A Ward that Works
Nechells panel will use Community First funding to bring about, as far as possible, a ward in which everyone is doing some socially useful work and is seen as contributing to local wealth and well-being. That includes, for example:
- People who are in employment – full or part-time
- People who have their own business or social enterprise or who are self-employed (see below)
- People who look after other people – parents and carers for older or sick or disabled people
- People who volunteer including people who are school governors or magistrates, people who give their time to the local neighbourhood forum or residents’ group and people who give their time to run voluntary services including youth groups, foodbanks or sports clubs
- People who help out their neighbours on an informal basis, do odd-jobs or who take part in projects that help improve the environment, for example
- People involved in networking – helping people to meet up or who run things like neighbourhood websites, edit a local community newsletter or who print and put up leaflets and posters about local events etc.
All these things are socially useful in that they benefit local wealth and well-being.
The ‘Ward That Works’ in Practice
In practice, Nechells Community First will develop three new streams of work:
1. An Infrastructure Stream – to support the development of some important bits of support for socially useful work locally. For example:
- neighbourhood hubs – the community centres that provide meeting space and other support so that different groups of residents can meet and get organised
- a timebank – which would help people trade their services with each other
- a campaign like ‘In Bloom’ which might help make contacts between groups across the ward
- a community network linking together groups and active people.
2. An Enterprise Stream – to help things that make links between businesses and communities in Nechells and support local socially enterprising ideas to get off the ground. For example:
- a social enterprise involving young people
- co-operative purchasing of energy and food
- a mentoring and materials scheme through which local businesses could donate time and materials to help
- a skills and know-how-sharing scheme to help peer learning between local community and voluntary groups.
3. An Open Stream – to enable groups to continue to bid in for support for any project that would help achieve the aim of a ward that works, and / or can be shown to relate to one or more of the existing cross cutting priorities.
Relationship to existing priorities
‘A ward that works’ provides the overarching vision for what Nechells Community First aims to support. And, sets out a framework for developing projects in partnership with residents and community groups in Nechells.
The existing or previous priorities for Nechells Community First will be maintained as additional priority outcomes for the programme, which cut across each of the streams of work. For example, a project or activity that relates to the environment, might also seek to make better links with businesses, or help to develop links between groups across the ward.
- Better and safer local streets, buildings and green spaces
- Community cohesion – and in particular, activities that include and involve young people, and activities that make links between different neighbourhoods and ethnic groups
- ‘Civic sense’ – things that create a sense of community pride and confidence and help communities, local services and businesses to get together to make Nechells a better place to live and overcome cuts in public spending
- Promoting the health and wellbeing of local people.