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The Enterprise Centre is a registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. It also operates as Naturally Enterprising from our now purpose-built outdoor alternative education centre, which is situated in the heart of The Kirklees Valley Trail and 24 acres of Nature Reserve.
We host innovative, creative and enterprising projects using a combination of the great outdoors, conservation, enterprise skills, equine therapy, health and well-being coaching, teamwork and confidence building to help young people and NEETs develop their self-esteem and aspire to great things for themselves and their communities.
What We Do
With Your Help, We are Making Our Community a Better Place
Using a range of small grants and charitable donations, we helped in excess of 500 individuals of various ages, many of whom are suffering from a range of issues that can be detrimental to their well being. All activity takes place at our new safe, purpose-built Lodge which now has a 15-metre training room/ workshop, 4 stables to house our equine therapy ponies and a small office for private coaching and one to one mentoring. All of this has been built on small grants and many volunteer hours.
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Mission & Approach
We specialise in working with disadvantaged individuals of various ages suffering from a range of issues that can be detrimental to their mental and physical well-being.
All our Earth Education programmes and activities now take place at our new, safe, purpose-built Lodge which has a 15-metre training room/ workshop, a new adult training room 10×5 meters, 4 stables to house our equine therapy ponies and a small office for private coaching and one to one mentoring. All of this has been achieved using founder investment, small grants and many volunteer hours.
For the community, we offer community gardens and access to the secret pond. The work here has been supported by Veolia Environmental Trust, Tesco bags for help and Asda Community foundation.
- Successful ESF/WEA bid to give 12 women the opportunity to Step up to Success after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Continued Open Access to all Alternative Provision students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
- New £18,600 European Social Fund bid secured and started – 12 beneficiaries take part face to face on zoom.
- Cafe closed due to pandemic until further notice.
- New application to Veolia to make good floods and reopening preparations with Social Distancing.
- Hundreds of community visitors to The Lodge, Community Garden and Kingsbury Woods.
- Successful £70,000 Sports England Community Asset Fund application and £10,000 Bury Council Social Capital Bid
- Secret Garden Project complete and open to the public in March.
- Secured £18,000 ESF funds to deliver Step up to Success to 16 Women.
- Children in Need and Welcome Trust Curiosity bid completed with 60 + young people attending holiday activity programmes.
- New building opened by Major on the 2nd of November.
- Successful Children in Need “Curiosity” bid.
- Community Café re-opened with a new pavilion for indoor eating.
- Junior Board established.
- Developed ideas for Secret Garden Project with the Community and Junior Board.
- Secured support from the Asda foundation and set up a Community Café at The Naturally Enterprising Centre.
- Tony Lloyd project continued and in all 105 beneficiaries went through it.
- Secured National Lottery Support to help complete the facilities at The Naturally Enterprising Centre.
- Hosted a EU project visit with 6 European partner states in attendance and many local social entrepreneur ambassadors.
- Hosted an open day with 200 visitors and senior council officials.
- Secured a European contract with 6 European partner states developing an online social business support model.
- Secured a 25-year lease, broke ground and began building The Naturally Enterprising Centre.
- Re-positioned and re-built the Naturally Enterprising project with National Lottery funds.
- Created the Naturally Enterprising project, combining the benefits of nature and enterprise.
- Established as a registered Charity.
- Hosted the Manchester Achievers conference in Oldham.
- Delivered the Enterprise highway model in 10 schools in Oldham.
- Re-constituted as The Enterprise Centre limited CLG.
- Developed the enterprise highway model under contract with Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and delivered enterprise education to 3 schools in Oldham.
- Moved to Oldham to manage the New Start contract, which created 25 new enterprises.
- Entered a partnership with City College Manchester.
- Delivered business support on behalf of Manchester Enterprises and developed MSEF into Together Works.
- Co-developed the Manchester Social Enterprise Forum (MSEF) with MERCi.
- Entered into partnership with Community Action Network and developed The Enterprise Centre project, which was the first Social Enterprise incubation centre in Manchester.
Meet the Team
Founder and Managing Director of The Enterprise Centre with over 25 years experience in enterprise and education both in the design and delivery of a wide range of capacity building projects for the public sector. Alison is passionate and focused on innovative and practical client-led enterprise development projects. She is the author of the only QCA approved stand-alone Project Management Qualification and designer of a number of other enterprise accreditations at level 2, her work was recently commended at The National Leadership Conference. She is an influential player and designer of new initiatives for enterprise delivery at all levels. Alison is committed to building neighbourhoods and as such, all the projects she is involved with have a community capacity building underlying theme.
Allan Lawrence has previously worked as the International Business Manager at Blackburn College, Walsall College and Hopwood Hall College, where he worked to recruit international students, and develop Joint Education Projects with partners from around the world achieving income targets in excess of £1m for each college. Allan has also operated as a consultant in the field of education and training and has worked as a lecturer and manager in further and higher vocational education for over 30 years. He was the Project Manager at Salford University for the project to establish the Salford Innovation Park.
At Salford University, he specialised in programmes of training that developed entrepreneurship, creativity and business skills. He has been involved in projects with Salford and Manchester-based small business NGO’s and Manchester’s growing social enterprise sector.
During most of his career, he has been involved in the development and management of a large number of international education projects within the European Union, Russia, India, Africa and the Far East. He has also worked as a consultant for the European Union, assessing applications for funding on behalf of the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme. Dr Allan Lawrence has been an EU Assessor for over 15 years.
Co-founder of the Naturally Enterprising project and Trustee of The Enterprise Centre, Dannielle is a Fully Qualified teacher and ICT Leader at Heap Bridge Primary School. She brings educational experience as well as a passion for outdoor learning and equine therapy. Her knowledge on child safeguarding and all other related protocols and practices are up to date and she passes this on to the rest of the organisation.
A Senior Manager at Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council focusing on economic development, business and enterprise, employment, skills and training, external funding, European policy and regeneration. Jonathan is enthusiastic about getting people back to work and contributing to his community. He currently manages the operations of Get Oldham Working. They have created close to 3,000 employment-related opportunities, including 1,500 jobs, 450 apprenticeships and 190 paid placements. His youthful wisdom, networks and role of responsibility as a public servant brings strategy and focus to The Enterprise Centre.
Dave is a successful small business owner who has an array of experiences spanning 40 years working with trainees and apprenticeships from start to completion. Using skills he has acquired over many years he now acts as an inspector and assessor of gas safety across Greater Manchester on behalf of a few major installers of heating services. Dave brings a practical yet sometimes wild card approach to the board with his diverse experiences in life and business.
Rebecca has supported The Enterprise Center in a volunteering capacity since 2012. She has a background in holistic therapies which she now brings to The Naturally Enterprising Hub. She qualified with a teaching diploma level 3 in 2020. She has an array of recognised accreditations in Mental Health, Autism and First Aid.
Patrick is a Software Developer with 10 years of experience working within the Digital Media industry. Since graduating from University in 2015 and with help from The Enterprise Centre, Patrick has developed into a passionate and talented entrepreneur. He is a Director of multiple companies, including a 3D printing company and a software development company. With his insightful knowledge of the modern world and current trends, he keeps The Enterprise Centre’s online platforms up to date whilst also creating their digital media content.
Abi Thompson: is a qualified Summer Mountain Leader, Lowland Leader, Accredited NNAS Provider, Accredited Duke of Edinburgh Assessor and Outdoor First Aider
As an experienced hill walker and fell runner she has plenty of knowledge of routes in the local area as well as further afield. A fully qualified Teacher with extensive knowledge of ecology and geography – from tree ID to glacial landforms!