Combat social isolation
Community businesses are founded by local residents coming together over a shared cause or challenge. They put people at the heart of all they do, and offer a safe and welcoming environment for people to come together.
85% of them tackle social isolation through volunteering opportunities, services, training, or simply by providing a space to sit and talk.
Connecting the disconnected
Community businesses support people who feel disconnected from society.
For example, they give retired people a chance to relieve their boredom and do something meaningful. Many open up their spaces to all comers in a way few other places do.
One in three community businesses work with people with physical or mental health problems. They support them to progress their personal lives and develop valuable relationships.
Many people who get involved in community businesses say it improves their confidence and wellbeing.
Helping the helpers
Community businesses can help volunteers as much as beneficiaries.
One volunteer at a community business had recently experienced a relationship breakdown and was suffering from alcoholism. She had lost her family and friends, and felt very lonely. Volunteering at the community business gave her somewhere welcoming to go.
Case study – Bramley Baths
Bramley Baths is an Edwardian bathhouse, saved from closure by the local community in 2013. It now serves as a community-led centre for fitness and health. It houses a public gym and swimming pool, and provides space for community events. In 2018, Power to Change helped them introduce new environmentally friendly technologies for a more sustainable future.
The baths are tightly rooted in Bramley and the neighbouring suburbs of west Leeds. But has it actually inspired local people to engage more in their community?
This shows the power of community businesses to help local people to participate in their community.