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CREW – Community Renewal and Enrichment Workgroup

Date: 24 Feb

Rowena Swallow, Director of Programme and Development for Community Interest Company, St Ives Workstation, and Bayspace St Ives, its first enterprise hub within the ‘campus’ business model, became an Enterprise Advisor for St Ives School in 2017

There are so many wonderful opportunities for students and businesses in the St Ives Bay area, and through partnership-working the CIC is a ‘social enterprise’ which hopes to nurture the right conditions to support choice, promote sustainable approaches, and assist genuine prosperity for all, especially for young people in the area (Pro spero –‘what I hope for’).

Through working closely with the wider community, schools and colleges, universities and business partners, we hope to be able to support individuals through growth in confidence and choice, in finding their voice and personal development route. In turn, we hope that more year-round opportunities for employment will emerge, small enterprise-businesses and community ecosystems will thrive, and enterprise-support for sustainable, environmentally-led solutions will lead change.

Currently, the CIC is working closely with St Ives School to deliver CREW – Community Renewal and Enrichment Workgroup – a St Ives young leaders’ development programme. In the shadow of Climate Change and Covid, the need to address sustainability and resilience in communities – such as the need to build-back green, to focus on free and fair trade, habitat diversity, food security and shared values in democracy –  mean that tomorrow’s adults will undoubtedly have to problem-solve differently, due to the existential challenges they will face.

Arguably, educators, artists, scientists and businesses can assist opportunities too by routinely working together around real-world problems, in a manner rooted both in pupils’ lived experiences and in a circular economy, where the value of the environment and creative community – such as can be found in St Ives – are uppermost.

CREW aims to train and empower a diverse range of young people as leaders; to equip young leaders with skills and knowledge to influence professional and political connections; to learn from and engage expert speakers, organisations and peers, and provide opportunities and support for young leaders to develop projects, to collaborate and to make positive change; to support training, development and work-placed opportunities, and provide participants with valuable endorsements for their futures and records, showing attainment in a societal, community and business context.

We are excited that the first CREW cohort will be coming together shortly, and from the very beginning will be co-working with businesses to collaborate in framing challenges, finding solutions and giving voice to their creativity and hopes for future prosperity.

Written by Rowena Swallow

Director at Bayspace St Ives