We hope you enjoyed our finale film!
Please scroll down through the blog to see more information on the people and projects ACTive Walworth has supported, we hope you are as inspired as we have been, and that this blog acts as a useful resource for you to help make your community more active!
ACTive Walworth is an InSpire project funded by the Community Learning Innovation Fund
“Be the change you wish to see” Mahatma Gandhi
My names Alice Moore and I am the Project Manager for ACTive Walworth. I was given this role because 5 years ago I identified a need in my community and set about trying to address that need in the form of a drama provision for young people in Walworth, South East London.
Gandhi’s quote above was instrumental in the early days of “Real Drama“, it motivated me and inspired me to do just that; I had the passion, integrity and ideas but no money and no space, without the support and investment from InSpire in the form of in kind room hire, Real Drama would have remained just that, an idea. With that support and the support of other local organisations such as Community Action Southwark and Volunteer Centre Southwark (now ACTive Walworth partners) we are now a registered charity who have worked with over 500 local young people.
ACTive Walworth an InSpire project, funded by the NIACE – Community Learning Innovation Fund aims to support people like me in identifying the needs of their communities and being equipped with the knowledge, skills, contacts and resources they need to actively address those needs, through training, support and networks.
This blog will tell you how we support grass roots voluntary community engagement, what the outcomes of that engagement are and why it is important to our learners and to the wider Walworth community. This blog will also act as a sustainable resource for the learners and community and anyone wanting to replicate or learn from our model. We hope you enjoy reading about what we have achieved!
ACTive Walworth Project Manager
Below are some resources we hope you find useful – click on the links to download them:
ACTive Walworth – Project agreement pack ACTive Walworth bespoke support plan term 2 ACTive Walworth Diary term 1 CLIF data collection guidance for July 2013 (final) InSpire Marketing Material Distribution Map List of partners and contacts mapped out at first forum Project work plan (Feb Review) Project work plan (Jul Review)
For financial information and anything not covered in this blog please contact us:
Finally here are some words of wisdom/encouragement!
- Recruit your team from the community
- Harness local resources – they need the people as much, if not more than the people need them, you will be amazed at what resources people will donate
- Be really flexible and adaptable – bespoke support was essential
- Be an enabler – so that people may empower themselves
- Create meaningful partnerships – what do they want, what do you want, is there potential to swap/share resources
- Be creative and shameless – beg borrow and steal (don’t steal!)
- Where there is a will there is a way
- Believe in the power of community
- The possibilities are endless
- You will be amazed what people will do for you if they believe in your integrity
- Trust the community to lead and deliver, people work better if they are given freedom and trust
- Break bread with your neighbours – food sourced and cooked locally for your events is a perfect way of making new friends, learning about new cultures and feeling the love!
- Eliminate hierarchy with phrases like “for us by us” the staff and volunteers need to be as engaged and supportive of an active community as the learners and participants
Attendance for ACTive Walworth’s second forum was far lower than anticipated but as we’re always eager to let no opportunity go to waste we headed out on to the Walworth Road to invite passers by to sample the Eritrean cuisine cooked by ACTive Walworthers Azeb and Ettore.
We set up a pay-what-you-can system and kept the cafe open until 9pm. We had residents of all backgrounds visit the Crypt Cafe to try the injera and take boxes home to their families.
Azeb is new to Walworth, she moved here from Italy and is of Eritrean decent, she has struggled with the cultural changes and missing her friends and family. Through a recommendation from 2InSpire (where her son attended a youth project) she discovered InSpire and the ACTive Walworth project. It quickly transpired that Azebs passions were in food and cooking and that in order for her to create work opportunity here she would need to expand her skills and gain some training in this area. Azeb joined the food and gardening project at InSpire (the legacy of this project can be seen here) with the promise that once she had received her training she would volunteer her catering services for the ACTive Walworth events. We offered to pay her for her materials including some business cards and flyers and to promote her wonderful, authentic and traditional catering to Walworth in the hope that she would be able to expand her networks and business.
Azeb has gained a lot from her engagement with InSpire and her wider community through ACTive Walworth – she has made new friends and business contacts and has received support from other local service providers.
Sunday July 14th saw the culmination and delivery of ACTive Walworth’s mini project (here, here and here) bringing together residents of Walworth to meet and socialise whilst creating something for the area.
Co-ordinated by gardener Darren Gibson and artist Simon Veis of Art In The Park, the day was a great success with residents from East Street and Northchurch of all ages coming together in the sunshine to plant flowers in the disused flowerbeds and paint a mural along the length of the blank Northchurch wall.
Before the work, the flowerbeds were mostly clay, weed-ridden and the wall behind it had been neglected for years.
Afterwards the soil has been turned over with fresh compost, new plants, shrubs and flowers have been planted – including a pear tree – and the wall has been painted.
A view of the Northchurch wall before the mural:
Some thoughts from residents on the day:
“I’ve lived here for 12 years and never seen so many kids out in this space”
“This has made such a difference to the area it’s great to see so many people coming together”
“I’ve just spoken to a neighbour from two doors away – who I’ve never spoken to before!”
“I want to paint hopscotch on the paving slabs and bring some tree stumps out for parents to sit on so the kids can have somewhere safe to play”
Some more photos from the day:
Having relocated to in early 2013 Konrad was running in Burgess Park when he saw 2InSpire’s banner advertising classes for young people. Having taught breakdancing in his native Poland and keen to continue this work here, he enquired whether 2InSpire would be interested in running classes. They were but suggested Konrad first contact ACTive Walworth for training and support.
ACTive Walworth have helped Konrad with Safeguarding training, First Aid training, CRB check and funded his place at Creation Dance Training so he is fully equipped to teach children and run his own voluntary classes in Walworth.
“Before, I was living in Elephant & Castle and it felt like a hotel – I was missing a sense of community and being a part of something bigger. So I started looking around for community centres, I wanted to give my classes so I could feel I was doing something for the community and definitely ACTive Walworth has enabled that.”
We provided funding for a glorious barbecue and made a short film of the event, some stills of which can be seen here. As communication due to language barriers can prove challenging the idea was to help Luis and his community to raise awareness of their club with a website and film that would act as a tool for fundraising, recruitment and PR so that the project may continue for many years to come.
Luis has been running the tournament since 1999 to great success, earlier this year ACTive Walworth nominated Luis for the Volunteer of the Year at the Southwark Stars Awards for his work in supporting the Latin American community in London and his efforts to aid integration – which he won of course! Congratulations Luis!
The film shot by Nadine Davis is still in production but will be up on Luis website soon, but for now have a browse around Luis’s new website created by ACTive Walworth: latinamericanclub.org and keep an eye out for the film!
Donny moved to Walworth 10 years ago but only recently discovered InSpire through the ACTive Walworth outreach workers at the Creation Employment Fair in February 2013. She enrolled with ACTive Walworth with the aim of gaining the skills and certifications required for teaching English and maths on a voluntary basis so that she could help and integrate better with her community, and also to help improve her career prospects.
Through ACTive Walworth she has connected with fellow participant Luis Curay and is now teaching his twice weekly English classes to Latin American students. She has also become heavily involved in additional projects at InSpire.
“ACTive Walworth has helped me to feel a part of my community because now I get involved, I go to societies. It’s not just my house, my room, Lidl, Tesco, I know more about parts of my area that I never knew before.”