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside, Grange-Over-Sands), in partnership with Cumbria County Council, following the successes of the project in North Allerdale. 

"The project aims to stimulate the development and growth of community enterprises that provide a wide range of help and support for older and disabled people at home. 

"We run a free development programme to help people work for themselves offering care and support. Helping people to follow the right rules and regulations, market their offer, access training and feel part of a community.

"The development programme can:

⦁    offer people a friendly and supportive point of contact to explore ideas
⦁    support people to develop their community enterprise
⦁    give people practical information on regulation, training and opportunities in the health and    social care sector
⦁    direct people to other organisations that can help

"The South Lakes project and development programme is coordinated by our Community Catalyst- Jade Gibson, for more information contact Jade Gibson on 07435 943933 or emailat"  

Who uses your services every year?

Community Catalysts said: "The project has been successfully running in North Allerdale since September 2021, coordinated by Becky Goddard, and has supported nine community enterprises to set up with 12 more currently being supported through the programme. Most operate as sole traders offering care and support at home and one operates as a community interest company (CIC) offering postural stability classes."

Feedback from service users: 

The North Allerdale Community Catalyst, Becky Goddard, collaborated closely with Alex Corbett to get everything together to enable her to set up her enterprise in a way that is safe and legal - Alex now runs Canny Care as a sole trader:

Alex, of Canny Care, said: “I didn’t know where to start and then I saw the Community Catalysts advert and got in touch. Becky has supplied me with invaluable advice and support with regards to how to set up as a self-employed person. 

“Becky also signposted me to a free three-day business course with the Chamber of Commerce and through this, I was given free advice from a knowledgeable business advisor who helped me set up my website. Becky has also linked me in with the local authority and I had the opportunity to meet social workers to talk about what I offer.

“ I now feel I have the confidence, knowledge, resources and support I need, all made possible by the Community Catalysts team, especially Becky who has always been on hand to help and advise me every step of the way.”

Canny Care is just one example of the range of community micro-enterprises being supported by Community Catalysts to get off the ground. They are safe, flexible and reliable and help local    people live their lives the way that they want.

A PDF version of the case study can be found here.

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