August 14, 2015 at 6:57 pm #11347
Hello, my name is Claire and I am currently on the ‘First Steps’ programme, hoping to set up a networking group on here, so that we can chat about our projects and offer moral support along the way.August 14, 2015 at 11:38 pm #11348
Hi Claire, I’m Sheila and our group is also on the First Steps programme. I like what you are proposing and hope others will join in too.August 17, 2015 at 10:13 am #11350
Hello! Lovely to meet you Sheila 🙂
What is your project and where are you based?August 17, 2015 at 4:45 pm #11366
Hello – I’m Tracey from the Community Rights Team at DCLG. I’m working with CDF on First Steps. I am always interested to hear about your projects and any early problems you have found. I have already visited a project in Tottenham, the West Green Road/Seven Sisters Development Trust; their aim is to set up working groups on each of their four priority work areas for the ward. These include Trustees, members of WCC, local residents, traders and new volunteers. The working groups will produce draft action plans for their work area, which will be collectively discussed and agreed.
What are you hoping to achieve on action plans?August 18, 2015 at 12:42 am #11367
Hi Claire We are based in the village of Edwinstowe which is in North Nottinghamshire in the heart of Sherwood Forest. We have a diverse community in as much as we are from many different social and British cultural backgrounds but very little diversity in ethnicity as we are predominantly white British (around 98%)
Our village has undergone a lot of major changes in recent years and loss of much of its social infrastructure, including for some a loss of community identity. As our pit has now closed we are undergoing yet more change and loss. Our project is to involve the people who live and work in Edwinstowe to conduct a community survey with consultation events and create a community action plan. Hardly anyone we speak to has heard of Localism and many believe that the common man can do little to change their environment so we have quite a task helping people to understand that they do have rights and powers to actually do something about the way change happens and that there is help and funding for this. There are of course the Job’s comforters, the sceptics and the downright disbelievers but we are hoping to find a way of reaching out and building bridges as we go in search of the side-lined and vulnerable people who don’t usually get a chance to have their say.
We hope the action plan will identify projects and potential project leaders so we can regenerate the sort of community spirit I here the long term residents and natives talk about.
We have our launch even August 29th so it is all go right now.
Tracy it is good to know that we have someone from DCLG working with CDF as I for one have felt very uplifted at times when I have seen that Central Government are taking a genuine interest. It has not been an easy ride to get here and the DCLG has directly helped me over one or two hurdles we have met along the way.August 18, 2015 at 11:14 am #11368
Hi Claire, Shelia and Tracey!
Great to hear from you all – Shelia – it sounds like the process of developing a First Steps plan is having a really positive effect in Edwinstowe. If you’ve not seen them already, some of the resources in Step 2 – involve others – in partiuclar these resources may be useful:
Claire, what is your project about?
CharlotteAugust 18, 2015 at 11:14 am #11369
Sorry Shelia, meant to add links in there – here you go:August 19, 2015 at 3:01 pm #11374
Wow, your project sounds brilliant Sheila and really well put together.
Our project is based in Runcorn and the area definitely has a lot of similarities with the one that you describe.
Our project all started from a little pop up garden we installed last year, which people expected to be trashed within days/hours of us doing it, months later everything was still there and in fact people had started to put things in there too.
This year we are doing the garden project again, but using it as a chance to talk people along the way. We are doing this by holding several ‘art in the garden’ sessions and then going out to some other groups over the next few months. Loneliness is something that keeps coming up time and time again, from all different ages, which is actually quite heartbreaking.
We are more at the ‘Baby Steps’ level, as we pull our ideas together, but we want to put together a project that has some real longevity to it, incorporating art, gardening and localism.
Tracy: Thanks for replying! My main problem at the moment is how to produce a draft plan that will have enough evidence to provoke discussions with local government, but also be able to share it with our local community and not put them off with overcomplicated language.
August 20, 2015 at 11:43 am #11376
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Claire.
Good to hear of these varying examples. I’m working (as a ‘relationship manager’) with 2 areas, both very different again – one a community kitchen project and one where they are looking to take their parish plan forward. I think that how these projects can develop and work with local councils will certainly be a key issue for many. But as Sheila says, the biggest issue is often getting people to believe that they can change things themselves. I’m sure that we can do this!August 20, 2015 at 1:03 pm #11377
Nice having a variety of different roles on this thread, do you think that the people you are working with will also use online forums like this?
Totally right about instilling that belief in people, we can do it! 🙂August 21, 2015 at 6:52 pm #11379
Thanks Claire, it is getting a bit scary now as it gets closer. We have delivered about half of our leaflets (2500) and we are hoping that people will take note and come.
I will have a look at step 2 asap Charlotte.August 21, 2015 at 7:13 pm #11380
Claire – I know your relationship manager will help you with this and CDF will shortly be releasing some helpful tools , however consider the purpose of your consultation and the language free of jargon and using visuals will help effectively.I’ll look into some other projects that are having engaging conversations with not only their community but also discussions with local government.August 21, 2015 at 10:29 pm #11381
Claire the only reason we are doing this particular project is because we have seen groups spring up and die down or struggle for want of members or volunteers. We thought it would be an idea to ask what people wanted and try to get some idea about need, numbers and volunteers before we put any specific problem together. Like everyone else it is a case of learning on the fly and we are have made lots of mistakes as we went along, as I am sure we will do again.
One of my pet wishes is for a pop-up garden and I think the fact that I actually go along to a community garden in the next village as we don’t have one. I wonder how many people realise that gardening with others reaches and addresses so many of the factors that go towards social, environmental and personal wellbeing. I really like you ideas. Have you been along to any of the community gardens that seem to be springing up and for something special try looking at Incredible Edible. Now there’s a community idea that makes me want to move house but it may have some inspirational ideas for you and act as evidence to support your cause.
You may already have this information but if not it may be useful to look and what the government says about growing spaces.
I look forward to watching and hearing how you go.September 4, 2015 at 4:58 pm #11423
Hello! Sorry for my lack of replies, I sodded off to Hamburg to visit family and couldn’t remember my log in details away from computer (whoops). Our first big event was on the 25th August and I left the day after, without my brain. So many pictures to update and blog posts to write!
So will respond in a more sensible like manner tomorrow 🙂September 22, 2015 at 7:04 pm #11552
Here are two blog posts from last year’s project and earlier this year Sheila
Just writing up this years main garden event now, and then we will do one final ‘art in the garden’ session on the 3rd October.
Will post the link to new blog as soon as I have written it!
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