Helping and Supporting People

“What could be more rewarding than helping and supporting others?”

Local corporate high flyer Bev Martin has decided to drastically change careers and start her own community micro-enterprise offering care and support to older and disabled people in Cherwell.

Bev was inspired by social enterprise Community Catalysts, who are running an innovative scheme in the area to help local people use their skills and talents to offer a wide range of care and support options. They have previously run the scheme in many other areas and have helped people to set up all sorts of community micro-enterprises offering anything from craft clubs to help washing and dressing.

“Wellbeing and social care had interested me for a long time, but I didn’t fully know how to bring it to life – or how diverse working in care and wellbeing actually is. Luckily, Community Catalysts was there to help.”

Community Catalysts is a social enterprise operating across the UK and it has been funded by Oxfordshire County Council to offer free support to local people who wish to set up their own enterprise or work on a self-employed basis to offer care and wellbeing services at home or in the community.

“When someone referred me to Community Catalysts, they told me the scheme would change my life,” said Bev, “and it really has.”

Within a matter of months, Bev established My Bright Space, a support service that provides wellbeing care, emotional support and hypnotherapy to adults in the county, as well as personal assistance. “People sometimes have long-held, negative self-perceptions or beliefs, and it’s incredibly rewarding to work together to create positive change,” said Bev.

“It wasn’t just the practical support I received from Anita, Oxfordshire Community Catalyst, that helped – it was the encouragement that made a difference. Knowing someone had faith in me and my enterprise was life-changing.”

Bev has also connected with a network of other caring people who run micro-enterprises in the county so they can share tips and tricks and even provide holiday cover for each other.

“It’s exciting to be part of such a key community support network.”

If you might be interested in setting up your own community micro-enterprise offering care and support you can find out more by contacting Anita Wingad, Oxfordshire Community Catalyst directly on a.wingad@communitycatalysts.co.uk or text or phone 07341 425 126 or leave your details here: www.bit.ly/CommCatsOx

To find out more about the community micro-enterprises in Oxfordshire visit: www.smallgoodstuff.co.uk/oxfordshire