Community Connect Event

Published Monday, 25th January 2016

Worcestershire Community Micro-Enterprise project is hosting a Community Connect event at Worcester Cathedral Chapter House on 18 February 2pm – 6pm. Admission is free.

The event is for people who are looking for care and support to engage and learn about local community groups and organisations. Local business people, who are willing to mentor community enterprises, are also urged to attend.

The afternoon drop in session will see small community groups - who provide local options for older people, people with disabilities - showcasing their work. 

Worcestershire has 76 community micro-enterprises offering support to more than 1,100 local people.

One of these small community enterprises is called ‘Charisma Training’ and it makes a real difference by offering training and support using talking and large print smart phones and computers.

Charisma Training successes include:

·         Enabling a man who had lost his sight due to diabetes, to research the design and manufacture of a brand new guitar - which he then made and played.

·         Taught a lady, Jan Baugh, how to use Super Nova which magnifies text on a computer and speaks it as well.  Jan said: "The training gave me my confidence back because I could check my own work, and correct my own mistakes without someone pointing them out to me. I was able to continue with my counselling career, and I am now undertaking further study in family therapy."

·         And… of the most heart-warming successes was for a grandfather who could scan his late wife’s letters into speech and then listen to them privately.

Stephanie Sergeant, owner of Charisma Training said: "The work we do with local people is hugely rewarding.  I feel privileged to work with such fantastic people to look for solutions to the issues they face.  We aim to give people back control and help them gain more independence in their lives."

The architectural gem of the country's only circular Chapter House was offered as the venue by the Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, when Community Catalysts asked for his support for local enterprises who they nurture through the Worcestershire Micro-enterprise Project.

The Dean said: ‘Community Catalysts do important work nationwide in helping people help themselves. It is good that they work in Worcestershire, and I am delighted that the Cathedral can play a part in helping to make their work better known’

The event is also supported by the University of Worcester, who have provided joint networking opportunities through Worcester Enterprise, where local enterprises get the opportunity to speak with other local entrepreneurs as well as students.

The project is run by Community Catalysts in partnership with Worcestershire County Council.

Councillor Sheila Blagg, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “Micro-enterprises offer support to more than 1,000 local people in Worcestershire. If you are interested to hear how you or someone you know can receive support or if you would like to help any of these groups please do also come along to the event on 18 February at Worcester Cathedral to find out more.

“We want to help develop the growth of micro-enterprises within the health and social care sector - just like Charisma Training. We offer support across the county to micro-enterprises with, for example, access to a wide range of funded training through Worcestershire County Council.

"Micro-enterprises are very small local enterprises that provide a range of care and support services. These could include activities that help people to gain a new skill or make new friends, lead a healthy life or enjoy a leisure activity. "

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