Empowering Places was a unique five-year programme designed by Power to Change to explore ways in which catalytic community anchors could be strengthened to seed sustainable clusters of community business, with the hope that this would reduce inequalities and build more resilient and prosperous communities.
The programme, delivered by Cooperatives UK in partnership with New Economics Foundation and Centre for Local Economic Strategies, provided a blend of funding and capacity-building support to ‘catalyst’ organisations in six neighborhoods experiencing of high levels of deprivation.
You are invited to join this webinar to hear a presentation of our sixth and final learning report, led by Renaisi. We will discuss key insights from across the six Empowering Places areas, reflect on some of the risks and realities of investing in highly deprived communities and consider transferable features of investment that have enabled success during the programme. We hope the session will be useful for places, stakeholders and funders interested in delivering similar work.
Lily O’Flynn, Principal Consultant for Place-based Evaluation & Learning, Renaisi
Lily will be presenting the findings from the final evaluation report at this webinar. She leads the team at Renaisi, who have been ‘embedded’ evaluators for the Empowering Places programme since 2019. Renaisi is a social enterprise that helps people and places thrive by challenging the root causes of economic and social exclusion across the UK. They do this by supporting people to learn, work and connect with their community; help organisations across the UK to understand and evaluate their impact on communities; and develop collaborative strategies for improving places.
Sacha Bedding, Chief Executive, Wharton Trust
Sacha leads The Wharton Trust, based in Dyke House area of Hartlepool, which is one of Empowering Places ‘catalyst’ organisations. Dyke House sits within the top 2% of deprived wards in the UK. The Wharton Trust is a well-established community organisation that actively supports the growth of resident engagement and community leadership in the area, aiming to inspire and empower the local community to apply their own solutions to local problems.
Jo Blundell, Co-Lead, Place Matters
Jo co leads Place Matters, which convenes the Empowering Places community of practice. Place Matters is a partnership committed to accelerating the impact of place-based change through learning. Place Matters’ ambition is to support practitioners and organisations looking to collaboratively bring about transformational change to their places, and create more favourable funding, commissioning, and policy environments for place-based working.