National gong for Birmingham social enterprise, Our Community

National gong for Birmingham social enterprise, Our Community

Our Community CIC has been awarded a top national accolade for developing innovative solutions in response to local need in Birmingham. The Community Interest Company based in the Washwood Heath ward of Birmingham has been picking up prizes for its work since its formation in 2006, but this is the most prestigious honour that it’s won so far.

The Enterprising Communities Social Enterprise of the Year Award 2010 recognised the continuous improvement of services delivered by the group to the local community.

Accepting the award, Our Community CIC Director, Basharat Dad, paid tribute to those involved in the enterprise;

“This award is a team effort; I would like to accept it on behalf of the team at Our Community CIC, all staff, volunteers, sessional workers, placements and sports coaches. The organisation is expanding every year, it really has been an Evolution!”

Our Community CIC works in three areas – youth work, employment and sport – under the ‘Evolution’ brand. Its programme of activities has in the past included successful cricket and football academies, play schemes and advice to help the unemployed to break into the job market.

However, Basharat Dad is not content to rest on his laurels and is looking forward to a bigger future;

“We are looking to move to new premises in 2011 and will be developing exciting projects directly targeting areas highlighted by the community, making every step of the process easily accessible, enjoyable and of course not forgetting an experience one can apply in life.”

With backing from the City Council, Police and JobCentre, Our Community CIC expects to make a bigger splash in the neighbourhood in the coming years. One of the major projects due to start soon is a new youth club.

Such efforts are desperately needed in an area where almost one third of working aged men are out of work. The ward is also high in the deprivation league tables.

But because of the enthusiastic input of local people… Basharat is upbeat about the positive impact that his organisation, and others like it, can have;

“Expansion is occurring because we have a team of passionate people who have a desire to make positive changes in the community. This will mean a greater opportunity for those who need it most.”

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