City Poet Vanessa Kisuule co-creates new film celebrating Bristol's brilliant community businesses

Uplifting new film commissioned by Power to Change showcases the people behind city’s thriving community business network


Bristol city poet, Vanessa Kisuule, has created and narrated an emotive new poem that celebrates the people behind the city’s growing community business network.

The Sum of Several Someones was written in response to meeting the men and women powering community businesses across the city. The poem and the people who inspired it have been brought together in a new film which celebrates the movement in the city.

Featured businesses include Bristol Bike Project, a member-led co-operative which repairs and rehomes bicycles to ensure everyone has access to free transport  and Barton Hill Settlement, an inclusive community hub that provides support, education, recreation and social activities for all residents of Barton Hill. The film also features Windmill Hill City Farm, Southmead Development Trust, Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol Ferry Boats and We Can Make community-led housing initiative at Knowle West.

The film was commissioned by Power to Change, the independent trust supporting community businesses in Bristol and across England. To date, Power to Change has invested nearly £3.8M through 46 grants to community organisations in Bristol. In addition, the trust is working with Bristol City Council and its partners to improve the way that communities can gain ownership or buildings and spaces. Power to Change is also a partner of the Bristol City Fund, one of the first funds of its kind in the UK which brings together investment, grants and local authority support in a coordinated place-based approach to tackling inequality.

Speaking about the film and poem, Power to Change Director of Communications and Partnerships, Mark Gordon, said: “Bristol is a unique city with a wonderful and established sense of community and it has been inspiring to watch the community business network grow so vibrantly here.

“There are more than 30 community businesses across Bristol, all rooted in people coming together to make their neighbourhoods better for everyone who lives there. This film is a celebration of all that and more. We wanted to shout about the amazing things that are happening here and hopefully inspire others to take the lead and get involved in their own communities.”

Bristol City Poet, Vanessa Kisuule, added that she loved being part of the film – and her poem, The Sum of Several Someones, expresses her civic pride.

“As we all know Bristol really is a very special place – and it’s the people that make it so special. I wanted to write something that captured that magic that happens when people come together to share their hopes and aims and to make something new happen. That’s what these community businesses are doing, their power comes from their people so I wanted that to be the focal point of my narrative.”

You can view the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPqDTHTmFI0&feature=youtu.be

To find out more about community business in Bristol visit www.powertochange.org.uk/bristol/