Projects Case Study
Neighbourhoods Learning Together
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In the spring of 2011 Urban Living commissioned ‘a learning programme for a core group of community activists across a number of neighbourhoods in North West Birmingham and Sandwell.
The programme was intended to:
- equip activists with skills and knowledge to engage with service providers and funders in shaping the future of regeneration and renewal across the Urban Living area
- promote cohesion, understanding and empowerment both within and between neighbourhoods and
- equip activists with the resilience and skills which will be more necessary than ever in the face of reducing public sector funding.
The result was Neighbourhoods Learning Together - organised by Fircroft College and designed and delivered by Fircroft tutors, working jointly with Steve Skinner Associates, a training company specialising in community development. The programme was tailor-made, with workshop discussion, practical activity, videos, expert speakers, mentoring, an on-line presence and a residential weekend.
28 people took part in the project, a mixture of practitioners and activists. The programme consisted of Five Core Modules and further Optional sessions, covering areas such as Thinking Big and Leadership, Marketing and Promotion, and Practical Skills for Empowerment.
What project participants said
“I feel stronger about planning future group activities and doing a fund raising event, something we have never done before. Getting our vision and mission statement for the website has been a real help. Overall, it has had a huge impact on me.”
“The tutors knew their stuff – tailor made to working in the community. The content had a good level of depth. I came away with knowledge we can use – it hit the mark. Fircroft was an excellent venue and it was good that other local venues were used.”
“The evaluation session equipped me with useful ideas about funding bids and being able to describe how we can monitor our projects. Overall I feel much more confident and competent when dealing with the council and housing associations.”
What Urban Living said
“At Urban Living we were delighted to work with Fircroft College in the delivery of the Neighbourhoods Learning Together programme. The values and ethos of the college chimed exactly with the empowering way that we wanted to work with local residents in making a long term difference to their neighbourhoods. The professionalism and attention to detail shown by the whole Fircroft team ensured the success of the programme and achieved the positive learning outcomes we had hoped for."
Kate Foley, Head of Community and Neighbourhood Development, Urban Living