Our year in review Plunkett Foundation in 2018

From hosting national events, publishing key reports and supporting partner organisations, Plunkett Foundation has both represented and raised the profile of the community business model in 2018.

Below is a timeline of our activity throughout the year:

January 2018

We kick started the new year with the launch of our #TheLittleThings campaign with case-study films featuring:

Funded by English Rural and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the campaign highlights the role of rural community businesses in helping people overcome issues such as loneliness and isolation. We are proud to have had support from the following organisations on the campaign:

Watch our #TheLittleThings video showing how community businesses make it their business to support people in rural areas:

#TheLittleThings campaign was successful across our social media channels

February 2018

  • We started the month by sending out Party Packs, sponsored by Power to Change, to our 2017 Award winners (right: Cletwr)
  • Sarah Taylor (Events & Engagement Officer) and Harriet English (Head of Engagement) headed along to SCVO's The Gathering Conference in Glasgow where they met organisations including Corra Foundation, Age UK Scotland and heard from Nicola Sturgeon
  • Ashley Sellwood, Communications & Marketing Officer, ran a webinar on 'Social media for community businesses' as part of Locality's Bright Ideas programme which can be found on our Vimeo channel here
  • Additionally, Donna Smith (Community Business Manager) hosted a workshop at the Bright Ideas Conference in London

March 2018

In March, output was focused on the More Than a Pub programme (jointly funded by Power to Change and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) and the close of one of our projects:

April 2018

In April we published a number of community pub case studies, as part of the More Than a Pub programme, which can be viewed below:

We have a library of interactive community pub case studies

May 2018

With a busy start to 2018, May was no different and we were pleased to be launching a new membership project for community pubs and support our partners:

June 2018

In June, we were pleased to welcome a number of new staff to Plunkett Foundation:

July 2018

July was a special month for Plunkett Foundation as we launched the Rural Community Ownership Awards, and our organisational strategy for the next five years and a new website:

Margaret Clark, Chair of Plunkett Foundation (top right) hosted this year's AGM

We held our AGM at The Old Library , Birmingham where our Chair, Margaret Clark, launched our vision for the next five years marking an exciting start to a new chapter in our history:

James Alcock, Executive Director at Plunkett Foundation, said: "This marks an exciting start to a new chapter in our history: the strategy contains a bold and ambitious plan to grow the profile of the community business model as an effective means of meeting the needs and aspirations of rural communities."

Find out more about our organisational strategy for 2018-2022 here

Sadly, this was to be David Dickman's last AGM as Treasurer and, as both he and Helen Seymour had reached the end of their Trustee term, Margaret Clark presented them both with Lifetime Membership. We would like to thank both David and Helen for their many years of service and support for the work of Plunkett Foundation. Chris Coe was duly elected to the Board of Trustees for a full term, and Jane Ryall re-elected for a further year.

We were pleased to attend and sponsor Timber Festival 2018 - our Making Local Woods Work team (Hannah Barrett and Louise Turner) headed to Feanedock on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire border and enjoyed speaking to project partners and interact with Woodland Social Enterprises from across the UK

August 2018

As we approached the Autumn season, things were still as busy ensuring the message of community business was being heard across the UK:

September 2018

September was focused on running and supporting a number of key, community business events across the UK:

October 2018

As we slowly crept towards the end of 2018, we were busy with the Rural Community Ownership Awards and hosting an important roundtable in Scotland:

From hosting a round table at Glenwyvis Distillery to taking part in Woodland Social Enterprise Day
  • We were excited to attend the Campaign to End Loneliness' Conference at The British Library
  • Hosted a More Than a Pub event at the ABAX Stadium in Peterborough - over 30 attendees enjoyed a day full of learning and advice from community pub experts
  • Our Chair, Margaret Clark, hosted a valuable round table event in Dingwall exploring opportunities for collaboration with other Scottish-based organisations to ensure community businesses in Scotland are given a voice and the best opportunity to set up and thrive in Scotland. The meeting was followed by a visit to one of Scotland's newest community businesses, and Plunkett member, Glenwyvis Distillery
  • We sponsored an event, run by Stir to Action, bringing together key people in the church, heritage and community development sectors exploring how places of worship could be brought into wider community use through community business
  • James Alcock and Chris Cowcher attended a parliamentary reception at the House of Lords, hosted by the Rural Coalition of which are active members
  • We supported Social Enterprise UK with #SocialSaturday across our Facebook and Twitter accounts - it was great to share some of our case-study films from successful community businesses and to hear from others in the sector
  • We also supported Woodland Social Enterprise Day 2018, organised by Grown in Britain, across social media - both Hannah Barrett and Louise Turner, from the Making Local Woods Work team, did a fantastic job of raising the profile of Woodland Social Enterprise
  • We were proud to partner with English Rural Housing and National Housing Federation on delivering an event with key not speaker, HRH the Princess Royal, exploring the role of affordable housing providers tackling rural loneliness through community business

Watch Tracey Crouch discuss how Plunkett's work supports those living in rural communities affected by loneliness:

November 2018

As the Christmas period was fast approaching, we were pleased to feed into some positive Governmental discussions and attend some of our partners events:

December 2018

In December , we hosted both our Inspiring Rural Communities Conference and Rural Community Ownership Awards in London:

The Inspiring Rural Communities Together Conference in London was a great success

With over 100 attendees at our Inspiring Rural Communities Conference, we have received so much positive feedback on the way the day was organised and on our case study presenters Sandford Talking Shop, Exelby Green Dragon, Gabriel from The Abingdon Arms and Vert Woods Community Woodlands. We would like to thank the following organisations for making the Conference such a success:

We would like to thank Julian Ross (Plunkett Trustee and The Old Crown Pub, Hesket Newmarket) who supported us with the delivery of this year's Awards

We also held our annual Rural Community Ownership Awards in London and it was another successful event celebrating the very best of the community business sector:

Charlie Luxton was an amazing Awards host and everyone had a wonderful time celebrating and connecting with each other

At Plunkett, we always look forward to the Rural Community Ownership Awards Ceremony as it gives us a chance to reflect on our work across the year and catch up with community businesses we have supported. With representatives from across the UK, all of our amazing Awards Finalists and partner organisations had a fantastic time:

'Community Story of the Year' Award (Sponsored by The Retail Mutual)

'Diversifying to Make a Difference' Award (Sponsored by BCRS Business Loans)

'Investing in Local People' Award (Sponsored by Suma Wholefoods)

The Horace Plunkett 'Better Business' Award (Supported by The Co-op)

'The Little Things' Award (Sponsored by The Phone Coop)

'People's Choice' Award (Sponsored by Hastoe Housing Association)

See our Awards Finalists in this fantastic collage
  • We were pleased with the news that Power to Change are going to continue supporting community pubs through a new £2.2 million programme announced at the Awards Ceremony - view the full release on our website here
  • Aimee Evans, Project Manager, hosted a webinar showcasing some examples of community pub campaigns, media coverage of community pubs and different ways of engaging your community as well as further afield which can be viewed here

With the support of Community & Co-operative Finance and Key Fund, the More Than a Pub programme has given grants to 13 grants to groups in 2018

  1. The Abingdon Arms, Beckley, Oxfordshire
  2. The Chequer Inn, Ash, Kent
  3. Auctioneers Arms, Caverswall, Stoke on Trent
  4. Guilden Morden Community Pub Ltd, Cambridgeshire
  5. White Lion, Ash Magna, Shropshire
  6. The Winterbourne, Winterbourne Basset, Wiltshire
  7. The Peninsula Trust, Torpoint, Cornwall
  8. South Moreton CBS (The Crown), Oxfordshire
  9. Leasingham CBS (Duke of Wellington), Lincolnshire
  10. The Boot, Orleton, Herefordshire
  11. The Green Dragon, Exelby, North Yorkshire
  12. The Thorold Arms, Marston, Lincolnshire
  13. Beeston Ploughshare, King's Lynn, Norfolk

We would like to thank our funders, supporters, community businesses and members for making 2018 a successful year for Plunkett Foundation and we look forward to working together in 2019

Created By
Ashley Sellwood


Plunkett Foundation

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