Our Mission

We are working across the South West in areas of deprivation to explore the unique position of schools, and how their underused facilities and resources can be harnessed to catalyse community activity and energy.

Connecting Schools and communities

Creating sustainable businesses


South West


2016 – Present


RIO’s Connected Schools Programme, Power to Change, Innovation Fund

RIO - Connected Schools

The Aim

The aim of the Connected Schools Programme is to lead an innovative model of working with schools and communities to create an environment for which ‘Connected Schools’ can emerge and succeed in supporting communities to take local problems.

RIO has extensive experience of working with schools and believe they are uniquely places within communities to make things happen and create sustainable foundations for community enterprise to grow.

The Solution

RIO has extensive experience of setting up and running social businesses and supporting others to do so. We are empowering communities to find enterprising solutions to local issues and create community businesses across the South West using our innovative approach to learning and using our practical suite of business support.

Read some of our case studies to find out what we have been up to in the first year of our programme.

Check out Connected schools on twitter https://twitter.com/Connected_Schs for updates or contact RIO consultant Deshni Pyndiah deshni.pyndiah@realideas.org for details on the programme.

Stats and Facts

  • Engaging children and young people in community business activity to inspire a new generation of community business leaders and citizens that are better connected to their communities.
  • Ensuring new audiences are exposed to the community business sector such as young people, parents, teachers and new members of the community.
  • Bringing schools and communities together around key local issues and together, creating innovative solutions to difficult local problems.
  • Empowering disadvantaged communities with community business tools, knowledge and resources so they can help improve their own lives.
  • Supporting Schools to develop meaningful, sustainable and dynamic relationships with the community- relationships that can create further opportunities for both school and its pupils.
  • Help establish sustainable community businesses in areas of depravation that respond to the needs of the local area.
How The Project Was Received

RIO has extensive experience of working with schools and believe that they are uniquely placed to catalyse community energy particularly in deprived communities.
Through this programme, we will explore the key role that schools play in community business and learn how bringing a wealth of underused facilities, skills and opportunities can meaningfully support those in deprived communities . Connected Schools hubs will harness physical space, practical skills, learning opportunities and the creativity of children, young people and adults. By connecting communities, we aim to create flourishing, community businesses that solve problems, provide services and enable people to live rewarding lives.

Deshni PyndiahTBC

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