Update from Neighbourhood Conversations

Update from Neighbourhood Conversations – 09/06/20

We have held Conversations in Well Street Common, Woodberry Wetlands, Clissold Park, Hackney Marshes and Hackney Downs Neighbourhoods in May, with Shoreditch Park & City, London Fields and Springfield Park Neighbourhood Conversations completed by 9 June.

Phase 2 Neighbourhood Conversations are:

  • Continuing to build connections between everyone, to know what each other are doing, helping signposting and linking up with services and support
  • Sharing new and relevant information and guidance to support organisations to deliver on the ‘front-line’
  • Identifying and utilising assets and expertise across each Neighbourhood to develop shared solutions
  • Focused discussions and co-ordinated action on key Neighbourhood issues, with a priority of achievable impact and benefit
  • A chance to identify and address concerns that are preventing people getting the support they need
  • Providing ground level insight and feedback on key support services and resources, including to the Council, NHS, HCVS and others
  • Supporting development of more local ownership, with broader and more diverse representation.

In summary, Phase 2 Conversations are providing a space for more in depth discussions around areas of focus and key themes for each Neighbourhood, identifying practical, local, and community owned steps that can be taken using the skills, experience and understanding of community needs that exist in each Network.

Breakout spaces are exploring themes including:

  • Sustainability; including sustainability of voluntary support, funding of VCSE, what next for people who have received crisis support
  • Mental health, loneliness, wider health impact of continued isolation; upskilling communities to meet emerging priority needs like be-friending, better connections between services and organisations, micro-interactions e.g. ‘stop and chat’
  • Digital Divide; young people, families, older people; also non digital short-term solutions e.g. printed newsletters and community radio; small local actions e.g reallocating expenses budget to fund wifi charges and devices, equipment donation and support for those who are digitally nervous. Local action supporting wider cross borough solutions e.g learning from wifi installed in supported housing
  • Rebuilding communities and connections; support to people to enable them to take an active role in Conversations and beyond, finding new ways to connect with each other, representation of intersectionality and across communities
  • Food poverty; looking beyond emergency food provision towards longer term solutions that offer choice, dignity and nutritional food which supports good health. Examples explored food pantry, vouchers, greater cultural diversity of food options, healthier options including for people with long term conditions trying to manage underlying conditions.
    Innovative local solutions; ‘micro-interactions’ eg ’stop and chat’ and low level befriending, small scale pilots utilising upcoming funding, as well as upskilling and supporting existing grassroots organisations to broaden their offer of support.

Example of Community Connections: Hackney Downs Neighbourhood Conversation built a connection between Community Radio (Jo and Immediate Theatre) and the Madina Mosque. Immediate Theatre are developing a community radio show to reach older people excluded by the digital divide. It needs to be hosted on an existing FM Radio Station. The Mosque have a radio station – they are now discussing how they could work together.