Open door event will showcase Community Business

Social enterprise Halifax Opportunities Trust is to open its doors to local businesses as part of Community Business Weekend.

The long weekend of national events, from Thursday, October 5 to Sunday, October 8, will celebrate 7,000 community businesses across England which are run by their own local communities. It will enable more than 150 businesses and organisations to showcase the positive impact they have on society and get more people involved in their valuable work.

Halifax Opportunities Trust, Calderdale’s second biggest charity, will hold its event on the Thursday (October 5) starting off with a business networking session at Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre, the  community-based business centre run by the Trust.

The Elsie Whiteley Centre, in Hopwood Lane, Halifax, is home to a whole range of thriving small businesses, with rental income from its office space and meeting rooms funding the charity’s important work helping disadvantaged families across the district.

Guests will then be taken on a tour of The Outback, the Trust’s community kitchen and garden in Lightowler Road, Halifax, (HX1 5NB).

The Trust developed 0.4 hectares of unused and overgrown urban green space at the rear of Jubilee Children’s Centre to create the community garden, which combines an edible landscape with areas of natural play. This eco-friendly project runs on organic and sustainable principles and is packed full of edible produce including herbs, fruits and vegetables. It offers lots of interesting areas for local people to explore and learn about the natural environment.

Halifax Opportunities Trust CEO Alison Haskins said: ““We’re very excited to be involved in Community Business Weekend which will raise the profile of social enterprises doing valuable work across the UK. We are just one type of community business but there are a whole range of others, which can be anything from shops, pubs, farms, or call centres to name but a few.

“What we all have in common is that we are accountable to our communities and that the profits we make are put back into those communities to deliver positive local impact.

“But any successful community business relies on local support. That’s why Community Business Weekend is so important, in giving people chance to find out more about the organisations in their area, showcasing what’s on offer and highlighting how people can get involved.”

The garden tour starts at 11am

The rest of the schedule is as follows:

The event starts at 9.30am and will include an advice session (10.15am) from Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers Spenser Wilson of Pellon Lane, Halifax. Directors Sally Shacklock (FCA) and Andrea Kennedy will talk about “Making Tax Digital” – the biggest change to the UK’s tax system for a generation. They will explain how Government plans to upgrade the tax system for the digital age will affect small business owners and will advise them on how to adapt to the changes.

This will be followed by open business networking and a “hidden talent” session to discover how people could use their particular skills to support community businesses in their area.

  • Community Business Weekend is run by Power to Change, an independent charitable trust that supports community businesses in England and campaigns for their greater recognition as an economic model.
  • The weekend is also supported by Campaign Collective which helps charities, social enterprises and public service organisations with affordable professional communications advice and support. The organisation’s profits are used to subsidise support for micro charities and community organisations and to help develop the next generation of communications professionals.
  • The third partner is Eden Project Communities. Eden Project is an educational charity and social enterprise, which creates gardens, exhibitions, art, events, experiences and projects to explore how people can work together and with nature towards a better future. Its aim is to improve the happiness and wellbeing of people across the UK by helping to build stronger and better-connected communities, while supporting them to tackle local issues that matter most to them.

To reserve a place at the event please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/community-business-networking-tickets-37806987718