Street Life aims to support communities in a targeted area at a street level by bringing residents together to tackle issues on their own streets. The Bradford Moor area has high levels of extended BME families and also transient communities.
Participation is a cornerstone of Street Life. The project steers clear of non-participative ways of working (manipulation, decoration and tokenism) in favour of real participation.
Residents of all ages and backgrounds play a central role in planning the street based work, actively engaging and enjoying themselves.
Residents liked first hand advice and signposting on the street when they raised issues and concerns with staff. Especially popular were benefits advice and encouraging energy saving behaviour in the home.
People have developed practical skills aiding their ability to ‘make things’ and giving them confidence in making physical improvements to the area. The project helped residents develop people skills through interaction with their neighbours.
The most inspiring aspect has been people’s ability to see the bigger picture and understand how individual tasks and activities contribute to overall positive change.
People are saying they enjoyed engaging in the set activities and also want to “do more in future”.
Street-based activities and events, which had been missing for a long time, have enabled communities in Bradford Moor to meet face to face. These have provided opportunities to overcome fears of newer communities.
The style of working, by empowering and skilling up residents, means that people are now taking more ownership of their area. People are recognising that the streets are cleaner, and the project has led towards ‘a cleaner, greener and better environment’.
Residents have developed and showcased leadership skills creating positive change. Street Life has been a great way of engaging with and bringing together different parts of the community. It has given an understanding of the importance of personal responsibility and the power of collective action to keep the community moving forward and developing.
Residents see the value of Street Life – “what you’re doing is great”. Coupled with the views of local councillors – “what you are doing is a huge benefit to young people and their families” and gives “encouragement to the community” – shows that the work is being valued.
For more information about Street Life contact Helen Speight, Development Manager @ The Thornbury Centre – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01274 666649.