Case Study: RE4orm – changing people’s lives in Torbay and South Devon
The Community Interest Company based in Torbay aims to engage with, empower and enthuse families and children across the area. Their inspiring work has been widely recognised, and in recent weeks, with the added impact of the global pandemic, they are really making a difference in their local community.
Katie Cavanna, Managing Director of RE4orm, wanted to build a company starting with the values that ‘everyone deserves the right start in life’. The concept grew to help bring the local community to work together as one, reduce poverty and raise aspirations and opportunities for all.
Katie said: “Everyone deserves a champion to believe in them. I wanted to create a team of professionals with extensive experience and education in business and family support to be the Champions. Together, our commitment will improve the lives of families who need us the most. By volunteering our time and expertise I know we can make a real difference.”
With over 6,000 children currently living in poverty in Torbay, the task set was a big one. Katie needed to build a sustainable business plan and identify viable funding bids and secure investment to realise her dream.
Katie met with TDA Business Advisor Kim Thornton to discuss her business ideas, receiving support and guidance on the first steps of starting her company.
Through Start Up Torbay, an ERDF Enterprise Coaching programme, Kim assisted Katie with funding applications, provided support with grants and business loans and provided key opportunities through local contacts and networking.
Katie said: “Having signposted many people to Kim and the TDA team in the past for support, I was aware of the incredible pool of knowledge the team has. Kim has been phenomenal; supportive, encouraging and a great ‘critical friend’. I strongly advise anyone who is looking to set up their own business, to work with Kim and the TDA. The support you will receive is simply invaluable.”
Kim added: “Katie’s vision and belief in this project was evident from the start. With her inspiring work ethic and dedication, it was clear to see that with some initial support from others the company was going to be a great success. The beauty of it all is the impact it is having on people in the local community. Katie is being recognised as somebody who is helping change people’s lives, and rightly so.”
“Katie and her team of volunteers have really stood up during this time of need. Their work right now is vital and the way in which the company has engaged with other local businesses to work together and provide children and families with meals is outstanding.”
Re4orm has pledged to, and so far, is delivering 800 meals a week to families across Torbay, while securing funding to continue to do so for the summer months.
Continuing to work closely with families, RE4orm’s holistic approach enables families to be empowered to make changes. By offering communities advice and guidance with parenting, budgeting, benefits advice, advocacy and more, they are reaching previously disengaged communities. ‘Cooking on a budget’ workshops, help with literacy and life skills and providing a space for people to come together are seeing long-term benefits.
RE4orm are creating a Mobile Community Hub, offering support to our hardest to reach families and children. Equipped with a kitchen, cafe area, meeting space and library, this hub will be in the community throughout the week, providing a positive and purposeful venue for all. RE4orm has just received National Lottery Community Funding for this project too. The Hub will be launched in the Autumn, after its renovation.
Kim Thornton added: “Katie has some great plans to grow the company further and I will be there to support her along the way should she need it.”
To find out more about RE4orm you can visit their Facebook and Twitter pages or their website www.re4orm.uk
The Mobile Community Hub.