#GoodNewsCymru | Social enterprise

Twitter Q&A: Heritage, horticulture and hope with the Enbarr Foundation

Vicki Roskems told us how Deeside does well-being and upskilling during our recent Twitter Q&A.

By Ben Bostock · August 7, 2020

See this page in: Cymraeg

Last week, we ran a Twitter Q&A with the Enbarr Foundation and Vicki Roskems told us all about where it all started, their development into the ‘Beacon of Hope’ for Deeside and what the organisation has in store in the post-Covid ‘new normal’.

Vicki began by telling us the main motivation for Enbarr, which is to provide a personalised service for the people, developed by the people to support those most in need within their communities and local area, giving them the tools to fulfil their own needs and determine their own futures.

Skills-building and inclusion is at the foundation of Enbarr, through their core work in renovating landmark buildings of cultural and community significance. The nucleus of this is the upskilling in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) disciplines, with employment opportunities offered by their Enbarr Recruitment arm.

Looking at the immediate future of the Foundation, the #SaveTheClockTower campaign was front and centre. Planned to be a bio-diverse community hub for heritage building upskilling in fusion with digital inclusion and confidence-building – particularly for people with disabilities and armed forces veterans.

The plethora of elements encompassed within Enbarr is seemingly limitless, but mission drift is not something which features in the lexicon of the bastion of inclusion.

 

“By revolutionising the concept of engaging and including the community in developing services and giving them a voice we have found that some have created their own confidence, and mentor others, we give them the knowledge and skills to support this transition.”

Vicki Roskems

Vicki credits their work with Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being and other organisations with helping build robust connectivity plans to keep people connected and included, enabling them to learn new skills and utilise platforms to support well-being objectives while combating social isolation and encouraging on-going learning.

Vicki cited a lack of digital inclusion as being a primary motivation for their work in connecting the community with digital devices, to avoid the detrimental effects of exclusion, including loneliness and poor mental health. The Foundation has also identified digital skills development as being key to local, particularly rural, business growth and development of wider economies.

Part of their digital inclusion toolkit is a menagerie of digital furry friends, including Bertie the Basset, Freddy the Ferret and their pals to help people create solutions and raise positivity, helping to make people smile and raising endorphin levels.

 

“Freddy and Crew also have educational messages, and we had a lot of feedback from mums and dads, that they played Freddy and got the kids to sing along, and got them to understand to wash their hands and stay safe.”

Vicki Roskems

All of the above, under the skills-building and inclusion banner again find their roots in the enablement and empowerment of others to decide their own destinies, providing the comprehensive toolkit necessary to succeed in their own lives. This includes the measurable and discernible skillsets to step into a new profession, but also the less tangible but equally vital soft skills necessary to connect with others.

“Don’t be afraid to be unique, and my favourite saying, ‘if your dreams don’t scare you they are not big enough’ so wake up your unicorns or dragons and let them shine, and don’t be afraid to shake a few trees to collect some coconuts.”

Testament to the effectiveness and impact Enbarr has on its Deeside community, Vicki was recently nominated for the Great British Entrepreneur Award.

Proof if any were needed that passion and lived experience bring can translate directly into improving lives for others and being a guiding light to a better, co-operative future, emphasising enterprising positive disruption for social good. Congratulations Vicki and the whole Enbarr team, keep making those ripples into waves!

The Enbarr Foundation has received business consultancy support and advice from Social Business Wales, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre.

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