It's been a whirlwind of a month with seven meetings across the nation, each hosted by a Locality member.
Great discussions about community development and the intricacies of building regeneration.
- @BBB_Insights

From heritage buildings and digital media centres, to community gardens we have really showcased the diversity of our members in the latest series of our Power of Community meetings.

Over the course of the month, 144 of you joined us to celebrate the power of the network, meet other community organisations and share ideas. See what we’ve been up to.

 

Oxford House, London

Attendees took an incredible tour of Oxford House in Bethnal Green – a community arts centre, the first ‘Settlement House’ and a Grade II listed heritage building. Sarah, our host, took us through the highs and lows, opportunities and learnings from their almost complete beautiful and gentle redevelopment.

Simon Donovan also shared insights from Manor House Development Trust’s approach to community development. Their success is underpinned by 5 keystones:

  1. connection
  2. empowerment
  3. space
  4. influence
  5. organisation

Halifax Opportunities Trust, Halifax

Visiting the multi-award-winning HOT was only one of the highlights of the POC hosted by Alison Haskins. Hearing how they embed their Keep it Local principles gave everyone food for thought.

A sunny post-lunch tour of the community gardens gave us all a chance to appreciate the diversity of venues that HOT have – from straw bale classrooms to enterprise centres and community cafes. We were inspired!

However Project 6 gave us the opportunity to hear about real-life stories – a service user came and talked about his journey from despair and addiction, to realising that life was worth living. It was truly inspiring to be reminded of what all members are doing on a daily basis. Find out more about Project 6.

Learning all about the reality of being a #CommunityAnchor and sharing information about our new Community Anchor's Fund.
- @VMFStartLocally

The Wharton Trust, Hartlepool

The Annexe in Hartlepool is a true community anchor, sitting in a very deprived part of a city that feels forgotten about. However, the passion and resilience of the staff and board made this a wonderful visit. We heard about the wonderful work in the small area of Dyke House, and how different communities work together to make the community a better place.

We talked about coastal communities and poverty, ill-health and seasonal economies. There is a coastal path being launched in 2020 – a 2700 mile long physical asset that will unite all coastal communities for the first time. Sacha at the Wharton Trust, and Charlotte at Coast and Vale are interested in starting a member group on Coastal communities – who else is in? If you’d like to join, email jo.williams@locality.org.uk

We finished by talking about Health and Wellbeing, the social determinants of health, and what members are doing and how they are measuring their impact that clinicians will take note of. Have you joined our H&W member group? If not, you can sign up by emailing members@locality.org.uk

 

Hulme Community Garden Centre, Manchester

The classroom at Hulme Community Garden Centre was packed for the North West event. Hulme Garden Centre is a brilliant and unique horticultural project. Opened in 2000, it’s a dynamic, biodiverse & beautiful inner-city garden centre & community green space. Find out about and support their community share offer.

Attendees heard from Mary Clear from Incredible Edible, the inspiring movement of communities using food, growing, kindness and the power of small actions to support local business, connect the community and encourage learning. Find out more about the power of small actions.

Arbury Community Garden Centre, Cambridge

After the overwhelming positive feedback from their Locality Convention ’18 workshop, our host Alan, Centre Manager of Arbury Community Centre, and guest speaker Karen Thomas, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge University, took us through a highly interactive session applying successful toolkits for community engagement. When exploring the role arts organisations play in the communities they serve, there was a discussion around how to ensure projects are inclusive and involve the most isolated members of the community.

Our final session included our very own Locality team, Mick and Kathryn, who led a ‘how to create the perfect funding cocktail’ session, with a mocktail of course! From loan finance to community shares, our team guided members through creating the right balance to bring sustainability to your organisation.

Truly #inspiring stories from clients @SwedaServices and now its journey.
- @SarahPatriceACS

SWEDA, West Bromwich

They earned their own hashtag, #dreamteam hosts Davinder and Sandra told us the story of SWEDA and how their organisation has supported over 1,400 individuals (over 50% BAME!) with mentoring, training and gaining employment.

Their message to the room focused on two important points:

  • Recognise the contribution of Third Sector/Charities that are contributing to the local and national economy
  • To include the third sector as part of the Business Support and Employment delivery agencies working with the very vulnerable, disengaged, and hard to reach communities

Knowle West Media Centre, Bristol

To achieve cultural, social and economic regeneration by involving the community in media arts activity, education and action.

We welcomed panelists Carolyn Hassan, Zoe Gross, Dimitra Simeonidou, Susan Halford and Liz Davidson who each shared how 5G and Big Data was being used to improve their organisation’s performance and strengthen effective engagement within their communities.

The morning session ended with a Q&A, pulling together thoughts and challenges ideas around technology. It isn’t a simple solution to social problems, it isn’t designed for everyone, but it is in the hands of people and communities to change technology, what it is used for and what they can do with this technology.

The afternoon session was led by Sue Turner, Chief Exec at Quartet Community Foundation who crowdsourced from our members how the funds can be best accessed and used by the community.

BIG thank you

To our hosts, guest speakers, and to all of you who attended, networked, shared your stories, and got involved. It was a wonderful month of inspiring stories (from the highs to the lows), learning, and connecting with others in the network. See you for our next series of meetings next year!

Want to get involved next year?

Would you like to showcase your organisation by either hosting or speaking at one of our Power of Community meetings next year?

Get in touch with us at members@locality.org.uk