Weston entrepreneur connects local community through creativity
A Weston-Super-Mare entrepreneur is hoping her dream of providing more opportunities for communities through creativity will become a reality after successfully becoming part of the Aster Group social incubator, inc.
Bev G Star, who lives in the town with her family, set up Humans of Weston to provide community learning courses in creative arts for those who want to find purpose and contribute to their local environment. She was inspired to establish her social business after seeing the potential of her local community.
Bev said: “I want to change lives, to create a better quality of life and opportunities for people by using expressive media and transferable creative skills. Being part of the inc. programme is hugely exciting for me. It will help me amplify my impact and reach more people.”
Applicants from all over the UK applied to be part of the Aster Group inc. programme delivered by the Aster Foundation; a part of the housing association that invests in projects that aims to improve lives by providing opportunities in local communities. Its aim is to develop businesses with a social purpose such as those tackling homelessness, mental health, financial exclusion, unemployment, and the economic recovery from COVID-19.
Bev is now half way through the inc. 10-month business development programme, designed to bring her ideas to market and connect with potential partners and investors. The programme draws on the resources and expertise of Aster Group and its people, with mentoring and additional guidance being provided by established social entrepreneurs. It is the first scheme of its kind to be created by a housing association in the UK and is now in its second year.
Cam Kinsella, Aster Foundation director, said: “Social innovation, community and collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we created our social incubator, and we are so excited that Humans of Weston is part of it. By working with our team of experts and colleagues, we hope that Bev will be able to take her business to the next level and support our work around mental health and wellness.”
Humans of Weston will be working with the Aster Foundation, helping to reduce loneliness and isolation amongst some of Asters older customers through creative arts projects.
A six-week creative arts course has been running in their Independent Living Scheme in Sheldon Drive, Wells and in Keward House, also in Wells where a summer house has been transformed into a community space. Keward House is a supported housing service run by mental health charity, Rethink for people aged 18 years and above, who are living with a mental illness.
The Aster Foundations Mental Wellness and Resilience programme trains and educates around 2,000 people and businesses per year to help them understand how to improve their own wellbeing, as well as how to support those around them. Last year the Foundation trained 1,421 people and aims to help at least 20,000 people improve their mental health and wellness by 2030.
For further information about the Aster Foundation, visit www.aster.co.uk/foundation
For further information about Humans of Weston, visit www.humansofweston.com/
Back to latest news listings