Entrepreneurs helping communities through innovation
Our story starts nearly 30 years ago, when Andrew, as a young stipendiary Minister, arrived to take responsibility for a large Victorian Church in the East End of London. He had few members and £400 in the bank. The church was surrounded by several dysfunctional housing estates and the local residents received 95% of their income from state sources. Andrew noticed that a lot of resources were being invested into management committees that were fond of producing reports. At ground level, he noticed little significant change for the people most in need.
Today, the Bromley-by-Bow Centre is internationally known and has been used frequently by government as a national exemplar for integrated health care and a template for the successful regeneration of communities. The Centre is, today, a complex organisation, running a huge range of projects across different sites, both independently and in partnership with others. It works with 2,000 people each week, and its services are tailored to the needs of the whole community: families, young people, vulnerable adults and elders. It houses the first integrated health centre, children’s nursery, art studios, business and enterprise hub, café, communiversity and a range of other integrated services.
You can buy Andrew’s bestselling book The Social Entrepreneur: making communities work to read more about Andrew’s development of the Bromley-by-Bow Centre: amawsonpartnerships.com/books
Andrew describes "The lessons learned" during a debate on volunteering: "first, the value of co-production and of designing the programme with volunteers as much as possible; secondly, the benefit of offering a range of pick-and-mix volunteer opportunities;" and importantly, "thirdly, the power…