Rosetta Ufeli-Iormeanu tells us all about her First Steps project, and how things have progressed so far.
At one of First Steps training, in July, I met the Relationship Manager for our area for the first time. She was quite easy to approach and have a productive discussion with.
The other group in the area (CABINET CURIOSITY) and my group had decided to work in collaboration by complementing each other.
This decision was encouraged by the Relationship Manager.
We left that training hopeful and with further plans to move our working relationship forward.
WORKING IN COLLABORATION
We later had a meeting to evaluate how we would progress our collaboration work. The meeting was to better understand what our individual organisation does and see how we can complement each other in a way that would benefit the community and its residents.
The meeting was precise and productive. At the meeting we agreed that the next step of action would be to arrange a meeting with one or more of the Councillor for the area.
This we accomplished. We met with her and she was interested in what we were about.
She invited us to a quarterly residents meeting (Luton PACT), which was scheduled for Monday 7th September 2015.
She explained that we would be able to meet with some residents and also have the opportunity to deliver presentations about our community programmes.
My group attended the ‘Luton PACT’ meeting which was also attended by two Councillors for the area, a representative of the Kent, Police, representative of the Medway Council housing department, a representative of the environmental department of the Medway Council, representatives of a youth team, and a member of the Luton library, where the meeting was held.
Attending the Luton PACT gave me the opportunity, not only to present my proposal, but also to have a better understanding of the community and its needs. I was also able to confirm evaluate our group’s community projected plans for the area as stated in our application to First Steps.
The outcome was that the needs for community cohesion and the need for a community centre/hub for the area is a major in their deliberations.
PRESENTING TO THE COMMUNITY
My group was given an opportunity to deliver a presentation.
At the end of the presentation, majority of residents present welcomed the idea of improving the area, especially in terms of provision of community centre/hub, where residents could come and socialise as well as the need for a better, improved and safe neighbourhood, bridging the gap between the youth and older people, and the gap between Eastern Europeans migrants and indigenes in the community, as well as healthier understanding and appreciation of the differences in cultures and traditions.
Our group next step is to meet with the Management Committee of Luton PACT to fashion how we can work together at:
• Planning a forum with as many residents, so as to find out more about their opinions/views/ideas
• Seek volunteers to work with our group