First Steps project, Kenton Bar Tenants and Residents Association tell us all about their progress so far and what their next steps are.
We are a Tenants and Residents Association and work for the people of our estate to give them better services and to assist in the health and well-being of our residents. We are based in a small shop unit on the estate from which we hold our regular meetings, and try to hold events and clubs, Our area is an estate which has a varied housing ratio with bungalows, town houses, traditional housing and flats. We joined the programme to help us make a difference to where we live, and are looking in the long term to gain a community hub, so we can carry out more services for our residents as well as organising events. We have in the past had litter picking days, and have a gardening club which at the moment needs more people to be involved. We also have a craft club and a reading circle.
PROGRESS SO FAR
We have met with our relationship manager 3 times now, since our first meeting we have held a Family Fun Day where we also did a consultation with residents of the estate. Our manager has had a look at the results and we will meet again this week for the way forward.
We asked 4 Questions which were
1. What do you like about living on Kenton Bar?
2. Is there anything you don’t like about Kenton Bar?
3. What changes would you make to living here?
4. What would you like to see on Kenton Bar estate?
WORKING WITH THE COMMUNITY
We sent this questionnaire to all the houses on the estate as well as on the day of the fun day we asked people to fill in the forms for us. We got a load of answers from people who liked living here because they liked their neighbours, or were near relative’s, and others who didn’t like living here because of anti-social behaviour and nothing for the kids to do. There was nowhere to meet or have a coffee or chat and why do we have to go off the estate to be included in activities?
Our next step is to hold a pie and pea supper with entertainment for our older residents, and to consult with them what they would like to see on the estate.
We have attended two training sessions in Newcastle. One was ‘what is my neighbourhood like?’ and the second was ‘listening to your community’. Both sessions were very informative and we found them both interesting as well as learning from them. Our big success was our Fun Day, which a lot of people attended and asked for this to happen more often but we do not have enough funding to do this at present. We have found that unless you do a door-to-door knock and ask people for their views they do not bring any forms back to you. You have to be very proactive and not wait for others to do things for you.