Today sees the launch of a brand-new programme that supports community enterprise leaders to build their skills, confidence and networks to continue playing a vital role supporting communities in the North East of England and across Yorkshire and Humberside.
Leading the Way: A leadership programme for community enterprises has been developed by the trust that backs community business in England, Power to Change, and Virgin Money Foundation, who support organisations with the vision to make positive change in their communities. Both organisations share a vision of the sustainable regeneration of communities, led by people who love the places in which they live and work.
Leading the Way offers a tailored learning programme that balances one-to-one development and group learning, with a grant of £8,000 to support the development and the impact of community enterprises. With a programme mentor, site visits and inspirational talks, this programme will enable participants to co-produce a development plan to track their progression, learn from others and further their leadership skills and knowledge.
The first round, opening 2 December, will see the recruitment of 20 community leaders who are looking to develop as leaders and might feel other leadership programmes aren’t for them. It will support these leaders to progress their leadership and their organisations to the next stage.
Like all organisations, community enterprises have felt the financial impacts of Covid-19. However, unlike many businesses, they’ve also been working with some of the most vulnerable people in their communities throughout the pandemic and the need for their services has increased. Leading the Way will support these leaders to refine their leadership skills to strengthen their organisation and deepen its impact within their community.
Alex Steeland, Programme Manager at Power to Change, said: “We are proud to work with Virgin Money Foundation to deliver this vital programme to community enterprise leaders that dedicate themselves to create positive change in their areas.
Leading the Way will provide leadership, financial, marketing and governance skills, amongst many more, that will enable the successful applicants to be effective and impactful leaders.”
Nancy Doyle-Hall, Executive Director at Virgin Money Foundation, said: “Through our work with local community organisations, Virgin Money Foundation understands how vital leadership training is. This is an important investment in the people leading change in local neighbourhoods and we look forward to welcoming our first cohort of community leaders to the programme.”
Notes to Editors
About Virgin Money Foundation
Virgin Money Foundation launched in August 2015 as an independent charitable foundation focused initially on community projects in the North-East of England and growing to operate throughout the UK over time. It promotes the sustainable regeneration of communities that have experienced social and economic decline. Since launch it has awarded over £11million in grants to community organisations across the UK.
Virgin Money Foundation seeks to work jointly with other funders, making additional funds available for great local projects.
Visit virginmoneyfoundation.org.uk for further details.
About Power to Change
Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England.
Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector owns assets worth £870m and comprises 11,300 community businesses across England who employ more than 37,000 people. (Source: Community Business Market 2020).
From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received an original endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015.
About The National Lottery Community Fund
We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.
We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life. Tnlcommunityfund.org.uk