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Community Catalyst energises local enterprises to support residents

two members of  the Drama Group, Patina People, performing in front of an audience

Aspiring business owners in Westminster will now be able to benefit from expert support and guidance to launch their own social enterprise in the heart of their communities.

Funded by Westminster City Council’s public health team, the two-year project will help residents establish community enterprises that provide support for older people, disabled residents and people with learning difficulties.

Community Catalysts have a dedicated team in the Borough working with residents to support the creation of a new enterprise or turbocharging existing groups or businesses. The team is there to offer help and advice every step of the way from turning a dream into a reality to growing and expanding support groups of elderly residents, or those with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). The team will also ensure that these micro-enterprises have all the necessary policies and procedures in place, prioritising safety and legality in their community businesses.

Their person-centred philosophy aims to foster independence and enable individuals to follow their passions. Once the enterprises are established, the range of activities on offer for residents will be diverse. They could include drama workshops, DJ lessons, and coffee mornings, with the aim to support people to do the things they love. Community Catalysts will help residents set up their enterprises in a way that is sustainable. This will mean they can continue to thrive in the long term, providing regular and meaningful contributions to their communities.

Gareth Wall, Bi-Borough Director of Integrated Commissioning at Westminster City Council said:

We’re really pleased to be working with Community Catalysts to help create and support micro-enterprises that are of interest to people who draw on social care. It's a partnership that fits with our aim to co-produce services with local people and take a person-centred approach to social care.”

The Community Catalysts programme is just one way that Westminster City Council is providing regular support for residents across the city. Initiatives such as the Community and Maternity Champions or Social Prescribers adopt a people centric approach to how they work to make sure residents get the highest level of support which is tailored to their needs. It is hoped that this Community Catalyst project will help address and reduce the longstanding health inequalities.  

The Council is also launching a Local Area Co-ordination programme to reduce, prevent, and delay the need for formal health and social care. Information on early intervention and prevention support will be improved making it easier for residents to access.

Cllr Nafsika Butler Thalassis, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Public Health, Adult Social Care and the Voluntary Sector added:

Our city is home to so many inspiring residents and community groups, and by working with the Community Catalyst team we can support even more to share their passions or making their business dreams a reality with the support available.

I can’t wait to see the variety of enterprises in action and make sure that these groups become part of people’s weekly routines for many years to come through our support.”

For residents or groups who are looking to take part and feel they would benefit from the support the Community Catalyst network, more information can be found on the Community Catalyst website or council webpage.

Published: 10 July 2024