Imagine partnering up with all your neighbours, your postman and your dentist to run a business specifically designed to make change happen locally. That’s exactly what 7,000 community groups across England are already doing. It’s quite extraordinary if you think about it. Often these people have no business expertise, little time and face huge challenges of taking on the purchase and management of buildings and land, not to mention managing staff, volunteers and all the other commitments that come with running a business. And yet, every day, people are making it happen.
Working at Power to Change, I meet a lot of these people and am always amazed at their passion, resourcefulness and drive to make the world a better place. That’s why Power to Change is launching The Community Business Fix, a monthly podcast to showcase some of the extraordinary stories of how community businesses have set up, the opportunities they bring and how they are helping people live better lives through participation and power. We want more people to know about them and feel inspired to take power locally and run community businesses to bring long-term benefit to where they live.
In our first episode, we’ve focused on community pubs, visiting The Gardners Rest in Sheffield, a thriving hub for live music which gives training opportunities to people with disabilities. We also interviewed Sally Soady from The Anglers Rest in Bamford, a community-owned pub that now houses a post office and café, for her top tips for people who want to save their local. And we heard from Jenny Sansom from Power to Change, talking about funding and support available through the More than a Pub programme.
If you’ve ever thought about taking over your local pub, or you just enjoy drinking in one, it’s well worth a listen. And if you run one already, why not tap into the expertise of other community landlords on the Co-operative Pub Facebook group.
You can subscribe to The Community Business Fix on iTunes, Soundcloud, Tunein, Stitcher and all good podcast apps, and comment on the show @theCBfix on Twitter.