Our Community Matters

18 Feb

Kasia McClure, Director, Our Community Matters – Blog #2

Why did I start my business?

I do not underestimate how brave you have to be to start your own business. I am in my thirties (don’t ask me to be more specific). I have always had the safety net of being employed. Sometimes I was paid well for doing work I didn’t enjoy. Other times I was paid a pittance for doing work I loved. However when I realised that even if I was paid a reasonable wage for doing something I really enjoyed, I would still be frustrated with the lack of autonomy, I decided to do something about it. Hence Our Community Matters.

Having moved to the UK at a time when social enterprises were formally recognised and defined by the Government, I knew that I had found something which resonated. Whilst wanting and needing to earn a living, I also felt strongly about giving something back to my local community. This feeling grew stronger and stronger as my children progressed through nursery and my eldest started primary school. You open your eyes to everything. I have never been one to blame – I always look at the root of the problem – and then, somewhat annoyingly some might say, the root of the root of the problem.

This is the problem. There are many children and families in Torbay who need support, training, education, guidance and confidence. But most of all they need to be understood not patronised. They need to understand the language. They don’t want to be ‘referred’, ‘statemented’ or work with ‘multi-agencies’. They just want to be heard. Then they want to see action. Most of all they want someone who empathises, doesn’t wag a finger and most of all isn’t driven by targets.

The irony is that whilst my niche is ethnic minorities, particularly the Polish community for obvious reasons, the families who have been the most grateful and who continue to be in contact with me are UK nationals. I hope that whatever your nationality, you will be able to gain something from Our Community Matters. I work with children with special needs, families who are vulnerable, ethnic minorities who need guidance and we also translate and interpret for any organisation which works with the Polish community. All I want to do is to give people in Torbay a better chance. I feel that they deserve this as a minimum.

To find out more, look at my website, follow me on Twitter @kasiamcclure1 or like and share my Facebook page.

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