Update from Neighbourhood Conversations

Update from Neighbourhood Conversations – 05/06/20

Our update this week reflects on Phase 2 Conversations held in Shoreditch Park and the City and London Fields Neighbourhoods, which by and large shared themes in Conversations covered in our last update.
  • The longer term health / mental health impact of isolation and shielding; as we move out of lockdown how can spaces like parks, community centres and cultural institutions offer activities on and offline that support residents’ wellbeing? Concerns that information isn’t getting to people that need it, particularly for mental health support; potential for organisations with reach into communities to act as networks for information dissemination.
  • Digital Divide and getting services to the people who need them; focussing on small local actions and examples of things working well, and feeding into borough-wide cross sector discussions. Some additional examples of things going well / being explored; Over the phone coaching to help people navigate online, fundraising to buy data enabled devices topped up centrally, loaned out to users in the community, not dependent on Wi-Fi.
  • Sustainability and moving towards the future: supporting organisations to adapt and reopen, maximising the use of community spaces; sustaining support in the longer term. There is a “need to combine with the stability of established groups with the agility of mutual aid groups” by building connections with more established organisations, strengthening existing frameworks and explore the potential of joint funding.
  • Connectivity Neighbourhood Conversations have opportunity to link organisations with each other, explore opportunities to share skills, experience and know-how with each other. Information (paper, by phone, in person) through existing and ready-made hyperlocal networks of volunteers and existing VCSE organisations.
Horizon scanning: we are about to see the lifting of a ban on evictions for private tenants; there is a need to prepare information and guidance for residents with immediate effect. There is a longer-term identified issue of capacity of current provision of services in VCSE to respond to the anticipated recession.