ERIC Number: EJ800173
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
"I'm 70 and I'm a Community Activist"
Adults Learning, v18 n9 p22-24 May 2007
In this article, the author discusses a project that turns residents of some of South Leeds' most deprived neighbourhoods into community researchers and is giving people an opportunity to make concrete, positive changes to their communities. Armed with homemade tools, some coloured pens, and masses of post-it notes, the "Community Experts" took to the streets of South Leeds, interviewing hundreds of fellow residents about what they thought their community needed, what was good and what was bad about living there. Used to leading questions from journalists keen to get an inside scoop on life in "the community the 7/7 bombers came from", residents finally had a chance to say what they really thought about their communities. The work produced both "honest perceptions" of some of the most deprived areas in the UK and concrete suggestions as to how a pot of money allocated to South Leeds District Partnership--a partnership of key agencies in the area, including the city council--from the Government's Safe and Stronger Communities Fund should be spent. As a result of residents' suggestions, funding has already been made available to improve the local environment and community safety. The District Partnership steering group commissioned Leeds Voice--an umbrella organisation for voluntary and community organisations in the city--to carry out work to involve the community in deciding how the money should be spent. Hannah Sowerbutts, project coordinator for Leeds Voice, recruited residents from across the nine areas of South Leeds that were deemed some of the most deprived in the country. The success of the project has meant that Leeds Voice now gets regular requests from other agencies for researchers to be involved in other pieces of community research or to do peer training for other local communities.
Descriptors: Economically Disadvantaged, Community Involvement, City Government, Adult Learning, Activism, Foreign Countries, Neighborhood Improvement, Interviews, Needs Assessment, Attitude Measures, Resource Allocation, Financial Support, Safety, Agency Cooperation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)