We are pleased to welcome the appointment of Charlie Luxton, architectural designer and television presenter, in a new ambassador role as part of our centenary celebrations.

Rural community groups are increasingly turning to Plunkett, the national experts in community business, to explore the model as a means of safeguarding or reintroducing local services and assets. The charity was founded 100 years ago by co-operative pioneer and benefactor, Sir Horace Plunkett. The community business approach and ethos is as vibrant today as it was in 1919 and chimes with Charlie’s belief that to achieve real change for the better in rural communities, change needs to be led by local people.

As the host of Plunkett’s 2018 Rural Community Business Awards, Charlie has met and heard first-hand of the difference communities make when they rally together to save a local asset, such as their village shop or pub, from closure. A community business makes a difference to its local community every day; they play a vital role in tackling loneliness and isolation, investing in training and employment opportunities for local people and ensuring those without transport continue to have access to basic services.

Charlie is excited to be working closely with Plunkett, its community business members and its partners, to acknowledge the growth and success of the community business sector over the past 100 years. As well as hosting key organisational events in the charity’s 2019 calendar, Charlie will be supporting the launch of Plunkett’s centenary fundraising campaign later this spring.

Charlie Luxton said:

“I firmly believe that the role of community businesses, community-led housing and support organisations in tackling the challenges facing our communities have never be more necessary or potent. In an era of big business, big housing developments and big changes to society, community businesses are nimble and have a local focus. This leads to community led solutions that truly respond to and address the challenges faced by rural communities today, that would otherwise go unanswered. When solutions are delivered by the people for the people there is the added potential to empower and transform and create resilient and thriving places to work and live.

This is at the core of why I am excited to working with the Plunkett Foundation in an ambassador role in their 100th year.”

James Alcock, Executive Director, said:

“We are thrilled that Charlie has agreed to be our Centenary Ambassador to help us celebrate the success of community businesses today, and also give recognition to the achievements of the sector over 100 years. It is a tribute to Sir Horace’s forward thinking that his vision of communities coming together to form and run their own businesses for the benefit of local people is still as strong today. Indeed, it is even more relevant as rural communities across the country face the challenges of the future.  But it also depends upon the extraordinary efforts of the people involved to ensure that community businesses create resilient, thriving and inclusive rural communities.”