We have been out and about alot over the last week or so visiting project sites. I have been to quite a few different projects so far and have been very much enjoying finding out more about how projects are working out in practice. There’s nothing like visiting a local area and spending time meeting people face to face – I’m glad that I have the opportunity to do so at this mid-point in the programme before our mid-point event in Birmingham in October.
Visits so far have included going up to Lancashire to see Prescap, who are running a community journalism project and challenge prize in Preston.
I took a guided tour around Manchester with Changemakers/Church Action on Poverty who are running three participatory budgeting events which will turn ideas into action with the help of community organisers.
I have also been lucky enough to present certificates to the first round of social entrepeneurs receiving start up funding in Bradford, and to meet some of the potential entrepeneurs putting in applications to take part in Bolton. Both of these groups have been working with UnLtd to develop their methods.
One of the first projects I visited was ‘The Mill’ in Walthamstow (formerly referred to as Blackhorse Action Group), and was shown around the community building that has now been taken over by local residents and repurposed. (They still have some of the library books in the entrance, along with some stylish, home-built furniture!)
We also went up to see the exciting and innovative funding work being carried out by Community Foundation Merseyside as they get ready to launch their pioneering asset-based community challenge prize.
Last but not least, I have also visited Darwen Aldridge Academy to hear more about their entrepeneurial approach to stimulating involvment from people by taking their ‘living room’ on tour to shopping centres, pubs, libraries…. anywhere people already gather!
I’m looking forward to more visits over the next few weeks -and to catch up with everyone in Birmingham!