by Bridget Kelly, founder of ADD Mid-West Support Group
I learned so much…
I would class my local Credit Union as a Social Enterprise. I was involved as a volunteer in my Credit Union for many years. The amount of training available at no personal cost except time was amazing. I started as a simple volunteer. As I grew and learned about the movement I was asked to join the Board. In time, I held all the key officer’s roles mainly because the training for each role was available free and the hands on practical learning happened at each monthly Board meeting. I met so many lovely people many of who are still my dear friends. I learned so much about my community and its people through this experience. It was a privilege to have been involved. I certainly got back so much more form my voluntary involvement than I could ever give.
In 1998 with six other desperate parents we set up ADD Mid-West. Since then as best we knew how we offered support to parents like ourselves. Last year we decided to have a look at ourselves to see where we were and how we could improve. A piece in the Post caught our eye. From there our lives have been a roller-coaster as we learned about the modern meaning of Social Enterprise. We were lucky to be offered a place on the BNest Programme. This programme has the information and expertise to encourage us to re vamp and expand our group and get us into the 20th century. All this is delivered in such a caring, encouraging and empowering way. Yes, there is work to be done however the way the course is delivered we are as little busy bees happily working away knowing where we are going, confident that all we need to succeed is available to us. The group and the co- coordinators are such a warm encouraging self-sharing group. So again, for me horizons enlarged and more dear friends made. The benefits to our group cannot be measured yet but the positive changes will be seen in the years to come.