Portuguese Roots is a ‘Sharing Heritage’ partnership project between Thetford-based Portuguese in Action CIC,

East Timor Association in Peterborough and the civil society social enterprise,

Big Society Community Interest Company.

Founded five years ago in 2011, Big Society Funding CIC’s aims are to support and equip small, and often over-looked, Voluntary and Community Sector organisations (many from minority ethnic, refugee, and migrant backgrounds and struggling to overcome austerity cuts) with entrepreneurial and sustainable business skills to initially survive and then to thrive; and sustain their organisations despite financial and public sector retrenchment. We focus on governance and sustainability. Consultancy support is provided to help with fundraising, business planning, marketing, beneficiary consultation/involvement, evaluation and impact reporting.

 

By building organisational capacity and encouraging people and members of community groups to become ‘Big Society’ activists and fundraisers – and helping them in finding a voice in shaping local services and increasing their ability to meet the needs of the disadvantaged communities they care about. The CIC is an independent and non-political, not-for-profit organisation.

 

Over several years, as part of the CIC’s ‘pro bono’ programme, the organisation has undertaken significant capacity building assignments with groups like Portuguese Community in Action (East), Promoting African Refugees Community Association (Peterborough), Barking & Dagenham Somali Women’s Association and the Polish, Latvian & Sudanese communities in Thetford and Peterborough respectively. In all case developing close partnership and co-production working relationships.

 

One of the CIC’s directors is Mark Ereira-Guyer, who is leading on the Portuguese Roots project.