I’ve been a Walworth resident for over 20 years and I’ve brought my three children up here. I always tried to get out and about when they were young and found out a lot more about Walworth and the surrounding area by doing so. I’ve met lots of interesting local people who have shared their stories, as well as their concerns and worries about the area.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve been working in the community and have had day-to-day contact with local residents. I’ve been surprised how many people have said they would like to get more involved with the area, join a club, meet more local people or have more of a say in what goes on in the area but don’t always know how to go about it or where to go. I’ve also spoken to local organisations that often have a full timetable of events, clubs and project groups, but regularly find a low number of locals participating. People have expressed varying reasons why they don’t take advantage of the resources and facilities – the main reasons being that they are unaware that they exist or they don’t know enough about them (including their location).
‘I always look for cheap things to do in the area but find it difficult to keep up with everything that’s going on’ Sandra (mother of 3)
‘There’s no way my kids are going to that club – I don’t know what they do’ (local mother of 2 teenage boys)
‘I’ve live here all my life and don’t where I can meet other people – I wouldn’t know where places are anyway – I’d need a map or something’ Betsy (age 72)
I approached Ali at ACTive Walworth with my idea of producing a 50 page ‘Guide to Walworth’ This would make it easier for local residents to get more involved in Walworth, find out more about the area, about local project groups, organisations, interest groups, events etc… and with the aid of a map, see where they can get involved.
I was able to pitch my idea at the ACTive Walworth forum event and I received some really good feedback from local residents and organisations. As well as providing financial help for me to get ‘This is Walworth’ off the ground, ACTive Walworth has helped me put a funding bid together and offered me helpful advice on how to turn my vision into a reality. As a result, I have just received the extra funding that I needed to get a pilot print of 1000 copies of the guide made. I would still just be thinking about it if it hadn’t been for everyone at ACTive Walworth’s enthusiasm, encouragement and support.
I would love for the guide to be made up from as many local contributions and recommendations as possible and I hope it succeeds in fostering a greater community interest and pride in Walworth whilst inspiring more local people to work together to build on what they love most about the neighbourhood and to take collective action about things that concern them.
‘This is Walworth – The People’s Guide to Walworth’ will be out in September 2013.
If you live locally and have any suggestions of things that you would like included in the guide or if you are able to contribute to the content in any way, (or just add yourself to a mailing list for further updates) please contact Zara:
www.thisiswalworth.co.uk – website with interactive map and blog not active yet