Community360 recently held its’ first Community Market Place Event, supported by Braintree District Mencap and Braintree District Council.
Over 40 voluntary, community and business services from throughout the Braintree District showcased their range of support services which can be accessed by local residents.
Tracy Rudling, CEO at Community360 said: “We were delighted to be able to bring together in one room such amazing organisations, who all have one remit and that is to support the residents of Braintree.”
She added: “I am sure everyone who attended, whether as an exhibitor or a visitor has taken away something that will help them. Events such as these are so important to showcase the tremendous amount of support that is available in the community. It also gave the opportunity for charities and support services to come together, collaborate and share knowledge.”
“It was great to see so many fantastic representatives from the Braintree District come together and share information with each other and the local community.” Said Sara Suckling, Children’s Services Manager at Braintree Mencap.
“The event was wonderfully organised by the fantastic Communnity360 team. We would like to thank them for choosing to host their event at Charles Leek House, which has really helped to put our organisation on the map.”
Dr James Bettley, High Sheriff of Essex and Braintree District Council Chair, Angela Kilmartin spent the afternoon meeting organisations and members of the general public, and even joined in with a game of table tennis with the Active Essex Team!
“The voluntary and community sector has become an essential part of the world in which we live, and without the thousands of people willing to give up their time to help others life as we know simply could not continue.” Said Dr.James Bettley, High Sheriff of Essex. “Community360 provides valuable support to the organisations that belong to this sector in Colchester and Braintree districts, and I am delighted to be able to attend this event, hosted by Braintree MENCAP, which will showcase the very wide range of services on offer, and to support the important work being done by so many dedicated volunteers in our communities.”
Councillor Angela Kilmartin, Chairman at Braintree District Council, said: “Our voluntary organisations play such a valuable role in our communities, so I am delighted to support Community360 by attending this event. It’s a great way to engage with local groups so they can get involved and find out about the variety of services, projects and funding opportunities available in our district.”
Two charities who exhibited at the event have been working closely with Community360 over the past year and were delighted to be asked to attend the event. Susan Pedder, from Baby Stuff Braintree said: “Although Baby Stuff Braintree is a new charity it has already outgrown its premises. Thanks to Braintree District Council and Love Essex a new shed is now being built for us to work from.
We also had a problem when we have to store clothes at the end of a season, their dryness and safety could not be guaranteed. That’s where Community360 stepped in and helped us. We now have 20 large and extra-large vacuum bags and as they come with a 3 year guarantee we can be sure all our of clothing etc will remain dry and pristine until needed. Support from the community is so important and knowing how to access funding, as a charity we are now able to grow and help even more families in the area.”
Janice Russell from First Stop has been working Community360 for many years.
“They support us with so many things.” Said Janice. “From helping us find and recruit volunteers, to promoting our range of services, as a community drop-in centre.”
“We have worked together supporting the most disadvantaged in the community through a variety of bursaries and initiatives such as helping those in food poverty over the holiday periods. We also support the work of other organisations as Community360 will often invite us to become involved. This both helps us, as an organisation, to use our expertise to support others and raises our profile as well. We see them as an essential link in our community.”
Hope House, First Stop and New Directions benefited from the not so hungry exhibitors with all spare food from the lunches being donated to the three charities.