Big changes start locally

North Community Leaders Gearing Up For Innovative Programme

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North Community Leaders Gearing Up For Innovative Programme 

Community leaders from across the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber have been chosen to take part in an innovative community leadership programme.

Leading the Way - which has been developed by Power to Change and Virgin Money Foundation - offers mentoring, site visits and inspirational talks as well as financial, governance and marketing skills.

A total of 19 leaders will benefit from a tailored learning programme which includes a £8,000 grant and which supports the development and impact of community enterprises.

The programme will support them as they build their skills, confidence and networks to play a vital role supporting their communities in the North of England and across Yorkshire and the Humber.

Among the community groups chosen to participate in the programme which begins this month are Back on the Map, Cornforth Partnership and Family Voice Sheffield.

Back on the Map are a charity passionate about enhancing the quality of life of people living and visiting Hendon and the east end of Sunderland.

Joanne Cooper, CEO at Back on the Map said: “I'm looking forward to gaining many things from the Leading the Way programme. I want to strengthen our community business and make our organisation more resilient. I want to share all I learn with my team and across the wider voluntary sector. I’d like to increase the impact our organisation has on creating a better place for our residents to live and a stronger community.”

The Cornforth Partnership was born in 1996 as a community response to the growing poverty, deprivation and isolation of the industrial village of Cornforth, County Durham. As local facilities were closed, the Cornforth Partnership was established to create a community resource centre which would support the social, environmental, recreational and economic regeneration of Cornforth and its surrounding areas.

Tony Cutmore, CEO at Cornforth Partnership commented: “I am excited to be part of the Leading the Way programme. After two years of concentrating on COVID and supporting our communities to be safe, I am looking forward to networking with other organisations across the North East, develop new skills and ideas to drive the Cornforth Partnership forward.”

Family Voice, based in Sheffield, works for and with families in the surrounding communities. The organisation applies for funding to run projects that supports local parents and children.

Janine Dos Remedios – Co-Director Family Voice Sheffield added: "I cannot wait to take part in Leading the Way. Family Voice Sheffield is a small organisation that has grown in the last couple of years. This will give us the tools to lead the organisation in a positive way to have the greatest impact for the community we work with. Learning how to become a successful leader in a community business both personally and professionally, is a fantastic opportunity. I'm looking forward to taking these lessons and putting them into practice.”

Leading the Way has been developed by the trust that backs community business in England, Power to Change, and Virgin Money Foundation, who support organisations with the vision to make positive change in their communities. Both organisations share a vision of the sustainable regeneration of communities, led by people who love the places in which they live and work.

Tim Davies-Pugh, CEO of Power to Change, said: “Leading the Way will help build and shape the community businesses leaders of the future, giving them the skills and tools necessary to make practical and tangible improvements in the way their business operates and to thrive in the face of ongoing economic and social challenges.” 

Kate Bradley, Interim Executive Director at Virgin Money Foundation said: “Through the extensive work the Virgin Money Foundation undertakes with local community organisations, we really do understand how vital leadership training is. This leadership programme will give people working at the heart of communities across the North East and Yorkshire & Humber the skills and tools to make change happen at a local level on an even greater scale I can't wait to welcome our first cohort of community leaders to the programme.”


Notes to Editors

Full list of Community Groups

Organisation Name Contact Location
Action Station South Tyneside Stephen Clark North East
Back on the Map Joanne Cooper North East
Bradford Organic Communities Service Jennifer White Yorkshire
Capital of Cycling David Robinson Yorkshire
Company of Others Nadia Iftkhar North East
East Cleveland Youth Housing Trust Andy Pettersen North East
Family Voice Sheffield Janine Dos Remedios Yorkshire
Leeds Community Spaces Rachel Dodson Yorkshire
Live Well North East Debra Forth North East
Local Services 2 You Andy Petrie Yorkshire
REfUSE Bethan Hosker North East
Scholemoor Beacon Susan Moreland Yorkshire
Sky Positive Minds Shaffia Khatun Yorkshire
The Big League Samantha Hunter North East
The Cornforth Partnership Tony Cutmore North East
The Kirkgate Centre Nicole Williams Yorkshire
Ubuntu Multicultural Centre Irene Nakkazzi North East
Wearside Women in Need Katie Wheatley North East
West View & Resource Centre Katherine Parker North East

About Virgin Money Foundation

Virgin Money Foundation launched in August 2015 as an independent charitable foundation focused initially on community projects in the North-East of England and growing to operate throughout the UK over time. It promotes the sustainable regeneration of communities that have experienced social and economic decline. Since launch it has awarded over £11million in grants to community organisations across the UK.

Virgin Money Foundation seeks to work jointly with other funders, making additional funds available for great local projects.

Visit for further details.

About Power to Change

Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England.

Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector owns assets worth £870m and comprises 11,300 community businesses across England who employ more than 37,000 people. (Source: Community Business Market 2020).

From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received an original endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015 and an additional grant of £20million in 2021. @peoplesbiz

About The National Lottery Community Fund

We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people. We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive./p>

Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.

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