Meet your neighbourhood with your neighbour by Joanne Cross

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Meet your neighbourhood with your neighbour by Joanne Cross

Please describe your community project
Walking tours of the Northern Quarter for locals to learn more about the neighbourhood and giving the chance to meet others who live in the community. And the Northern Quarter Forum, which is ongoing.

Who have you been collaborating with?
Northern Quarter Forum Residents Group, Hayley Flynn - Tour guide, Tom Collins - MCC Neighbourhoods Officer

Why does this matter to you and your community/neighbours?

I have a fear we are losing our community for all sorts of reasons. Many people don't even know who lives next door to them or have local knowledge about the history & development of the area. It’s very slow going - doing things in little stages, little increments all the time, especially when there is no money involved.

But I enjoy meeting different people, connecting with people that I’ve not necessarily connected with before, because I am out and about doing things like planting.

What would you like your project to achieve?
A community of residents and businesses who will take pride in the area by coming together to achieve this.

I have more Confidence after the programme, learning what is out there to help communities. Sometimes you feel you are just doing things on your own. Learning how to do it with other people, incremental steps = we are here for the long haul.





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Spirit of Place by B Hunter

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Spirit of Place by B Hunter

Please describe your community project
An event to bring together stakeholders for Castlefield - land owners, constructors, developers, business, local authority - to make pledges to commit to activities to support the work of local community groups and residents/workers. With the aim of getting tactical help plus buy-in to a long term vision for the area.

Who have you been collaborating with?
Castlefield Forum - this is their project but we have been supporting and extended the reach to ensure the outputs impact all parts of the wider Castlefield area. It has also helped improve relations with Castlefield Forum so we're sharing ideas and resources. I don’t feel like I’m doing a lot but maybe that’s a self-perception thing about how much energy or time I spend on it. I’m inspired by all the other good stuff going on. Juliet’s and Mo’s stuff, Joanne’s tour. That’s a kick to me.

Why does this matter to you and your community/neighbours?

Bridges the gap between the 'two' bits of Castlefield. Makes those investing in the area more accountable for giving back to the area

What would you like your project to achieve?
A community of residents and businesses who will take pride in the area by coming together to achieve this

It's going to start in august! I will update you on the launch and progress.

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GM Commoners Housing Co Op by Rachele

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GM Commoners Housing Co Op by Rachele

Please describe your community project
Trying to build 40 Co op housing

Who have you been collaborating with?
Lots of people who need housing

Why does this matter to you and your community/neighbours?

Rising rents mean lots of people with young families are struggling whilst at the same time many older people feel isolated. This offers a solution

What would you like your project to achieve?
Ethical, environmentally sustainable housing that can help people feel happy and part of something.


People interested in joining our Co op are welcome to come down and find out more.

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Let's Keep Growing by By Juliet Davis & Mo Blue

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Let's Keep Growing by By Juliet Davis & Mo Blue

Please describe your community project

Let’s Keep Growing is a Longsight community group working on turning the alleyways between Slade Ln, Hamilton Rd, Palm St and Hector Rd into a community garden

Who have you been collaborating with?
After the course it’s great to do it in practise and meet the councillors and Neighbourhood Officers and talk about practical things with them. During the course I was still unclear about the role of Councillor and Neighbourhood Officers and it’s great to see how involved and supportive they are. I feel quite confident being around lots of different people and trusting I will know how to be present with them.

Why does this matter to you and your community/neighbours?

I really love thinking back on early moments in the programme - for example the first day when we all said something we are passionate about and to see how those idea at the time felt quite abstract and I feel like there are threads between why we came and what we expressed then and what we are doing now. We came with an abstract idea and we’ve turned it into something ambitious but also very practical - a combination of practicalities and ambition.

It’s great to see younger residents, especially children, who have not planted before. They didn’t know what a worm was and I was surprised. There’s another lady who grows a lot in her garden. Everyone has different interests and skills. We’ve managed to get advice form actual gardeners which is great because, whilst it might seem quite daunting, it’s such a skill with so many parameters. Planting in pots is much harder than in the ground so it’s great that we have those willing people involved to give us advice. People are asking about the alleyaway looking good and people have contacted us and want to work with us.

What would you like your project to achieve?

It’s mainly me and Mo leading the garden and doing the funding applications but my aim long terms is that the garden is eventually run by the people who live there and use it. I want to find a way to open the conversation and for people to get even more involved if they want to.

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Hulme Community Forum By Bernard Sudlow

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Hulme Community Forum By Bernard Sudlow

Please describe your community project
The project title I got during the training - Hulme Community Forum / Humle Community Bloom is working well as an overall definition of the direction I’m looking to support and be part of and cultivate. There are other elements I’ve not published so much - if that direction of travel is being picked up by another agent I will support rather than take the lead, I’m happy with that.

There was some hostility in the early days because the Community Leader title doesn’t mean anything. The group were initially suspicious because it’s not an elected role, it’s something that was taught. The title then gave me a ticket to be in the room and having a certain amount of practise and it was OK from then.

Who have you been collaborating with?
Serendipitously the management of The Aquarius Centre - it’s now being managed by One Manchester Housing Association who are looking to re-invent themselves - they’ve looked to engage with the community on a number of projects and that’s brought in the food element. I’m working with the Cafe Dynamo team, a project initiated by a group that One Manchester (healthy me, healthy communities), their emphasis is community development and they have a number of outlets - the first project was as Community Grocer and they offered training in Food Safety. I was gifted that so now have additional training. So now I’m working with a small group on the theme of opening a community cafe with Healthy Me Healthy Communities - and through Aquarius it’s being rolled out.

Why does this matter to you and your community/neighbours?

Through collaboration you set off and you have an idea about where you’re going and things happen and you think, that’s a good idea, or that’s a good idea and you end up with a more colourful route.

I’ve noticed I’m not terribly strong in giving up things I want to do. I’m also noticing as much as I’d like to do things. I prefer to do it myself, it gives me raison d’etre which I value. At times I might be interested in being in 2 places at once which isn’t always practical but that encourages me to look for support….to allow others to have more responsibility and do more and then also help me.

Which means if the pressure is on then I’m more attentive to how and where to do that effectively - the idea is to feed a particular interest so as to have that interest support your interest so there’s a certain amount of give and take in that.

What would you like your project to achieve?
In order to be able to make a contribution you have to be able to see the field of play and in that context the title and the role delivers much of that. There’s a lot of work to do!


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Brickfield CIC by Christian Berger & Dani Abulhawa

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Brickfield CIC by Christian Berger & Dani Abulhawa

Please describe your community project
"Regenerating unused urban spaces for community use"

We started off about a year or so developing the space in Ardwick. We felt very energised during the Community Leaders programme to do community engagement and work with the council and hit a block due to political reasons.

But on reflection that’s allowed us to put energy into other projects in our local community in Moss Side - so it’s been a good thing. The project is closer to home, smaller. We’ve been able to start from the beginning applying the skills from the Community Leaders programme - to listen, take time, reflect and engage people in a respectful way.

Having started a new project we’ve been able to start it with quite a different approach and so far I feel like it’s allowed us to make what seems like slower progress but maybe a more lasting impact.

Who have you been collaborating with?
Moss Side Councillors, Fallowfield Councillors, Ardwick Councillors, Sow the City, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Buglife.org

Bernard (fellow community leader 2018) is part of our Core Team - amazing to have his wisdom. Throughout our journey other characters like Bernard have appeared and we’ve joined forces. These people are popping out of nowhere and joining forces! One thing I appreciate about Bernard is he’s good at making sure we slow down on decisions and think about the way we do things - it’s his experience of community work. As a young person I jump into things - it’s good to have that nudge to slow down.

We’ve connected with Mo and Sandra - for movement workshops with older women in Ardwick and with Juliet - with the environmental and climate justice world that we are circling around.

It’s also about getting people out of their houses. When we’ve been out of the house you see people and get to know your neighbours and connect with people. I’m realising that although people don’t have time there’s not one person who’s trying to stop you and get in your way, It’s a matter of working out when people can do those little actions feeding into the bigger picture of bringing people together.

I feel like there’s lots of little ways in which the Community Leaders Programme has enhanced our relationship with neighbours and the neighbourhood. Cristian has planted Veg in Alleyways, cleared alleyways and put up fences and gates. That work makes a difference - in terms of changing the culture, getting more people interested in growing. You feel a lot more responsible to do things. I feel like because we’ve had some training in how to engage respectfully with the community we have the privilege of having that knowledge and makes us responsible to act on those issues if we have the time and energy. Without making it sounds like a chore or duty, it’s actually hugely rewarding to do those small actions.

Why does this matter to you and your community/neighbours?

To create peaceful and natural retreats in the urban environment. To promote and encourage wellbeing, personal development and belonging in open space. To connect people with nature and each other through outdoor activities.

People are reaching out to help you - recognising that the people in the Council have a lot of power and it makes you realise how important our votes are in local elections. I never really put 1 and 1 together before. It’s motivated me to speak to people a bit more about finding out who is on your ballot - I underestimated that before.

What would you like your project to achieve?
To create new community spaces where people can come together, to take part in physical activities, skills training and engage in local and personal heritage.

Anything else to add?

Thanking Amity for inspiring us to do more for our community. I feel like the Community Leaders course has given me a lot more confidence to develop projects and take them forward, we’ve been able to make new connections. I can see people who would make great Community Leaders and don’t know how to do it - they need these skills and it can change the world. Everyone in Manchester should do it!







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Travelling Story Book by Mo Blue

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Travelling Story Book by Mo Blue

Please describe your community project
This project focused on the 50+ community in Brunswick. I decided to look at how the over 50s could be supported to develop a sense of purpose within the Brunswick community.

The initial stage of the project involved interviewing and recording short video clips of the 50+ community. Each person was asked a series of questions aimed at their childhood from the age of 0-11 years old. The questions were designed to take people back to a `happy place` and give them a voice.

The next stage of the project will involve the 50+ community working together as a group to learn new skills in simple app based animation. Listening to the video recordings, each member will create a single animation to illustrate one of the answers given on the video, for example an animation of their favourite game. Students and young people will also be involved by creating the images to animate.

The final stage of the project involved sharing the videos with children and young people.

Who have you been collaborating with?
Siobhan O`Connor from Archives+ People from the local community

Why does this matter to you and your community/neighbours?

It gave older people in the community the opportunity to stimulate multi generational discussions around the theme of " the travelling story book", comparing 20th and 21st century childhood experiences.

What would you like your project to achieve?
More attention to be given to the over 50s in the area

Anything else to add?

It's very hard to motivate people especially if they don't see where they are living as their "forever place." As more & more people are encouraged to move into the city centre, it is more important than ever that we encourage local activities outside of work and home to enable & encourage our neighbours to interact.

I am feeling quite confident, getting recognition from others, people seeing me as community connector. Connecting in my work (Brunswick) and in Longsight with the ally way, nice cross over.

Bringing all people together, working in collaboration, connecting with other projects. Now I realised how important it is to work in collaboration with people. You achieve much more, that is a big thing for me!

What is emerging now is lots of networking, a new find confidence. A mindset of lets try it and see if it works, when working with people in the community there is not right or wrong way, you just need to try it.

My confidence has grown. And not wanting to big myself up if something does not go the way I expected. It is not about the quantity but the quality. I am proud of myself. The programme has made a difference.


 


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Creative Horticulture - Family Grow Box Project by Yemi Bolatiwa

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Creative Horticulture - Family Grow Box Project by Yemi Bolatiwa

Name of the project

Creative Horticulture - Family Grow Box Project by Yemi Bolatiwa

Please describe your community project
My project aims to engage and teach families and children about growing plants at home and visual art and crafts through growing workshops and creating plant pots/ grow pots with cement. It’s a short summer time programme where 10 families sign up to weekly sessions about growing at home.

Alongside the growing and planting workshops will be some craft workshop, creating grow box / plant boxes for the families while they learn about what they can grow at home.

It is a creative and educational family and community engagement project.

Who have you been collaborating with?
Hulme Community Garden Centre, Manchester City Council, and Local clay artists

Why does this matter to you and your community/neighbours?

This will provide wholesome family activity from the summer holidays. It will help to promote green activity in Hulme. It will also help to push footfall and engagement with two key community assets; Z-arts and Hulme Community Garden Centre. Families and members of the community will be able to socialise and learn at the same time.

It will help to educate families about horticulture, green and environmentally friendly practices in the home, as well as nutrition and ultimately creative learning about botany. It also aims help to the local activities offer families in the summer and hopes to create bonds between families in the area that rarely use the garden centre or Z-arts as community assets.

What would you like your project to achieve?
I’d like to see people making regular visits to Hulme Community Garden Centre, and new connections though arts and horticulture. I’d like the project to develop positive and creative engagement between grownups and children when they create visual artworks together, that they can share and display. I’d like the project to develop a sense of pride and community cohesion between local families. And I’d like to develop new Creative partnership across Hulme Creative.



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