Thurrock has a strong Social Enterprise presence and long-standing relationships with the School for Social Entrepreneurs and UnLtd.
Through a partnership including Thurrock Adult College, Thurrock Council Regeneration and Business Support Team, Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions and Grays Riverside Community Big Local, Friends of Hardie Park were able to support the third and fourth year of a locally delivered SSE Course, a unique opportunity outside of the major UK cities.
Our Community Stewardship model is based upon a locally delivered sustainable social enterprise that operates at or within a park, bringing facilities including refreshments and toilets, two key ingredients in the increase of attendances to and the length of time spent in, a park.
SSE employ a selection process to test participants Social Enterprise ideas and have over the past two years recruited 25 participants. All of the park-led entrepreneurs attended the second year or courses, with representatives from Bonnygate Park, Grays Beach Riverside Park, Gobions Park with an additional member of Friends of Elm Road Park, a group that we had supported through the process of delivering the Performing Parks programme.
The programme is tailored to support Social Entrepreneurs with experiential and peer learning on a range of topics including “Making IT work for your Enterprise”, user research, experience mapping, “How to plan for your idea”, Business planning, time management and organisation skills, marketing and communication, Building resilience and confidence and “Pitching your idea” – this is interspersed with regular reflection sessions to ensure that learners are embedded their learning in their practise.
Along with this, all attendees receive 6 hours of one-to-one mentoring with Rob from Hardie Park. They also have a separate module to cover on finance.