Let’s Innovate: new events will boost Wigan Borough communities and economy

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image depicting caring
Crossroads Carers Support Group

A new series of events aimed at finding fresh ideas to help vital projects or professions across Wigan Borough is set to launch.

Wigan Council’s first Let’s Innovate session will take place next month, with a focus on unpaid carers and up to £5k available.

Local groups, organisations, individual traders and businesses are encouraged to pitch proposals for how they can support these ‘unsung heroes’ and could receive financial backing from the council. The series will continue throughout the year with a new focus each time. Organisations that may not have a prior connection to the care sector are particularly encouraged to get involved.

Deputy Leader of Wigan Council and lead member for adult social care, Councillor Keith Cunliffe, said: “Using the strength of our communities to find innovative solutions, make connections and establish support is a key part of The Deal. We’re very excited to see how this new series will develop and we encourage community organisations, groups and entrepreneurs to take part and pitch an idea.

“We will focus on different sectors and professions each time, but for this first session we know how important carers are in this borough – I often refer to them as our unsung heroes. So it’s exciting to see what proposals we get from our communities to help them feel valued and supported.”

The Let’s Innovate series encourages organisations to submit proposals for a pot of funding available from the council to deliver one or more of the projects.

A handful will be shortlisted and invited to make a presentation to an audience, based on the Soup community concept popular in the USA. Each presenter will be expected to field questions from the audience after their five-minute pitch and a vote will be held to select which projects will be backed.

The first session will focus on unpaid carers in central Wigan and surrounding areas, such as Scholes, Ince, Swinley, Whelley, Platt Bridge and Poolstock.

Proposals could address how carers could best use respite time, connect with peers or help maintain their health and wellbeing, for example.

Coun Cunliffe added: “The concept fits in perfectly with our Community Wealth Building principles and its aim to create economic growth that benefits us all. We know we have such a creative cohort of social enterprises, community groups, entrepreneurs, businesses and organisations within our borough and we will continue to back them to help make a difference and boost the economy.”

Let’s Innovate for Unpaid Carers will take place on Wednesday, March 23, between 6pm and 8pm at Sunshine House, Wigan.

Want to attend the Let’s Innovate event and have your say?

www.wigan.gov.uk/letsinnovate

If you have any further questions or need help with the project proposal form, please email: [email protected]

Further details about the upcoming Let’s Innovate events will be released in due course.