Meet the Community Business Weekend Ambassadors!

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For Community Business Weekend 2020, we will be working with ambassadors covering every region
20 Dec, 2019

For Community Business Weekend 2020, Power to Change will be working with Ambassadors covering every region of the country – promoting the annual event and supporting local community businesses.

North East

Our Community Business Weekend Ambassador for North East is Sacha Bedding, based in Hartlepool. Sacha is Chief Executive of The Wharton Trust, a community business which operates in the Dyke House area of Hartlepool.  The Wharton Trust is a Catalyst in the Power to Change Empowering Places Programme which is seeking to create a cluster of sustainable community businesses through investment and support.

“I believe that community businesses can deliver the very best services in an equitable way so that more of the benefits of successful enterprise are shared amongst and within communities and places who have traditionally missed out.”


North West

Our Community Business Weekend Ambassador for North West is Rachael O’Byrne, based in Liverpool. Rachael is a member of Kitty’s Launderette in Liverpool and has been involved in the business throughout its development stage through communications. Rachael is now involved in community engagement activities at the launderette, helping to deliver a series of get-togethers and events.

“I’m passionate about the role community businesses are playing within our neighbourhoods; reimagining local amenities, revitalising almost-forgotten buildings and animating our high streets.”


Yorkshire and Humber

Our Community Business Weekend Ambassador for Yorkshire and Humber is Jack Lynch, based in Bradford. Jack is a co-founder of Bread+Roses, a co-operatively run community cafe, co-working and events space and long-standing member of co-operative agency Chapel Street Studio. As Marketing Assistant of the UK’s only Peace Museum, he is interested in counter-culture, graphic design, queer history and trainers. Jack has many connections to arts and community organisations and is a good advocate for co-operative and community business – and Bradford!

“I am looking forward to finding out how people in Yorkshire are promoting alternative economies and working together to drive social change in their communities.”


East Midlands

Our Community Business Weekend Ambassador for East Midlands is Stephen Williams, based in Worksop. Steve has been a community leader for over 30 years, using visual and performing arts, horticulture, events and community care to bring life back to disadvantaged communities, projects and charities. Steve is the Chairman, Centre Manager and Project Manager of OASIS Community Church, Centre and Gardens, a community enterprise which is also establishing micro business models in gardening, horticulture and floristry amongst many other projects and events.

“I am excited for this opportunity to bring people, businesses, charities, enterprises, business leaders and entrepreneurs together and try to increase the effectiveness and power of the change they can make to a community.”


West Midlands

Our Community Business Weekend Ambassador for West Midlands is Carole Donnelly, based in Coventry. Carole has been involved with a wide variety of community-based businesses over the last 20 years, including her own community-based business Coventry Priory CIC. Carole runs community based social enterprise business the Community Empowerment Academy that empowers local communities to develop and grow their community businesses.

“With Coventry being City of Culture 2021 and the Commonwealth Games due in 2022, I believe Community Business Weekend is an opportunity for community businesses to really showcase what they can do and inspire others to join in across the West Midlands.”


East England

Our Community Business Weekend Ambassador for East England is Dan Harris, based in Norwich. Dan has set up three community businesses and is currently a Director of Bee Saviour Behaviour Ltd, whilst also working for Norwich City Council’s Community Enabling team supporting communities and community businesses.

“I am an artist and social entrepreneur who this year successfully crowdfunded and set up a new bee and biodiversity-focused community business. I’m really looking forward to discovering new and inspiring community businesses in the East of England as we prepare for Community Business Weekend 2020.”



Our Community Business Weekend Ambassador for London is Robert Groves, based in Essex. Robert is Chief Executive Officer at Friends of Hardie Park, a community led family park and open green space. Robert guided local residents to take ownership of the space in order to develop and enhance the area for the benefit of the local community. Over a period of years the site has developed enormously and now provides a cafe and play facility 7 days a week.

“I’m excited about connecting with other community businesses in preparation for the weekend, it’s always so inspiring to hear about the work that others are doing first hand.”


South East

Our Community Business Weekend Ambassador for South East is Loretta Lock, based in Eastbourne. Loretta is Managing Director for a CIC called Defiant Sports, the organisation is expanding with it’s own venue opening in 2020.

“I am excited about Community Business Weekend, it grows each year and with it, the awareness around community businesses! Defiant Sports will be a local hub for 2020 and I am really looking forward to supporting other businesses and having the opportunity to showcase the fantastic assets that community businesses provide to the community. Look out for a community business market in Eastbourne over #CBWknd!”


South West

Our Community Business Weekend Ambassador for South West is Alison Belshaw, based in Bristol. Alison helped to establish and develop three community businesses in the South West: The Community Farm, Buzz Lockleaze and the Red Brick Building.

“I signed up to become a Community Business Weekend Ambassador because I am passionate about community businesses, what they bring to their local area and local economy and their ownership. I want to help them to thrive – as well as encourage more to set up.”


Don’t miss out on Community Business Weekend 2020. Register and sign up to take part here.