Community Catalysts is a social enterprise working across the UK to try to make sure that people who need care and support to live their lives can get help in ways, times and places that suit them, with real choice of attractive local options. Community Catalysts helps local people use their energies and talents to deliver sustainable social care and health support and services for other local people, creating local jobs and volunteering opportunities. Since 2007 they have worked with partners in 49 areas.
The community micro-enterprises and ventures helped by Community Catalysts provide much more choice for people needing care and support. The services are usually co-designed and often co-produced. They help people live a good life, connected into and contributing to their community. Older and disabled people and those with experience of using services play a variety of roles in the design and delivery of community micro- enterprises and ventures and a growing number of people are setting up their own community micro-enterprises.
Community Catalysts is also passionate about supporting people who are marginalised within their community to use their, often untapped, skills, interests and talents. They have designed and are co-ordinating the exciting Do Your Thing Project, in the West Yorkshire borough of Kirklees. Do Your Thing runs for 22 months and is funded by Kirklees Community Partnerships and Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Groups(CCGs).
The project is engaging with people with a learning disability and/or autism, particularly those who are not eligible for care services, to help them to think about what they do with their time. The main aim is to support people to take a lead in starting their own activity, support or interest groups. Co-ordinator Mark Finch is based at Volunteering Kirklees in the centre of Huddersfield. This inspiring case study provides just one example of the great outcomes of this project.