Watch now: our first online Community Business Festival!

On 13-14 August, Power to Change hosted the first ever online Community Business Festival, showcasing community businesses from across the country. We hosted behind-the-scenes tours, inspirational talks, practical how-to sessions, fitness classes, sewing challenges, inspiring discussions designed to get people interested in supporting and starting community business, networking opportunities and more. You can watch most sessions back already on our Facebook page, and soon the remaining activities will be available in this blog.

Did any of you manage to join us for Community Business Festival? Please take 2 minutes to give us feedback: https://powertochange.typeform.com/to/L2E93eVM

Day 1 kicked off with wake-up wellbeing activities with Defiant Sports, a community business in Eastbourne, that delivers sports for people of all abilities.

Then Veronica Gordon, our new podcast host, interviewed Hannah from Nudge and Jabo from the Diversity Business Incubator about how they saved their street.

Next up, we went to Castleford for a behind-the-scenes tour of Castleford Heritage Trust’s Queens Mill where we met the amazing Dave the Miller.

We were joined by Sacha Bedding from Wharton Trust, Hartlepool, and Nasim Qureshi from Inspired Neighbourhoods in Bradford to talk about how to support your community through times of great change. Then we joined Homebaked to find out how to make the perfect pie…

…and Black Rootz at Wolves Lane Horticultural Centre to find out how to get started sprouting at home.

In the afternoon, our host Veronica joined our very own Bonnie and Mike, as well as Samuel Alebioshu from 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, to find out what it takes to become a trustee of a community business.

Later, we premiered our first mini documentary yesterday, showcasing the community businesses tackling fast fashion. Stitched Up and Makers HQ showed us how to re-work clothes and why it’s important to re-use, recycle and save the environment.

Finally we ended the day with Isolation Station, Hastings for a Summer Social including a hilarious house hunt party, life drawing and ended in The Prodigy’s Firestarter! If you missed this one, I’m afraid you missed out!

On the second day of the online festival, we joined St Mary Magdalene CIC for a boxing themed workout in their incredible venue in Bradford.

Then we traveled the country to find out how two community businesses dealt with the coronavirus crisis, with Itteringham Community Shop in the East of England and Upper Norwood Library, London, in Smells like Community Spirit.

We made a splash with a behind-the-scenes tour of Byrne Avenue Baths in Wirral, a magnificent swimming baths that was closed to the public, but is now in community hands.

Then we had a look around Eastville Lido in Bristol, the lido is in a state of disrepair, but we found out what plans are for the space in future. Jump in and watch both videos in The Life Aquatic. We followed this with Dive into Crowdfunding, joined by our own Programme Manager, Naomi Samson and Crowdfunder to find out how to raise funds and support from a crowd, and how Jubilee Pool in Penzance crowdfunded to renovate the UK’s largest art deco sea water lido!

One the last day, we explored the dynamic world of community-led housing, and took on some of the challenges these organisations face and looked at problem solve creatively with It Starts with Art.

Over on Facebook, we celebrated the Nature Hour, and enjoyed some environmental, wellbeing and nature videos from a diverse range of community businesses: from Bath City Farm, to Bee Saviour Behaviour, Repowering London and Hackney Herbal.

Community businesses offer a wide variety of volunteer roles, and we ran an inspirational session looking at how easy and rewarding it is to volunteer with your local community business. If you’re feeling inspired, check out your nearest volunteer centre for local opportunities.

Like all good Fridays, we’re ended in the pub to find out how two communities saved their locals and made them so much more than a pub featuring The Bevy and Then One Day… stars Anglers Rest!