About to embark on a new enterprise for local people in Solihull, Colebridge Trust approached Locality to see if other Locality members could help their cause.

We were keen to know more about how other community organisations had gone about setting up food projects based upon the social supermarket concept. Also in the mix, in our quest to learn from others, was to find out more about community asset development.

After looking at some fantastic examples of good practice in this field of social enterprise, we decided to visit the Goodwin Development Trust due to their wide range of exciting projects including an expanding portfolio of community housing.

To make the most of our visit we were joined by a fellow member of the Locality West Midlands Consortium: St Albans Community Association. St Albans are currently exploring community-led housing for older people and an opportunity like this was too good to miss!

So, last week, thanks to the Knowledge and Skills Exchange Grant Programme (KSE) run by Locality, we set off on an adventure to Hull…and thank goodness we did!

Welcomed by Peter McGurn, CEO of Goodwin, we discussed the valuable work of our respective community organisations before setting out on a tour of the Thornton estate.

Peter took us to see their new social housing development, currently under construction; comprising of 41, two and three bedroomed homes. A perfect example of how community asset ownership could deliver lasting social, economic and environmental change.

Over the two days of our visit, we swopped stories of our work, shared information, good practice ideas all of which will help with our future development and growth.

Tonia Flannagan – CEO of St Albans Community Association: “I saw projects that I will be looking to have discussions about……with a view to piloting them at St Albans……also the journey and the processes around Community-Led Housing, the learning and different types of housing possibilities were really useful”.

Dave Pinwell – CEO of Colebridge Trust: “They don’t slumber by the Humber! Goodwin is an inspirational organisation to visit and learn from, an exemplar of an asset led driving passion to meet the needs of a local community, generate local pride and make lives better. So much to learn from.”

Locality’s Knowledge and Skills Exchange programme is designed to help like-minded organisations share good practice and help to inspire future growth and development – I have to say….. this visit did exactly that!

 – Sue Howarth, Colebridge Trust