THRIVE THROUGH CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Thrive Honours Brum's Very Own Dream Weaver; Joan Blaney CBE Is One Woman Who Helps Makes Dreams Come True. She Is a Driving Force between the Latest Initiatives That Give People an Opportunity to Turn Their Business Dreams into Reality. This Commitment Has Helped Joan Win the Latest Thrive Community Award
Dream maker Joan Blaney was caught unawares when it was announced to an invited audience at city law firm Wragge & Co that she was to receive the latest award.
CETA, the Community Education & Training Academy based in Newtown, Birmingham, is the main commitment for Joan, who set up the charity in a bid to help disadvantaged people in their local communities.
The presentation of the award by Jonathan Bailey, of Severn Trent Water, was made at the end of a celebration to mark the success of the pilot scheme, Urban Dreams.
This joint initiative between CETA and DemSol has given ten Urban Dreamers the chance to work with business people from across the city to set up their own commercial enterprises.
Jonathan said: "Joan is clearly a very special person. She drives projects forward and really helps make the difference.
"She is not afraid to face up to difficult challenges head on and work face-to-face with people who are often in very distressing circumstances.
"Joan is an inspiration and it is a pleasure to make this award."
The nomination was made by Steven Butts, Head of Community Investment at Wragge & Co, who has worked closely with CETA on a range of projects.
The nomination highlights Joan's respect in the community and her involvement with CETA which has its focus on women, lone parents and people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.
Mr Butts wrote: "What makes Joan special is the way in which she drives projects forward. She is able to advise and consult with communities, public authorities and the business sector to spread the message and blend support from a greater range of organisations.
"In return, the organisations she works with are able to benefit from the engagement which, in turn, makes her work sustainable and focused on positive outcomes.
"In addition, Joan gets involved with direct intervention' not afraid to face very difficult challenges head on and work face to face with people who are often in very distressing circumstances."
He concluded: "Joan has spoken at platforms as diverse as the House of Lords to community halls, has worked with politicians to individuals who feel totally isolated and has inspired them all.
"A fantastic role model with a wealth of experience and talent that has brought genuine and hard won benefit to people in our city and further afield."
The next wave of Urban Dreamers are now being given the chance to turn their business ideas into reality.
Opportunities are there for everyone said Sir Bernard Zissman from Advantage Business Angels, who chaired the Urban Dreams Evaluation and Celebration event to mark the end of the pilot scheme. …