Fantastic weather, the beginning of July and work is underway to recruit our new Social Enterprise Zone Ambassadors. Life is good at CaVCA and we’ve been so busy over the past few months working with local people, developing new activities, and helping to inspire community action. Yesterday I opened a letter – I get very few letters through the post in these digital days – inside it was a cheque for £2300 from Sir George Martin Trust – an investment into CaVCA’s activities to stimulate local music making. We already have a silent, ‘plug and play’ rehearsal space – we now have the funds to buy a range of musical instruments so that people of all ages can come and make music. We are also in the process of negotiating the transfer of a small pocket of green space to secure its future access by the local community. We are talking with partners about buildings and the ways these could be better used for community benefit. Totally Socially is ‘on tour’ at Staxtonbury this weekend! And we’re also very excited to be launching a shiny new website next week.

Next week is our annual Totally Socially event – the Big Brew and Banter – once again we are wanting to extend conversations around how local people can make a real difference in their communities, how their ideas can be channelled into sustainable solutions for everyday living which improve lives, generate pride and purpose and enable individual and community prosperity. To inspire you we are delighted to welcome Gareth from the Regather Cooperative (https://regather.net) and John and Walter from the Hawes Community Office (http://www.hawescommunityoffice.co.uk/resources/Readers%20Digest%20Hawes.compressed.pdf)

I have a lot of conversations about the challenge of raising aspirations locally. I work with public, private and third sector agencies, grappling with this issue and wanting to make a difference. I sit on the board of the Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area which is a central government initiative aimed at raising social mobility, therefore aspirations, on the coast.

Our communities are made up of all types of people with all kinds of personal experiences, ethics and motivations. We live in a beautiful part of the country with fantastic natural physical and heritage assets at our disposal – the beach, sea, surf, countryside, cliffs, moors, wildlife, arts, culture and more. There is a strong social ecology in the area, and a desire to work together to make things happen. So why are aspirations low? Or are the aspirations held by young people simply different to those that we, mainly middle aged professionals, believe they should hold? Are we preparing our young people sufficiently – they will be more than just workers – they will be consumers, travellers, parents, learners, educators, patients, service users...

CaVCA believes that we have the tools at our disposal locally to make that collective difference. To apply values of inclusion, respect and tolerance, to embrace diversity, and to listen to and understand different perspectives and motivations. To provide the right kind of opportunities that will be relevant to local people, that will be meaningful and that will be challenging. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to the future generation to prepare them adequately for the challenges they will face, and for the opportunities they may, realistically, have to make for themselves.

I am optimistic that by continuing to have these conversations, by continuing to listen to real lived experiences, and by being proud of ourselves, our communities and our places, we can start to revitalise communities, town centres, outer estates, with a new vibrancy and enthusiasm about taking back control and doing things for ourselves. The Grimsey Review 2 talks of the need for public and private sectors to work together differently to revive our high streets, our Scarborough Coastal Communities Plan states the need and aspiration of reviving Scarborough’s town centre with a new mix of uses – the role of the social sector is critical in these efforts as the catalyst for action, the glue that binds people and the values it holds that promote diversity and mutual aid.

CaVCA is about making these things happen. Our Social Enterprise Zone Ambassador(s), once recruited, will make a massive contribution to this. If you are inspired by the possibilities created by community led enterprise, if you are proud of the area and believe in its opportunities, and if you believe that you can help people to share in this pride and belief, then why not come and work with us? - https://www.cavca.org.uk/blog/social-enterprise-zone-ambassador-cavca

We can’t do what we do without your involvement, and we wouldn’t want to either!