As some readers of my blog will know, a lot of what I do is supporting people and communities to realise their visions by creating new co-operative, social, or private enterprises. And I do this through various means – training courses, consultancy, beer mentoring, etc...
Recently, I’ve been working with a number of south Asian women who want to use their skills to improve the well being of families in deprived communities, but also want to work in ways that ensure people’s dignity is paramount in that process as well. They were ‘awarded’ 4 days of my life through the co-operative enterprise hub to help them to pursue and realise this, and through that time I’ve helped them develop their business model, financial plan, marketing and also to incorporate themselves as a worker co-operative. And it’s this last part that caused their ‘excitement’ – they were so sure that they would have made a mistake on their submission to companies house (they structured their worker co-op in a guarantee company form, in case you’re wondering), that when their company certificate arrived in the post, they were overcome with excitement... they told me that one of their number almost fainted! (although I’m not sure I can take all the credit for that, as it turns out that the person also had a cold at the time...)
Anyways – they were so impressed with how I’ve supported and encouraged them over these few days, that at my last session with them this morning, they produced a fruit basket as a traditional means of expressing their thanks for all I’ve done with them over the last couple of months. And I’m very touched – normally, at the end of supporting an individual or group, there’s the awkward handshake and assurances about keeping in touch, but this felt really nice – so thank you Access Alpha Ltd of Burnley, and may the universe reciprocate your generosity many times over.
(NB – i’m also partial to cake, beer and donughts in case any other clients I’m supporting are thinking of finding ways to thank me...)