Partnership-building at Community Plus
Earlier this year, Community Plus welcomed a new team member to support the Coordination Managers in delivering the Do Something Now fund.
Community Partnership Manager Dianne Watkinson is now the fund’s single-point-of-contact for enquiries, applications and monitoring, supporting Kirklees’ thriving voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.
Dianne said: “Do Something Now is about ‘people helping people’ and, at Community Plus, we work in partnership with the local third sector to provide financial and practical support to help activities sustain and flourish.”
In recent weeks, Dianne has visited dozens of Do Something Now-funded projects and been amazed at the diversity of initiatives which the fund has helped get off the ground.
“For me, it’s great to see the new projects in action but, more importantly, I love to chat to residents who have taken part and hear how it has made a positive change in their lives,” added Dianne.
A woodworking project was funded this summer which supports residents of a Huddersfield-based housing charity for men who have been street homeless, suffered trauma in their lives and battled addictions.
Happy Days came to Community Plus for support in launching a project to help residents bond, gain confidence and learn skills such as time-keeping and working both as a team and independently. The participants ordered materials, trained in basic woodworking skills and built bird houses, garden benches and flower boxes to market and sell through social media. Happy Days ran the project in partnership with local timer merchants, men’s mental health charities and employment agencies.
Here’s the feedback from one of the Happy Days residents who took part in the project: “I left School and didn’t take any exams and from there I didn’t live a productive life. I went down another road of crime and drugs and once you are down there it’s hard to get back and I didn’t know how to get back. I haven’t really got a work history to shout about. Being part of the social enterprise is great. When you know you have built a bench and a customer is giving you the credit and telling you how lovely it is, it feels good; the sense of achievement is a nice feeling. That feeling that I have done something productive helps me to feel more confident and approach things in a different way.”
What a great example of small pot of funding making a huge difference to people’s lives!
NB: Do Something Now is currently closed to new applications. Watch our social media and website for news of our re-launch. If you would like to join our mailing list for DSN updates, please email Dianne.firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your group or organisation.