Ideas that Change Lives

Last week I stumbled across the “Ideas that Change Lives” fund launch, part of the Personalisation Made in Leeds Network. Their ultimate goal is to establish how more can be done to make sure that people in Leeds get the care and support that they need. They aim to do this by making it easier for them to access services and pay for them with an individual budget that they have control over, and encourage and support people to set up socially enterprising services that really meet people’s needs.

The event was run by Social Business Brokers, a Community Interest Company in 2010 by Leeds-based social entrepreneurs Gill Coupland and Rob Greenland, and UnLtd (the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs) who have teamed up to find individuals and organisations with great ideas that could benefit from their investment and support.

Given that the event was less than 100 metres away from my flat, and exactly the sort of work that I am promoting through my business at the moment, I felt it would be rude of me to miss out on such an opportunity, especially as they are searching for social entrepreneurs with ideas to help people live independent lives.

I went in with two hats on, one representing Free to Live Leeds and the other championing MyCareTracker and to say that both ideas were well received was (despite my bias) an understatement. There are two grants available, a smaller kickstart grant awarded on a monthly basis, then the full grant which is awarded in December. There must have been a good 15 or 20 people there from a wide range of community groups, so it was an excellent opportunity for networking too, I picked up some great ideas and contacts from others there and think it certainly gave everyone a lift to know that so many people were working a variety of projects all aimed at the same result. Hopefully the power of the network will help everyone to achieve something that has a real impact on people’s lives.

I look forward to working with everyone that I met at the event, in some form or other, and in particular with Rob and Gill when I’m putting together what will hopefully be successful funding applications for both MyCareTracker and Free To Live, which I strongly believe will help a great number of people. I will of course keep you up to speed on any developments here.


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