My Community Matters were initially approached by Stoke on Trent City Councils Safe and Sound Homes scheme as they were in the process of selling derelict properties for £1 to over 30 new tenants with the view of changing the fortunes of the area. They wanted us to work connect older residents with the new families and help with the integration and community cohesion in this challenging neighbourhood.
The Portland Street Community Group is the resident led service, which My Community Matters initially set up and who we have offered our involvement support and guidance to, to help them become the established, connected and active group with a deep understanding of the community needs which they now are. The challenge they have always faced is that they have no local venue where the community can come together and for local services to deliver interventions.
In August 2016 residents from the Portland Street Community Group (PSCG) undertook a large and ambitious community development and engagement project, which My Community Matters contributed largely to. This saw the PSCG open up a derelict pub for a month to use the space as a community hub. The experiences, learning and feedback gained by the group during this period would help to inform a business plan. Their proposal was then to be submitted to the city council to begin the process of the asset transfer of the derelict pub to the Portland Street Community Group