INSPIRE CIC (Community Interest Company) in Winyates Craft Centre has been hailed by local people as living up to its name.
For many it has been a lifeline through the coronavirus lockdown – its network of support extending far beyond the boundaries of the district it’s located in.
“There are many, many unsung heroes – we just make up the food parcels and send them out,” said Karen Butler who runs Inspire.
“We have a team of volunteers helping us.
“One person who does deliveries had been out to some elderly people and he said to me ‘I have never done anything like this before in my life and I cannot tell you how much it has given me’ so it’s a two-way process.
“It’s also about partnership working, with Reach CIC (also in Winyates), Church Hill Big Local and Attwell Farm.
“Redditch has such a wealth of community groups and volunteers to draw on and that’s why I love it.”
Inspire is an award-winning Community Interest Company with a training room, Zero Waste shop, Refill shop, office and a counselling/support room.
From there it operates as a hub, maintaining contact with the mental health groups it supports through the volunteers and attendees themselves.
“The support they give each other has been fantastic – it’s really heartwarming but that’s the sort of people we have here,” said Karen.
As well as helping others, Karen acknowledges that Inspire itself has been the recipient of vital help too, particularly with the cuts in community grants.
Karen singled out Sue Yeng of Redditch Community Forum and her husband Boon for praise.
“They have been absolutely brilliant, as have the borough councillors,” said Karen.
“Last year was a game-changer – we got in touch with Councillor Juliet Brunner and the support we have had has been fantastic, from people like Couns Pattie Hill, Anthony Lovell, Joe Baker, Peter Fleming, Tom Baker-Price, Andy Fry – they’ve all been great.
“I understand the council has to cut its costs and we have to be more of a business, I get that.”
Anyone who needs help from Inspire CIC can message it via Facebook, call 01527 529265 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.