Name: Toni Jarvis
Organisation Tiger Community Enterprise CIC
Area you live in or support Live in Bilborough, work/support across the city and county
Email address email@example.com
To be able to understand a little about you, please answer the following questions:
If we were to work together on a project, what could you offer that would be great? I’m a blue sky thinker so am good at seeing the bigger picture and recognise the need to balance the needs of all stakeholders. I am creative and often think on a tangent, however, as a Project Manager, I can bring that back to an organised approach to the project. I am also very positive and like to have fun whilst I work.
And what would I need to be mindful of?
I am enthusiastic in my approach to projects, sometimes I need a bit of a sanity check to bring things back to reality. I am aware of this though, so take feedback well.
What were your steps leading to community organising?
1 My background is business – starting my first business at 21.
2 Over the years my businesses became more people focused, I ran a network marketing business building a large team selling books and educational CD-Roms through home parties. I loved the engagement with people and very much believe in learning for life and making learning fun. During this period I dipped my toe in volunteering by running our local Mother and Toddler group.
3 When the company supplying our products sold their business the direct selling element was closed, putting me out of business. Over the following years I ran other networking businesses, then moved on to selling makeup online – becoming one of the biggest make up sellers on ebay. Running my own businesses allowed me to be flexible around the family, being available for all the school commitments. This involved getting involved with the PTA.
4 With changes in the family dynamics I made a decision to close the makeup business and went back to working for a company! Over the years I had dipped in and out of employment – usually temping around my other commitments. This meant I had built up a wide range of experience of different sectors.
5 I started temping at the Food and Drink Forum, my first time working in the Third Sector. After a stint in Finance, I became the Events and Project Manager. Primarily responsible for managing the i-Net food innovation events programme, along with forum events. The role was varied, from running the Food and Drink market in the City in partnership with the council to running knowledge transfer training for the Universities to engage with local business. The highlight was the Food and Drink Innovation Awards, managing everything from the judging process to the awards night, it was great to find out about all the advances being made by small businesses and academia. As a funded role I got made redundant when the money ran out!
6 Whilst assessing what to do next (being made redundant 2 weeks before Christmas wasn’t much fun!) I took the opportunity to do my Prince 2 Project Management qualification to recognise the expertise I had built up. The one thing I hadn’t wanted to stop doing when I got made redundant was the work I was doing with small businesses, supporting them.
7 I started to put together a business plan and kept being told that what I was doing was a social enterprise – the focus was on supporting other people, not profits. After looking into it further Tiger Community Enterprise CIC was born June 2013. Initially we were supporting local businesses, looking at a distribution network directing into London via passenger trains and developing a community street market which we launched in November 2013. Nottingham StrEAT showcased local businesses – not just food but also artisan crafts, we also invited community organisations to participate and promote their projects. We also started to offer volunteer opportunities so that young people could add work experience to their CVs. Over the last 6 years we have run a number of projects, all of which have helping people to help themselves at the heart.
8 Getting introduced to Notts Community Organisers clarified my role as a community organiser.
What current projects are you involved with? Tiger Green Textiles – our community recycle project works with community organisations providing a gentle introduction to recycling whilst teaching and sharing sewing and crafts skills. Our community workshops are a focus to get people out of their houses to meet people and make new friends over a mutual activity. Participants build their self esteem and confidence as well as gaining skills. We also run paid classes and workshops and sell products to support the project.
The StrEAT Food Stall – our streetfood stall was set up as an income generator. We also support community events with an accessibly priced menu of freshly cooked food. We also offer work experience opportunities to young people interested in catering as a career.
Tiger Work Skills – we are currently accessing funding to run another work experience project. Giving young people an opportunity to work on live projects, building their confidence and skill set, helping them move forward into further education or the work place.
Please indicate your skill set
Project Management, planning and budgets
Events management, including promotion
Working with young people (including excluded young people), people with learning difficulties, older people
Online sales and social media