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Councillors Award Funding to Parents and Carers’ Business Start-up Programme

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St George’s ward councillors have awarded funding to a programme of business start-up sessions to help support local parents and carers into work.

Hilldrop Community Association has been running the Parents and Carers Workspace, a weekly co-working, crèche and business start-up support session for parents and carers of children under the age of five. The project has been helping adults to balance their childcare responsibilities with finding paid self-employment and looking after their own health and well-being.

The project, which is now running in its third and final month, has benefitted around 20 parents and carers of a diverse range of backgrounds from the Hilldrop area. Children can play safely at the crèche while their parents and carers receive support to build their business, or simply have some quite time to work in the next room.

The sessions have been running weekly and the adults have also been volunteering their skills and experience to help each other. The project has been run in partnership with Bloomsbury Beginnings CIC who have also helped establish a similar, successful initiatve at the Calthorpe Project near King’s Cross.

St George’s ward councillors have awarded £2,500 to Hilldrop Community Association through Islington Council’s Local Initiative Fund (LIF) programme, a small grants initiative that supports local activities and improvements across Islington. The money will cover the cost of crèche workers, refreshments, room hire and administrative costs.

Cllr Tricia Clarke of St George’s ward, says:

“For many parents and carers with young children, starting up your own business can be challenging. This original project is a great example of how, by working with the community, we can support more local people into work.”“I am pleased that we were able to support Hilldrop Community Association’s project through LIF funding, which has helped to improve parents’ and carers’ confidence and skills. I urge other community groups who want to make a difference in Islington to apply for LIF funding.”

Barbara Ludlow, Head of Centre at Hilldrop Community Centre, says:

“I am pleased that the Parents and Carers Workspace has benefitted so many people from the Hilldrop area. The response from parents and carers has been overwhelmingly positive, who are now feeling more confident about being self-employed. Ann Nkune, Director of Bloomsbury Beginnings CIC, has been a real inspiration and has also offered one-on-one business support to parents.

“The children have also been a delight and thoroughly enjoyed playing with each other in the crèche. The LIF funding from our local councillors has helped to make this project a big success, and we are looking at how we can continue the project.”

Photo caption: Cllr Tricia Clarke, St George’s ward, meeting staff and parents at the Hilldrop Community Centre

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