Community Catalyst energizes local businesses to support residents
3 mins read

Community Catalyst energizes local businesses to support residents

Budding business owners in Westminster will now be able to benefit from expert support and guidance to launch their own social enterprise in the heart of their community.

The two-year project, funded by Westminster City Council’s public health team, will help residents set up social enterprises that support older people, disabled people and those with learning disabilities.

Community Catalysts has a dedicated team in the Borough who work with residents to support the creation of new businesses or to supercharge existing groups or businesses. The team are there to offer help and advice at every stage, from turning a dream into a reality to developing and expanding support groups for older residents or those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The team will also ensure that these micro-businesses have all the necessary policies and procedures in place, prioritising safety and legality in their local businesses.

Their person-centred philosophy aims to support independence and empower individuals to follow their passions. Once businesses are established, the range of activities offered to residents will be varied. These could include drama workshops, DJ classes and coffee mornings, all aimed at supporting people to do what they love. Community Catalysts will help residents to establish businesses in a sustainable way, meaning they can continue to thrive in the long term, making a regular and meaningful contribution to their communities.

Gareth Wall, Director of Integrated Project Delivery for the Bi-Borough at Westminster City Council, said:

We are really pleased to be working with Community Catalysts to help create and support micro-enterprises that are of interest to people using social care. This partnership supports our aim to co-create services with local people and to apply a person-centred approach to social care.”

Community Catalysts is just one way Westminster City Council is providing regular support to residents across the city. Initiatives such as Community and Maternity Champions or Social Prescribers take a people-centred approach to how they operate to ensure residents receive the highest level of support tailored to their needs. We hope that Community Catalyst will help to address and reduce long-standing health inequalities.

The council is also launching a Local Area Co-ordination programme to reduce, prevent and delay the need for formal health and social care. Information about early intervention and preventative support will be improved, making it easier for residents to access.

Councillor Nafsika Butler Thalassis, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Public Health, Adult Social Care and the Voluntary Sector, added:

Our city is home to many inspiring residents and community groups, and by working with the Community Catalyst team we can help even more people share their passions or realise their business dreams with the support available.

I can’t wait to see these diverse ventures in action and ensure these groups become part of people’s weekly routines for many years to come with our support.”

Residents or groups interested in getting involved in the project who feel they could benefit from the support of the Community Catalyst network can find out more on the Community Catalyst website or on the council website.