Our INSPIRE initiative takes + stores equipment that groups and charities can access and use for free but we need power and light for safety

The North East Enterprise Trust does the sort of things that help connect people with one another and the world around them to create opportunities. Wherever we can, we involve local employers and businesses that genuinely care about their local communities in what we  do - and always use lots of different activities that bring people together.

The North East and East Durham in particular, is one of the most disadvantaged parts of England but whilst we might have the highest youth unemployment rate of anywhere in the United Kingdom, we still have a community spirit that's the envy of many.

So, what’s the BIG Idea? Our INSPIRE initiative has kept us busy gathering as many resources as possible that we can share with East Durham and northeast community groups and charities for free. The idea is very simple - it means they don’t have to go off and use their own precious funding to buy things that are often used just once or twice only to be locked away, never to see the light of day again. If we have the kit and somebody needs to use it, they are welcome to do so before returning it back to us, for free.

Connecting people and creating opportunities We often take people away for the day and through activities such as canoeing and climbing and things they might find exciting or just by experiencing a long walk in our beautiful countryside, they can get to know and learn can from one other.

These are the sort of activities that many of us can do at just about any time so we might take them for granted, but if you look at the picture above, you’d be surprised to find that half the group had never been more than twenty miles from their home town and three people hadn't walked more than a mile or two in any direction anywhere and sadly, this is something we often discover.

Gathering resources other groups and charities can use Through this sort of work we found that lots of other groups lacked the resources they needed to do similar things to ourselves and even when they knew of an organisation that had something they really needed, all too often, they weren’t allowed to borrow it.

Knowing this, we raised the funds for two x 40’ steel containers by ourselves, which we keep beside the football fields at Wheatley Hills Community Centre. One is used to store the camping gear, walking boots, archery equipment, canoes and everything else we have collected so far and the other is used as a meeting room and chill-out area.

No lights, no power - not even a cup of tea Our containers weren’t new and they serve our purposes perfectly, but the downside to where they are kept is the fact they are just too far from a mains supply for us to have any power or electricity.

This makes it dangerous for us to access and use the site on an evening and almost impossible for people to put things back safely in the dark, or at weekends, or when it is after hours and gloomy.

It also means we can’t jet wash our equipment, even when we do have day light and we can see and things quickly get in a mess and almost worst of all, it means we can’t play a radio or pop the kettle on to have a proper cuppa, which in the northeast, is almost a basic human right. 

What do we need? We want to take our project to the next stage and to be able to store and use clean energy on site whenever anybody is there. We’d like to do this by having solar panels to gather clean energy for free, which we can store on site for electricity when it’s needed and led lights. We also want to use every penny of the crowdfunded part of this competition to buy more kit and equipment that we can add to our database for other groups and charities to use.

Your vote counts We’d like to continue our good work and keep people safe and we want to show that a strong community spirit is alive and well here in the northeast. We also want to show that good things can and often do happen, for all the right reasons.

If any of this resonates and you like what we are doing then please lend us your support and give us your vote - and help us to switch the lights and the kettle on!