Spreading community cheer

2016 was a rollercoaster of a year, but it's more now than ever that we realise the role for community businesses to bring people together. We hope you have a lovely break. There’s plenty of support and funding opportunities  in 2017, including the return of our Community Business Fund, Bright Ideas Fund and Leadership Development Programme.
Cohesion and the case for community business
"Community businesses should be part of community-led solutions.

89% of people agreed their area is the kind of place where people from different backgrounds get on well. We see this as a positive view of the health of Britain’s communities in the growth of community business by 5% over the past year"

Have a read of Vidhya’s blog piece below as to why community businesses play such an important role in integrating communities.

read the report

Investing in community business leaders

The charity sector is three times less likely to invest in leadership development than private sector bodies and is being damaged as a result, according torecent report 'Leadership Development in the Third Sector: Bridging Supply and Demand' published by Clore Social Leadership, and written by our Director of Research, Richard Harries.

But at Power to Change we are committed to building up community businesses leaders and run a  Leadership Development Programme.
Find out about our next leadership programme
Grantee of the week: Sutton Community Farm

Sutton Community Farm, is a seven-acre community owned farm on the edge of South London. The purpose is to increase access to fresh and healthy sustainable food, and provide a space for people to cultivate skills, get exercise and meet one another. They currently harvest an impressive 13 tonnes of food and they deliver 200 Vegboxes weekly to customers across South London, providing plenty of opportunities to get involved. 

As a community farm with more than 130 shareholders already, we recognised the potential of Sutton Community Farm to become more sustainable through a second share offer, allowing more of the local community the opportunity to shape the direction of the farm for as little as £30 per share. We successfully accepted them onto the Community Shares Booster Programme, agreeing to match fund their next share offer which opens soon. Head to their website for more information.
What’s it like volunteering on a community farm? – Sutton Community Farm
Watch the video above from Sutton Community Farm's Harvest Festival and find out what it's like to volunteer on the farm.
Make your share offer go further

Communities are stronger when they own the things that matter most to them, that’s why Crowdfunder with funds from Big Society Capital, are offering a £1million pot of extra funding for your community share issue, up to investments of £100,000 or 50% of a projects target.
Get help with your share offer
Get Social Finance Ready 

Social Enterprise Yorkshire and the Humber have launched ‘Get Social Finance Ready’ a short course which can help you explore social finance options for your early stage organisation, and provides a toolkit with practical information. All for a small fee of £30.

The first session takes place in Leeds on January 20, followed by another in Sheffield on March 23. 
Get social finance ready
New £2.5m Communities Fund to support communities through local authorities 
A new £2.5m Communities Fund has been launched by the Department for Communities and Local Government. They will provide support to partnerships of local authorities and community-led groups through £2 million funding in 2017.

They invite proposals from local collaborations between local authorities and neighbourhood or community organisations to bid by 16 January.

Find out more
How to commission in crisis

  Lloyds Bank Foundation created this useful ‘Commissioning in crisis’ report which is full of practical tips.

It looks at why commissioning is such a challenge for small and medium-sized charities and finds that there is a broken commissioning landscape and the changes that are needed to make it work. 

Get tips
In the news...
Coming up
13, 16, 20 Jan - Life Chances Fund Information Event - London Newcastle and Birmingham
Information about the Life Chances Fund run by DCLG. The immediate social policy areas of interest are Early Years and Youth Services, so it’s recommended you attend if interested in these areas. Register here for London, Newcastle, and Birmingham.

19 Jan - Social Entrepreneurs Programme 2017 - Devon
The Devon Social Entrepreneurs Programme 2017 will provide development support to Devon based social entrepreneurs and third sector leaders over through ten days in
athree month programme. Apply here.
3 Feb - Cooperative Futures - Chelthenham
A conference looking at how co-ops can meet the challenge of a world moving away from fossil fuels. Book now.
If you would like to advertise a community business related event or training, or volunteering/job opportunity in our next newsletter going out in January please send an email  
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The Power to Change · The Clarence Centre · St Georges Circus · London, SE1 6FE · United Kingdom