East Fenton residents fight back
East Fenton was perceived to be an isolated and forgotten town by the residents. They felt overlooked with nothing going on in the local area, there are derelict building showing neglect, major concerns in relation to fly tipping. High levels of alcohol consumption and drug related incidents were causing antisocial behaviour. Private landlord issues were frustrating residents causing stress and tensions amongst community members. One resident said: “I feel trapped, stressed and can’t see anyway out of this situation”
What happened next
- Contact was made with the gym owner and he was happy to let the community use the gym for regular monthly community meetings free of charge. This was a positive result providing an opportunity to progress forward.
- Meetings with partner agencies provided an opportunity for the residents to be able to speak face to face, have their voice heard and to be listened to in confidence and on their own doorstep. This helped to resolve some of the issues affecting them and made a huge difference. This was just the start of this journey.
- The residents were getting to know who their local officers were. This helped with communication issues, the building of relationships and trust with service providers. Residents were now becoming the eyes and ears of the neighbourhood.
- This led to community intelligence being fed to the appropriate service that could deal with these issues and in some cases action taken.
- A Community listening and fun event was planned and delivered with the residents supported by My Community Matters and service providers. This gave the opportunity to identify and prioritise what they liked about living in East Fenton. What could be improved and how they could be involved in bringing about some positive changes to the area. From this information gathered a local Action Plan for the group was developed. East Fenton Does Matter Partnership are now a fully constituted group.
- One of the concerns raised on the day was about the lack of activities for young people. A few of the group members showed an interest in doing something about this.
- The group submitted an application for People Power funding in partnership with Impact Gym CIC supported by My Community Matters for a Young Persons Activity Programme and were successful in obtaining £2880 to deliver these community led sessions.
Through the community meetings, partner organisation Engage Communities shared a Street Games Level 2 training opportunity. A local resident was keen to complete this training to support the delivery of young peoples activities.