SEW Peer to Peer Learning Programme

The SEW Peer to Peer Learning Programme provides a funded opportunity for younger CICs to spend a day of learning with more experienced CICs to discuss for example, business planning/organisational development; developing the ‘offer’ or enterprise; financial modelling; market development and marketing; social impact measurement etc.

Guest Blogger Georgina James, The All for One Partnership CIC visits Bernardo Pezo, 4UPROGRESS CIC

The All for One Partnership CIC is a community centric organisation with a strong social purpose focused on increasing opportunities for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.  With a focus on Employment, Education, Housing, Health & Wellness and Community Involvement, we deliver projects that promote social inclusion and empower individuals to become involved citizens.

We take a holistic approach to service delivery, bringing our beneficiaries as close to the learning as possible and supporting them to build self-confidence and essential core skills for routes into education, employment and entrepreneurship.  Our core purpose is to help empower people to make lasting change that enables them to plan ahead and meet their own particular needs as their circumstances change.

In September 2019, we launched Creative Hub WLV, a community project that aims to support entrepreneurs from every walk of life.  Creative Hub WLV is a space for those with a creative passion but as a social business it is much more than that.  Not only do we provide affordable workspace, tools, equipment and support to individuals who have an interest in fashion, design and making, we use creative projects as a way to help our beneficiaries to develop self-confidence and additional income streams.   We run free and paid workshops/events and aim to use creativity as a way to reduce isolation, mental health challenges, depression, poverty, crime and violence by providing the space for creativity to flow.

In Spring 2020, we will be supporting a community led housing project in Wolverhampton to provide opportunities to those furthest away from employment who have an interest in learning more about technology and innovation in construction.  We have received Lottery funding to support individuals on this project to develop their skills and abilities with a view to gaining sustainable employment within the construction industry.

As part of the SEW Peer To Peer Learning Programme, we took the opportunity to visit 4UPROGRESS CIC, a project based in Stoke on Trent run by young care leavers for young people growing up in care and/or care leavers. They are a non-profit organisation and provide a range of services to support and promote the physical development, health and mental well-being of children and young people who experience the care system. They bring communities together, to educate, motivate and empower others to make positive life choices.

During the visit we engaged with Bernardo Pezo, Managing Director and members of his team to understand more about their organisation, how it operates and how it builds partnerships with government agencies and other organisations.

One thing that struck me throughout the day was the level of passion, commitment and enthusiasm shown for what the organisation does and how it engages with other organisations to provide critical support to its beneficiaries.  We talked about how we may be able to work together on some projects in the future and took his team through our ‘colour in motion’ workshop that focusses on colour energies and how they help us understand more about our approach to work, decision-making, leadership and other key aspects of personal and professional life.

I found the visit to be highly beneficial and applaud the great work that Bernardo and his team are doing.  There are so many social enterprises doing fantastic work across the West Midlands and the UK, and the Peer Learning Programme provides an opportunity to get out and about to meet them.

Following the visit, we were able to gain clarity on positioning our business as more than “another employability and work readiness service”, but a business that provides a holistic and individually focussed service based on the needs of our beneficiaries.  We have developed our thinking on how to measure our social impact and how we will continue to develop partnerships and collaborations with other organisations to really make a difference to the lives of those we support.

Thanks to Bernardo and his team from 4UProgress and to SEW for the opportunity to be involved in such a great learning experience.

Contact details: Georgina James, Website: www.all4one.org.uk

Contact details: Bernardo Pezo, Website: www.4uprogress.co.uk

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