Holding a launch event is one of those things that you simply have to just go for, and see what happens! In the case of the Community hub launch in Bedford this week, it was a really pleasant surprise and its success was very rewarding.
When we measure success at the Community Hubs, we do so in terms of the quality of conversations & interactions; the amount of learning that takes place; the supportiveness of attendees & participants; and the extent to which people leave feeling enthused, inspired, optimistic and eager for the next one.
I would argue, and I’m not just saying this for the benefit of our new comrades in Bedford 😉 , that the event in Bedford this week was one of the most promising yet. And we will do well to learn from the feedback and format going forward.
Bearing in mind that this was the first hub event in Bedford, ever, there was quite a lot of talk about it going on in the weeks leading up to it. It seems that the Bedford folk, had already understood the ethos of the hub before it even arrived.
I’d had the pleasure of meeting Sarah from the fabulous establishment 44 Harpur Street beforehand and to invite her to speak at the launch, as it seemed that our ethos and values were in alignment. Sarah was very supportive of the Community hub in the lead up to it and has very kindly agreed to let us hold all future events at 44 Harpur Street, starting on 20th December. I have no doubt that it will be prove to be a very fruitful and rewarding collaboration and we are very excited about it indeed!
I was encouraged by the number of early birds who arrived even before it started on Tuesday! And, as more people arrived, it was clear that everybody was quickly getting stuck into those ‘good conversations’. We all chatted for around two hours before the first presentations started.
Emma, founder of the Community hub, gave us a presentation about the idea of Intelligent Cooperation and how that is what the Community Hub aims to encourage through sharing our knowledge and expertise; inspiring and collaborating with each other and building relationships through Peer Support, Friendships and Partnerships. We will be enabled to get our needs met, deploy our resources, build resilience as well as creating ‘mindful’ communities.
In the afternoon, Emma expanded on this idea from the business perspective looking at how we can balance the ‘Three Ps’ of People; Profit and Planet by:
- People – having good conversations; interaction; support; passing on knowledge & skills
- Profit – creating value through providing services to each other; supporting growth in personal & business life; supporting all forms of meaningful occupation paid & unpaid
- Planet – taking care of ourselves now and for future generations
We then heard from some of our Bedford sponsors who introduced themselves – Paul from Natwest Bank; Rachael from KSK Accountants; Rupert from A-Plan Insurance; Sharna & Jules from Bedfordshire Police. Paul from White Label Development also told us about a Growth Hacking group he founded for business owners to join together and help solve issues in each other’s businesses, there and then. We will hear more from Paul over the coming months I’m sure.
In the main presentations, a number of questions were asked about why people liked the idea of the hub and what could the hub offer to the Bedford Community, as well as how people might like to get involved.
This provoked a lot of discussion. Nick, CEO of a charity in Bedford, felt that the future of our country lay in the hands of local Communities. That it is down to the small businesses and charities to work together to create meaningful change. It was felt that this is lacking from a lot of the authorities who are gradually running out of resources, innovative ideas and creative solutions to the problems faced within local Communities.
There was a sense that the Community Hub signals the potential for people and businesses to collaborate in local initiatives and hands on projects which could potentially initiate social change.
The extent to which people felt a common bond at the Bedford launch, was demonstrated by the fact that, even though we all had to leave the building to fetch lunch, everybody returned and ate their lunch together! There was real camaraderie and the nurturing and friendly atmosphere was tangible – I felt quite moved by the day. It was a long day, starting at 8.30 am but almost everybody stayed for the majority of the day and had real fun.
I am very much looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into the Bedford Hub. I believe that everybody left on the day feeling optimistic and enthused. Roll on 20th December – Sarah and I will be ready and waiting for you all !! 🙂
For more information about events please see the Events page on this website, and visit us on Facebook : www.facebook.com/communityhublive/
Twitter : @communityhubs
We are also on Eventbrite where you can register for free tickets!