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Neighbourhood Democracy: A Tale of Two Neighbourhoods



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Angela Fell, neighbours and allies from two neighbourhoods that self-organised during the COVID-19 pandemic explained what they did and what the lessons were for developing a Neighbourhood Democracy.

Neighbourhood Democracy: A Tale of Two Neighbourhoods

  1. 1. A Tale of Two Neighbourhoods Springfield in Wigan - Mutual Aid Bringing people together to support each other The Village of Netherton, Sefton, Merseyside A community led response to the Pandemic, supported by an alongside organisation
  2. 2. Context - Springfield Pre lockdown conversations with our Council about: • Developing ABCD locally • Co-operatives, community wealth building opportunities Signposted to Made In Wigan (Power to Change)
  3. 3. Street Approach The Approach An Invitation
  4. 4. Springfield Supporters Invited 76 streets between 13th -20th March & 112 before lockdown Street Champ Importance of invitation from a neighbour
  5. 5. Street Approach • Each street looked after each other • Some neighbours offered to help in other streets that may not be as well connected • Everyone had a phone no / Facebook if they preferred not to join in. • Suggested ‘need more than neighbourliness’ process with Council • Permission & Trust • Hungry Hippos Are we allowed?
  6. 6. Community Building - Springfield Social • Coffee Morning • Mindfulness Group • Dily’s Phone Buddies • Street libraries, chats, bingo, performers, art, environmental projects • Small Business Sunday • Springfield Supporters became Springfield & Beech Hill CommUnity “It reminds me of the days when you knew who lived in every house in your street. It’s becoming like that again.” I’m 93 and I want to help too
  7. 7. Community Building Zoom Gatherings & Safe Street Conversations asking What do you love about Springfield? What are you passionate about? What would you be interested in getting involved in with others?
  8. 8. We’ve noticed… People aren’t burnt out - no heroes, lots of neighbours Increase in caring for each other in giving, exchanging, sharing, lending Emergency referrals for our neighbourhood have been lower than other similar area in the town. (SDF Delivery Manager)
  9. 9. Netherton, Liverpool
  10. 10. The Centre & Community Response
 What can the community do itself? What does the community need support to do? What does the community need others to do?
  11. 11. 16 streets Over 250 people per week taking part street-fitness-suey/ Street Exercise
  12. 12. Valuable Community Members Supported: • Local care homes and care workers • 6 local hospitals & walk in centres • Hospice’s • Doctors & dentists • The community Scrub Hub
  13. 13. 9 knitters Over 500 Bees Lots of smiles Busy Bees Sharing Skills & Talents
  14. 14. Sharing is Caring
  15. 15. Keeping in Touch & Caring for Each Other
  16. 16. netherton/
  17. 17. Fun on the Streets Mascots Street Bingo VE Day
  18. 18. Two young lads were robbed on the canal a couple of weeks ago.  We raised £500 to give to them.  We know that doesn’t change what happened, but it lets them know that we care about them. When local people heard of the charges that Go Fund Me wanted to make, we decided to fight back, keeping all our money local and went old school back to the good old raffle ticket. Prizes have been donated from everywhere; designer sunglasses from the local optician, cake raffles from home bakers, sweet boxes and afternoon tea for 2 delivered to the door. A dinner for two from a restaurant in Maghull. Kenny the local window cleaner donated three free window cleaning weeks for a house in the street bingo.” “It’s as if services really expected us to struggle, and don’t get me wrong lots of people have.  We’ve come together though.  I was talking with someone who is involved with the recovery team.  He’s enjoying not having to see someone, and being able to pick up from the chemist like the old days.  He was saying when you work with services its more often than not their plan, rather than your plan. Netherton CommUnity
  19. 19. Next Steps Community has noticed who’s been around and supported and who hasn’t Community has taken a greater interest in how money is spent locally & believe they could do some things better and for less money Community wants to take more control of community assets Invited Head of Communities at the Council to community space to talk about learning and to seek support to facilitate a gathering of local institutions Big Local area so lots of opportunities, and a community that wants a greater say – participatory budgeting?