One to Watch 2019: Interview with Community Impact Initiative C.I.C.
As part of the Social Business Wales Awards 2021, we caught up with Trystan Jones, the Chief Executive of Community Impact Initiative C.I.C. to see how the social enterprise has developed since winning the 2019 award's 'One to Watch' Category!
See this page in: Cymraeg
In a nutshell, what does The Community Impact Initiative do?
“We support people from disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their health and wellbeing, build their confidence and self-esteem, learn new skills, achieve qualifications, and make positive life improvements through the sympathetic renovation of empty properties in our local communities”
What did it mean for The Community Impact Initiative to win One to Watch in 2019?
“It meant a great deal to win the 2019 One to Watch award. It gave us a huge amount of confidence in demonstrating that our approach to community regeneration was effective. It also gave us an opportunity to stop and reflect on our journey to date, with the award acknowledging that we had made significant progress in such a short space of time.”
How has the business developed since the award?
“Since the award we have employed more staff, delivered more community projects, and supported more of our community members to make positive life improvements.”
How did you cope as a social enterprise during the pandemic?
“A few days into the COVID-19 lockdown we were informed by one of our major funders that they would be suspending their project funding immediately whilst they reviewed their own strategic and financial objectives. Overnight we lost a large chunk of our planned income for the next few years, which caused some sleepless nights to say the least! On top of this, the Cii’s business model involves returning empty properties to the housing market, with the income secured invested into the purchase of the next property. With the pandemic came a suspension of the UK housing market, resulting in substantial deferred organisational income. Therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown had a massive impact on our financial security and sustainability. Fortunately, we have excellent relationships with a wide range of other funders who believed in our work and were able to support our projects whilst we established our plans for the new post-COVID-19 world.”
How do you feel about being nominated for Social Enterprise of the Year for 2021?
“We feel great about been nominated! Being nominated three years after winning the One to Watch award shows the positive progress we’ve made in this time and that we’re on the right track.”
Trystan Jones, CE of The Community Impact Initiative C.I.C
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