Report to BLSW Partnership Committee on the Battersea Together


Report to BLSW Partnership Committee on the Battersea Together – From Words to Action Event 23rd February 2017

Context

Battersea Together Events provides BLSW11 with opportunities to network with local and strategic organisations to share ideas, explore issues and, where appropriate develop partnership based projects that aim to address some of the key issues and challenges facing people who live in our patch.
This is a summary of the themes and issues discussed at the Battersea Together event on the 23rd February 2017.

Our first Battersea Together Event in February 2016 involved 44 people from 33 organisations in what was essentially a networking event.
Although the event was organised under our Building Futures strand it has cross-cutting implications for all of our work areas.

This year we aimed to attract a smaller group of organisations that might want to work with us in Partnership to develop practical proposals that could be developed as part of our Year Three Plan and Budget and 17 people attended from 11 different organisations.
Issues

The main topics for the workshop were identified from the 2016 event and after further research. Our aim was to gain a better understanding of the key barriers in SW11 that prevent people from reaching their full potential, as workers, trainees, volunteers and members of the community.

Evidence suggests that as well as having relatively high levels of poverty and long-term unemployment, SW11 has higher than the Borough average overcrowding; more people (particularly older people) living in isolation; and significantly higher levels of poor health in general and mental health (particularly depression and anxiety), which is estimated to be three times that of the Borough.

In addition, plans to regenerate much of the Winstanley Estate is believed to be causing some anxiety, compounded by the shortage of affordable housing, the growth in private rental sector and a significant increase in inward migration, particularly from Eastern Europe.

Previous consultation by BLSW11 has shown that a significant number of people on the patch feel that they lacked confidence or a ‘voice’ or are not listened to.
The event was therefore structured around the four key themes of Regeneration, Voice, Confidence and Depression.
Outcomes (Ideas for taking action)

The workshop considered many interesting ideas that could potentially be worked up into concrete projects or proposals for action including:

Regeneration – The need for more social and affordable housing

Potential solutions

  • Different types of tenancy should be on offer (Supported, Sheltered, Studios – to cater for changing needs)
  • Could a volunteer programme like SpaceMax be developed to maximise people’s space, declutter their houses/flats?
  • Lobby Council and Developers

Voice Who needed to have a voice? – BME, East Europeans, Long Term residents who feel ignored?

Potential solutions

  • ESOL classes
  • Develop ‘vox pop’ documentaries to provide a platform for local views
  • Could BLSW11 act as a channel for local voices? We would need to have a much higher profile.
  • Mentoring for Young people
  • Connect through social media

Confidence – What causes or contributes to a lack of confidence? Issues of self esteem

Potential Solutions

  • Develop an oral history project
  • Support and encourage volunteering
  • Get people involved in the Festival
  • Develop and publish ‘success’ stories showcasing people who have faced similar challenges
  • Mentoring

Depression – A complex and multi-facetted issue, but was so high in SW11?

Potential solutions

  • Better Outreach could identify people who are currently ‘outside’ the systems of support
  • Research current support groups
  • Extend initiatives like the BLSW11 Intergeneration Programme to include ‘adopt a granny/granddad’ type schemes
  • Increase our understanding with help from professionals
  • Advice, information and support could be provided in different settings throughout the patch
  • Liaise with existing providers (CAB, Mind, Victim Support, Sound Minds) to see if their ‘offer’ in SW11 can be improved
  • Promote Falcon Road Festival ‘Health and Wellbeing’ theme

The Next Steps

Cutting across all the issues, an overarching theme of Health and Wellbeing began to emerge from the discussions, with the potential for us to work with local partners to develop and promote activities that directly or indirectly address issues of over-crowding, isolation, depression and a lack of voice.

A more detailed proposal on how to progress with a partnership based approach to addressing some of the more relevant issues, will be submitted to our June 2017 meeting of the Partnership Committee.