College Road Primary School - Business Group
For many years College Road Primary School has been running a business group made up of students of all years encouraging the development of team spirit and social skills of young people as well as creating purpose-driven learners. The students have hosted events including a Christmas Market takeover of the Column Bakehouse market stall, where they sold products direct to the general public and many other customer focused engagements within their local community.
While the school benefits from a supportive parent base with families regularly coming along to see the children’s work and join in with school events, the Business Group are not reaching the wider community. School and community-led projects occasionally happen that encourage a place to come together but these are often one-off, put a huge pressure on teachers and staff and rely on the same people (mainly parents) taking part. Moreover, they don’t address, or only scratch the surface of, the issues and challenges that affect the people living in the area. Recent local research highlighted a real need to create meaningful and importantly, sustained opportunities for the wider community to connect.
The idea in blossom is a community event agency, running regular events (to be held anywhere in the area) that generates income, creates more learning opportunities for children and will enable and empower young people and adults to lead change, develop new skills and create new jobs. Its purpose will be to directly impact learning, health and wellbeing, understanding, and a sense of belonging. This idea the Business Group are calling Dandelion Pop...
What is Dandelion Pop?
Dandelion Pop is a community business that brings colour to College Road, that aims to create a central place in Keyham, Ford and Stoke in Plymouth and provides a safe and open space for people to come together through play, learning and food.
The idea for Dandelion Pop comes from the need to create a vibrant, fun energy in a deprived area of Plymouth.
Why Dandelion Pop?
The plant goes through 3 stages, from flower to fruit to the puff-ball seeds, representing the 3 elements of our planned events; Play, Learn and Eat. The dandelion continually blooms and reseeds itself, this links to the objective of our events, being for people to: experiment, try new things and extend or…‘bloom’. Much like the spread of a dandelion’s seeds, we want people to leave our creative sessions to share their experience; perhaps a new interest, skill or knowledge, especially between family members and friends who might have tried different things with Dandelion – the seeds can go for miles and miles – we want our community business to spread for miles and miles… Every part of a dandelion is useful: its root, leaves and flower – we will strive for our guests to always leave with something useful… A new circus skill maybe or a new craft, perhaps a dance, a song or a poem – the possibilities are endless. You might eat a culinary delight you haven’t tried before and get new ideas to cook together at home… Maybe even using Dandelions in your recipes!
And "Pop" because we want these events to "Pop" with vibrancy and excitement!
Dandelions are familiar to everyone – We want our community business, Dandelion Pop, to be familiar to everyone, open to everyone and accessible to everyone.
We are aiming to create a school without walls and set up Dandelion Pop as a Community Interest Company (CIC). It will solve local issues, create jobs, teach students about entrepreneurship, and provide opportunities and vision for the community. The idea is to establish a series of fun and vibrant sessions that have a fixed format; that always include something for people to learn, a place for children to play and local, high quality food.
- To bring people together.
- To provide opportunities for people to try new things, learn and share new skills.
- To create a focal point in a quiet community which currently has very little in the way of shops and regular events.
- To provide new market outlets for local practitioners, artists, food producers and suppliers.
College Road Primary School is working with a long-standing friend of the school, Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) and is one of 8 ‘connected schools’ across the country exploring the role of schools as catalysts for community business in their communities. With their support and the help of members of the local business community, we now want to take the ongoing activities to the next level by creating a sustainable community business as a CIC (Community Interest Company). This business will benefit the school, the students and the local area.
Why we need help from the Crowd?
We have already secured some funding through National Lottery, Awards for All to set up Dandelion Pop as a CIC and get us started, but we are calling on the Crowd (for the first time) to help us set up and run regular events. The funds we raise will be used to;
- Set up and run 5 events throughout 2018.
- Pay for marketing expertise through our partners to advertise these events to the local community.
- Allow us to produce marketing material, such as leaflets, banners and flags.
- Employ a member of the community to help organise and plan these events in partnership with College Road Primary School.
Finally, dandelions grow freely... So we want these events to grow freely too. Please help us to spread the word and promote this campaign!