Can we build new platforms to drive broader positive community action in Lambeth?
Around two percent of Lambeth’s population are involved in positive community activities. These can range from being a friend of a local park to being a governor of a local school. Research suggests that there are many more people in Lambeth who would like to get involved in positive community activity if they could find things that feel right for them and their skills. This latent desire to get involved is thought to cover around nine percent of the Borough’s population.
Everyone in the Borough has skills and we mean this in the widest sense possible. Skills can be anything from knowing a lot about local history, being entertaining, loving karaoke, being great with computers, good at online auctions, being able to teach another language or even being the one your friends turn to if they are in trouble. If we can find more ways for people to get involved in positive community activity on their terms using their skills we think this is the first step to having stronger and more resilient communities where people know each other and can help each other out.
Organisations are emerging in Lambeth and other boroughs in London that are providing different audiences with opportunities to engage in positive action in their local community. Community Freshview, which empowers local people to clean up and improve their neighbourhoods is one in Lambeth. Another example is Good Gym in Tower Hamlets, which brings together people who want to run and exercise with people who are isolated and house bound. The Amazings is a market place for retirees to trade their skills for the good of the community and to supplement their income that has started in East London. All of these are encouraging new audiences to get involved in positive community building activities.
The heart of the challenge is identifying and prototyping innovative ways to encourage more of Lambeth’s population to get involved in using their skills for positive community action. This is a very broad challenge so we are looking to focus it by selecting a specific area (TBC) where the team can explore and build ideas.
- Hypothesis development – What skills exist in the area and what are people into? What kind of positive initiatives are likely to engage them?
- Prototyping and exploring – How can we create and explore a range of starter ideas? Can we create a digital space that enables local people to put up and feed back on ideas?
- Diversity - How do we make this project appeal to Lambeth’s diverse population and engage with people who do not normally get involved with the council? And how can we accommodate all the different types of communities that exist in Lambeth?