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Seven Streets area, St Leonards

Seven Streets area, St Leonards

Renewing the Seven Streets

A new approach to community development work is to be implemented in a neighbourhood of Central St Leonards as a means of improving community engagement and well-being. Gensing & Central St Leonards (GCSL) Community Forum has secured funding from People’s Health Trust for an 18-month project focused on the Seven Streets area – Pevensey Road, Silchester Road, Kenilworth Road, Carisbrooke Road, Stockleigh Road, Rothsay Road and Cardiff Road – reports HOT’s Richard Hull, who is also involved in the project.

The project will employ a part-time experienced community development worker who will recruit and train 14 street representatives and support them in each enrolling an affinity group of between five and 10 adult residents interested in improving their community and neighbourhood. The project will support street reps and affinity groups in activities that improve the representation of the neighbourhood to service providers (health, welfare, housing, etc). It will also support the street reps and groups in developing a range of locally-generated self-help and advocacy activities.

Through these activities it is hoped that the participants will develop new confidence and skills in dealing with service providers and speaking out about the issues they feel are important. The project also aims to improve all residents’ sense of connectedness within the neighbourhood and a new capacity to develop self-help and advocacy activities.

The GCSL Community Forum has established a Seven Streets Project steering group, of which I am one of its members. This area got a knock when Local Space pulled out of its £2m regeneration scheme and this project is trying to pick up the community improvement aspects of that scheme. Fortunately there is now a new regeneration partnership between HBC and AmicusHorizon, again focused on improving the physical infrastructure and management of the rented housing in Central St Leonards, and this will complement our project very neatly.

The Seven Streets project is funded through the Active Communities scheme of the People’s Health Trust which focuses on people living in the poorest neighbourhoods. We feel the trust should be congratulated on taking such a far-sighted view towards tackling the root causes of health inequalities. Sharon Farrell, chair of GCSL Community Forum, said: “This is a powerful vindication and continuation of the excellent work GCSL has been doing in the community since 2002.”

For more information, including details of the new community development worker post, see GCSL website.

See also the Active Communities programme at People’s Health Trust.

 

Posted 11:49 Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 In: Grassroots

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