We don't do it often enough if we're honest, but on the occasions when we do open the portcullis to Nutclough Mill to non-audio folk, it's always an eye-opener. As we beaver away with our audio blinkers on, it's easy to forget that we are part of a wider community.
In the last few weeks there have been two things which reminded us of this. Firstly, on Boxing Day, northern England suffered some of the worst flooding it's ever seen, and Hebden Bridge was right in the maelstrom. Businesses and houses were devastated. We were very lucky at the factory - following the floods in 2012 when Calrec was flooded, the Environment Agency installed some very fancy defences, so all the housing at this end of the Valley was spared. But others weren't so lucky.
Hebden Bridge is a very resilient community, and people came together to help each other out. We had employees affected, a number of people within Calrec helped with the clean up on an individual basis, and we got involved with #calderdalerising
All this is a reminder of how important community is. Which brings us to the second thing; last weekend we were pleased to welcome the RECLAIM Project to Calrec - another organisation doing great work in the community. RECLAIM is a Manchester-based youth leadership charity which aims to end leadership inequality within a generation.
"We believe that at a time of widening social inequality, young people who demonstrate clear leadership capabilities should be supported in their ambitions. RECLAIM...offers working class young people opportunities and access, encouraging them to remain their authentic selves whilst building pride in their communities.
"We’ve witnessed generations of lost leaders who haven’t been provided with the tools to fly because they were unseen, living in the shadows of UK society. With RECLAIM’s support, the periphery can move to the centre and be heard. We find leadership qualities in overlooked young people and support them into positions of power and influence; within their families, peer-groups, schools and communities."
It's bloody marvellous really. We've shown several groups around Calrec over the years, including colleges, corporations and a number of industry groups like the AES and the IPS. And we have never had a group as motivated, engaged and eager for knowledge as these lads from Salford.
RECLAIM came to Hebden Bridge to experience its community spirit, and they were advised to contact Calrec as a member of that community. What an honour, and what a pleasure to be involved.04/02/16