Project work update

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You have hopefully seen the updates from our Community Steering Group over the last few months, detailing their exciting journey as they put together a community-designed investment policy for the charity.

The last few weeks have seen us slowly returning to in-person meetings across a number of areas of our work. Here are some updates.

Debt workshop: 27 April 2022

About a month ago we facilitated a discussion as part of the social infrastructure work we have been doing with the BEC, BD_Collective, BDCVS, and Every One Every Day.

Debt is a huge issue in our borough, with an estimated £9m of it impacting our community. If someone is impacted by debt, it is rarely the only issue they are facing and the stigma surrounding it makes it difficult for people to reach out for support – and when they do, it’s not always clear where they need to turn. 

When we add this to the mounting issues around the cost of living, it’s clear that our social infrastructure needs to pull together and look out for one another.

With this in mind, we brought together a range of people from across the local authority, the social sector, and a range of funders to discuss the issues around debt. We also looked at what resources were currently available and how we might activate them, as well as developing a clearer understanding of what resources we might need to seek elsewhere.

You can read our full write-up of the event by clicking the image to the left. If you, or some person or organisation you know, would be interested in becoming part of this work – please get in touch.

We believe the best way we can support our community is by working together to find common solutions so we are always looking to bring people into what we are doing.

Neighbourhood Networks: 16 May 2022

Just this week, we were asked to facilitate a discussion between local organisations that have been working on a project known as Neighbourhood Networks. This has been a pilot to test out new ways of building connections across neighbourhoods by tapping into the connection points that already exist (hairdressers, newsagents, cafes etc.) which form a key part of people’s lives but aren’t necessarily connected to the wider social infrastructure.

The first part of the project is coming to an end so we worked with those involved to co-produce what the second stage looks like. They achieved this by working in pairs to answer some of the questions that had come up for them and share their thoughts with the rest of the group. From this, we’ll be looking at the key areas of consensus as decided on by the group to set the terms for what the next bit looks like – it’s promising to be really exciting and offer another great opportunity for participatory decision-making and power-sharing in Barking  Dagenham.

We will be producing a full update on this and are excited to share the next steps with you soon!

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