As the Community Investment Manager for Calico Homes in Burnley, Alicia Foley knows that the young people of today are the customers she will be working with in the future. As a result, she knows the importance of a community that works to improve relationships with those young people, and the positive effects that engaging with them today will have on their future prospects.
Alicia has long been a supporter of all we do at Participation Works and has been one of our most trusted and loyal partners and friends for over a decade. This relationship started when Calico Homes got behind the work of our SPACE Bus project, having seen the value in our offering as a mobile youth hub of sorts, in the absence of a community centre-based project or designated youth club for local youngsters in most of the 16 neighbourhoods of the Burnley and Padiham region. With Alicia having long heard the cries of the community that there was “never anything to do” for young people, she was quick to turn a successful year-long trial into an ongoing relationship that would see Calico fund our popular SPACE Bus project for the good of children and young people from across the Burnley and Padiham region for years to come.
As the relationships have developed and the impact of the SPACE Bus has gone from strength to strength, Alicia has always been keen to put Calico forward as a supporter and champion of Participation Works as a key resource in the local community. As a result, she has been able to advise us on the availability of relevant funding from within her network of contacts, and has even served as our referee for when we have made successful bids to organisations such as Children in Need.
Alicia has also been an amazing person for us to thank in terms of having a base as a charitable organisation. Some years ago, Alicia was Chair of Burnley Youth Theatre, and so arranged for us to set up a happy home in their beautiful community building, where we felt that the atmosphere was simply perfect for us to be creative, hands on, and inspired by the great work the Theatre was producing and hosting for young people in the town. When the venue flooded in Summer 2018, however, Alicia was on hand again to support, and set us up with a home at the housing provider’s Valley Street Community Centre. Alicia is always keen to comment that it’s great to have us on site with the Calico team as it feels even more like we’re working as part of their family. We echo that sentiment completely and cannot wait to see what the future holds.
The mission of Calico Homes is to invest in communities so that everyone thrives. Alicia has often gone on record at events and in interviews and reports to say that the reason Participation Works makes for such a good partnership organisation with this mission is because we’re flexible with our approach to local need, we have a willingness to try new ideas and ways of working, and we have the professional and good natured team required to really drive forward innovation. Alicia – you can always rely on us, and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you and the team at Calico Homes for all you’ve done to support us.
We look forward to an exciting few months and years ahead, so watch this space for the unveiling of future projects between Participation Works and our friends at Calico Homes!