USE-IT! | Case Study on MotherShip Projects

The USE-IT! project is supporting grassroots community development using existing social, cultural and educational micro and macro assets in the Ladywood, Soho and Smethwick wards of Birmingham. Leonie Hart of MotherShip CIC tells us how the project has helped her social enterprise so far.

I’ve been attending the Soho Social Enterprise Networking group since the first meeting in Spring last year. It’s been great in helping MotherShip take the first steps in establishing our social enterprise- from regular meetings with Anabela at The Chamber of Commerce and support from iSE, helping us to formulate our business plan and complete our CIC paperwork, to setting up our bank account, learning more about websites and social media and how to go about getting investment for our ventures.

This timeframe has also seen us move from securing a little funding to carry out our first trial sessions of our flagship creative befriending project PLAYgroup to enabling us to run 4 Week taster sessions in 6 settings across Birmingham and Sandwell to most recently securing Awards for All funding to continue the project into the Autumn in Bearwood and Birmingham.

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PLAYgroup is a creative befriending project for newly arrived mothers and their 0-4 year olds and local mothers and their 0-4 year olds. A cross-artform project, 2 highly skilled professional artists work together to deliver each session- enabling participants to build relationships through playing creatively together.

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We started the project as we were aware of the isolation faced by newly arrived communities and how this was compounded for parents who were limited in their ability to engage with even ESOL provision because of their childcare responsibilities. Similarly, many local parents were keen to be involved in volunteering however, were unable to because of their parenting commitments. PLAYgroup enables them to get involved in welcoming newly arrived families with their children.

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We hope to secure further funding for the next phase of the project that will see the development of a social enterprise with the women we work with. Through building and sharing skills, we hope to work with them to develop products, providing new skills and opportunities and empowering participants.

To find out more about the USE-IT project and how it can support you please get in touch with iSE.

To read more about the wonderful work of MotherShip: