These are difficult and strange times for communities. Many people’s lives and livelihoods have been affected and many aspects of getting together in communities has been disrupted. Over the last few months we have found that communities have been incredibly resilient in responding to Coronavirus. A number of communities have organised, built connections/networks, rallied together, adapted their pre-planned projects and offered support for those in need.
Community Regen has also adapted to the current times and we continue to support and work to strengthen both communities and organisations in their projects and with their changing priorities. Below are some examples of projects we have been working on through during this time.

Noel Park

We have been supporting the Noel Park Big Local Partnership in Haringey, North London in developing their response to support their community around Coronavirus. In order to clarify specific support around COVID- 19 that may be needed, we have worked with them to map existing support for residents in the area. We have talked to local organisations to understand what links can be made with the Big Local to ensure support around COVID-19 can be most effectively delivered. We made some recommendations to the Partnership about projects that support what is happening and are currently working with the Partnership to implement what they decided to do. One of the things we have supported the partnership on is producing a Coronavirus newsletter (right).

Big Local

Paul has been working with 3 Big Local areas over this time enabling them to respond to and support their communities at this time through a range of projects and programmes.  Paul has regularly been checking in with fellow reps, workers and partnership members from across the country to share learning around how to best respond to COVID-19 (Zoom partnership meeting left). Paul is the rep for Elthorne in North London, Farley in Luton and Wormley and Turnford in Hertfordshire and has supported all them during this time. Many Big Locals are directly supporting their communities with food deliveries. Others have adapted pre-planned events on Zoom to encourage neighbours to engage virtually.

GLA

One of our projects that has continued despite COVID-19 is our work supporting the GLA Sport Unites Steering Group. There has been great enthusiasm from organisations across London to continue with the workshops as planned. We have facilitated four workshops using Zoom and both were successful. This included doing some whole group work and then smaller group work in ‘breakout rooms’ (right). The work of identifying and developing potential project ideas is progressing, and we are due to hold two further workshops in June.

Sompting

We have also adapted the project delivery of the Sompting Community Hub feasibility study in West Sussex. Following the completion of the online community research with residents and stakeholders, we facilitated a virtual workshop in late April. This was conducted on Zoom and had 15 attendees. The workshop worked well with a virtual visioning exercise to formulate purpose and vision for the proposed Hub (montage pictured on the left). This adaption has allowed the project to stay on track and we are now progressing to the final part of the project which will be drafting the feasibility study.

CB1

The way we have delivered community engagement support on the CB1 Estate in Cambridge has changed but it has not diminished. Sam continues to work on the project 3 days a week. He has been working with resident groups and local councillors to ensure support is provided to those in need. A flyer has been put together and will be delivered to all residents to inform them of support they can access if needed. We have also pulled together information on the CB1 Community website about different local groups and online resources that may help residents and employees during this time. We have also been running some virtual community activities online including a free virtual workout (right) and a virtual coffee morning. These are designed to try and bring people together and create a sense of community, even when we cannot physically socialise. There are also some plans to hold a virtual Big Lunch in June.

If your community group would like some support or guidance about adapting in these current circumstances, please feel free to contact Paul at paul@communityregen.net.