1. The Visit
A total of 8 people living or working in the All Saints neighbourhood joined us on the exchange which included a visit to some of the community led housing that has been developed, a presentation from Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust, and a walking tour of the area to view the local environmental improvements.
2. What We Learnt
We learned from the Granby 4 Streets team experience of how to turn around a neighbourhood through community-led environmental improvements and taking charge of housing development. Small actions can make a big difference, simply through residents keeping the streets clean, painting and planting wherever they can, does succeed in creating community pride and starting on the road towards neighbourhood regeneration.
Celebrating skills and gifts in the community can unleash skills resulting in creating impromptu art installations on derelict houses and making innovative use of unwanted items such as prams to be used as planters. This inspired our own thinking in taking small steps that could be taken to uplift the All Saints neighbourhood. Particularly by using recyclable items.
This has given us the confidence to try similar initiatives within the All Saints neighbourhood. We saw how neighbours will help each other by taking small steps to look after their street.
This has motivated and inspired us to find out what is needed to get more people from the area to join in and make things happen. We will now proceed with small scale local environmental improvements and start by identifying the places and spaces that matter. It will be a good start to celebrate the skills and gifts within the community.
3. Some Interesting Advice
We liked meeting all the local community activists especially volunteer board members who were interesting to talk to and shared their enthusiasm as well as their learning on what had worked well and what had not worked as well – such as trying to recruit the right staff.
We admired their willingness to take risks and take charge on matters that were important to their community – their constant refrain was, ‘Do First, ask for forgiveness later.’
By Iftikar Karim
Saints Action Network (ASAN)
Remember: Locality can fund you up to £500 to help to connect you with the people and experience you need. Find out more about the Knowledge and Skills Exchange Programme.