Imagine the energy in a room when four community artists come together to find creative ways of assisting people and their communities to improve wellbeing. That was what the East Cleveland based Whippet Up team did in 2018, combining their impressive range of skills in mental health procurement support, voluntary sector development, project management as well as community catering, music, visual and performing arts.
Soon, the Whippet Up team realised that starting a social enterprise from scratch is relatively easy; the difficult bit is how to make it work. So, having developed their delivery model, secured initial funds from National Lottery, Arts Council and Ragdoll Foundation, it was easy for them to access a funded national ‘Community Business Trade Up’ development and mentoring programme. The latter was enabled by our Social Enterprise Advisor Lola Ibhadon who supported them through the Taster Session and application process. They won a place on the programme’s 2019/20 cohort (https://www.the-sse.org/courses/community-business/).
Subsequently, an invitation from the Council’s Business Growth Team to a local community event (SHINE) gave the Whippet Up team the opportunity to inspire a 100+ audience with their presentation. Thus gaining confidence, they have successfully delivered different presentations at various events, including the National Cultures of Health and Wellbeing conference at the Great North Museum: Hancock.
Commenting on the company’s growth, Jane Cuthbert, one of the founder directors said, “Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s support has helped us talk to the ‘right’ people, tell our story and use our evidence of success to open more doors at strategic levels.”
For more information and to access Whippet Up services, please visit www.facebook.com/whippetupCIC or www.whippetup.org.uk
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