20 May 2010
Today, Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd visited Paddington Development Trust to see first hand the work of social enterprises and the benefits they bring to local communities.
On his first visit as Minister for Civil Society, Mr Hurd met with Jackie Rosenberg, Deputy CEO of the Paddington Development Trust and Steve Wyler, CEO of the Developments Trusts Association. This was followed by meeting local residents at Paddington Development Trust’s Enterprise Centre who were taking part in a workshop on setting up their own business.
After which Mr Hurd had a tour of Church Street neighbourhood centre where he met with the Trust's neighbourhood team and local residents who together are delivering a range of improvements to their neighbourhood, including employment skills and attracting new businesses to the street market.
The Paddington Development Trust is a community-based social enterprise that was set up by local residents to support and empower people to come together to create positive change in their community.
The Trust runs four neighbourhood hubs in the area which bring together local residents and the main service providers, such as the Council and NHS, to work out solutions to local problems. It also acts as a social and community enterprise mentor for local organisations by providing business management advice and support, a youth training centre where young people can learn new skills and provide advice services on finance, healthcare and employment.
Mr Hurd, said:
The Paddington Development Trust is a great example of how a social enterprise can make a real difference to a community. The support, advice and services they provide are making a huge difference to people in their area.
“As we announced earlier this week we have entered a new era of people power at the centre of the new Government and it’s really exciting to see an organisation where this is already happening. Our Big Society agenda is all about empowering local people and communities to bring about the changes they know their community needs. By putting the power back in the hands of people we will enable them to come together and work together to makes things happen.”
Deputy CEP of the Paddington Development Trust, Jackie Rosenberg, said:
Paddington Development Trust works because it has been driven over the last 10 years by the passion and commitment of local people who want to improve their own neighbourhoods. We work in some very deprived neighbourhoods where people need support to play their part in the Big Society. In effect, we make the Big Society bigger by making it a reality in challenging areas.
Earlier this week the Government announced putting Big Society at the heart of public sector reform. The cross-Government policy programme will create a climate that empowers local people and communities, building a Big Society that would roll back big government, bureaucracy and Whitehall power and includes supporting mutuals, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises and giving them greater involvement in the running of public services.
Funds from dormant bank accounts will also be used to establish a Big Society Bank, which will provide new finance for neighbourhood groups, charities, social enterprises and other non-governmental bodies.