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Films bring community spirit to life

A series of films celebrating the role of community-run businesses are being launched as part of a nationwide campaign next month.

The films are being released in the run-up to the Community Business Weekend 2019, which takes place from 16 – 19 May. The campaign will see community-run businesses across the country open their doors to the public to find out more about what they do for the local area and how they can get involved.

Each short film gives an insight into how community businesses are helping to tackle some of society’s biggest problems including loneliness, lack of training and employment opportunities, and mental health.

So far, two films have been launched, with a further three to come between now and the start of May. The first film featured Bristol Ferry Boats whose staff and volunteers work 364 days a year to connect disparate communities through their ferry service, education and volunteering. The second film featured Bramley Baths, a Grade II listed Edwardian bath house near Leeds, which was taken into community ownership after the council was unable to continue operating the site.

The campaign is being run by independent trust Power to Change. The trust hopes that the videos will inspire other community businesses to sign-up to the campaign and help spread the word about this vibrant, growing sector, now worth £1.05 billion to the economy and employing 33,600 people.

Other films lined up include:

  • Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle, a diverse cinema and arts hub built by the community in a culture desert will go live on 18 April
  • Ideal for All in Birmingham, a user-led charity and social enterprise working to make life better for disabled, elderly and vulnerable people will be released on 25 April
  • FC United, a community-led football club challenging stereotypes in Manchester will be released on 2 May

Power to Change CEO Vidhya Alakeson said:

“The beauty of community business is that anyone can get involved, from setting one up, to becoming a shareholder, trustee, volunteer, employee or valued customer. Community Business Weekend is a great way to both celebrate and uncover the skills that can bring vibrancy and economic growth to local areas.”

For more information on Community Business Weekend, please visit:

Image: Power to Change