Record number of fledgling community projects take flight with help from POP

Hooray – some good news! POP ideas is delighted to announce that in the last three months of 2020 nearly a quarter of a million pounds – £224,500 – has been awarded to a handful of Plymouth community projects, such as Plymouth Hope and sail-training charity, The Island Trust.

Since the beginning of the first lockdown POP ideas has seen demand for its support to voluntary, community, social enterprise groups and organisations across the city rocket. The POP ideas team has providing more than two hundred hours of one-to-one advice and more than a hundred digital workshops and training sessions. What is really heartening, says Imogen Potter, the Capacity Building Manager, is the number of people who want to support others for the first time;

“The willingness and enthusiasm that we have seen from people who want to start something or get a project going has been amazing. We’ve given advice to at least forty people who were previously unknown to us all of whom want help to turn their idea into action. Not only are there some great ideas out there but there are some great people too.”.

One recently-established initiative is the Mindful Art Club which was set up in September 2019 by Emma Sprawson and Peggy Melmoth. After being made redundant following the closure of Broadreach House where they had both worked as art therapists, Emma and Peggy, took a giant leap to set up the MAC. As Emma says, the support of POP ideas was invaluable;

“We didn’t have a clue what we needed to do or how to go about it. Things like how to start a business; setting up a bank account and what kind of organisation we should be. POP has been brilliant. The help we’ve had has made a massive difference: they really are there for you and are committed to helping you get stuff off the ground and making a success of things.”

And, even though they have only been able to take part in the POP virtual networking events, the sessions, says Emma, have been really beneficial;

“We’ve been taking part in the POP coffee mornings on zoom and it’s been brilliant to meet so many different people from different organisations and see what they are doing. Plymouth is a really great place for community groups.”

The Mindful Art Club is currently running a weekly Tuesday zoom session where individuals can find a little (on-line) sanctuary based around a simple art project offering creativity, company and social connection.

For more information about the Mindful Art Club and its Tuesday sessions visit https://mindfulartclub.co.uk/

If you would like to find out more about how POP can help you to help others then contact us at info@plymouthoctopus.org or telephone 395131. We can help with the practicalities of setting-up a neighbourhood community network, (including safeguarding); digital technology training, communication and we can help to fund you.