Over at our East Birmingham Hub we have been working with the local police on their The World Café project. The World Café was an opportunity provided by the police for people in the community to tell the police about their community and put forward their ideas of what the priority for the Police Crime Commissioner Active Citizens Fund should be. The outcome for the priority was Drugs so anyone with any project ideas can apply for a part of the funding. The event was attended by one of our Community Action Workers, two of our Champions 4 Skills Volunteers Dan and Chris in addition with Inez the Lea Village and Glebe Farm Residents Forum Chairperson, who are all interested in developments and opportunities in the community. Below is Dan’s report from the event:

World Café Report by Dan – Champions 4 Skills Volunteer at Birmingham Settlement’s East Birmingham Hub

This was an event that was held on 9th September in St. Peters College, Saltley, for people from surrounding communities to go and share their worries and ideas about their community.

The event was held at St Peters, which is a housing association for families in the newer part of the site, the hall we were in is actually a listed building so getting access to that was an achievement in its self , and it did have a café feel to it with tea, coffee, juice, and cakes all on display for the people who attended. There were people from all different ethnicities all sitting mingling with one another and working together as teams to raise issues regarding their community and how we as members of the community could do our part to help others.

The event was organised by West Midlands Police and was a free event open to all. It was a place for ordinary community people to go and have some say on where they think that their community needs the most help in keeping it a safe and enjoyable place to live. Although it was open to all ages the event unfortunately wasn’t attended by any youths so any issues raised regarding youths didn’t have any objective voices and also we had no input from any of the younger generation as to what they think needs done in the community that they live in.

There were 3 main questions asked of the groups and they were as follows.

  1. If you fell asleep for 10 years then woke up, what sort of changes would you like to see in your area?
  2. What problems need our attention going forward?
  3. What would it take to create these changes?

What would your answers be to these questions?

You would probably be surprised at some of the answers given by people and when you hear the points being made it does make you sit up and take notice. The younger generations get blamed for a lot of the wrong that happens in life but at the event mothers, fathers, and other relatives actually were putting a lot of the blame on education, not the schooling side of education but the parenting side of it as a lot of people believe education starts at home.

The event was also organised to try and find out what groups or organisations could do with a cash injection to help them combat some of the issues discussed. The police have a sum of money in what is called the Active Citizen Fund that is available to these groups and the money is actually raised from proceeds of crime. So in a way there is money from crime being used to try and prevent further crime!

As the event wasn’t attended by any youths the Police have decided that they will do another Café for the younger people and get their views on what they have to say about the community as after all they are the future of the community so their input could be vital. It was also suggested that some communities may try and get some volunteers to go into schools and speak to the kids about their community and try and get them involved in some volunteer work.

The event was really good and well organised and if I was every given the opportunity to attend another one then I would definitely go. My community matters to me and I know that there are probably others out there who don’t know how to get involved or are scared to approach anyone so these events are your chance.

Do you feel that your opinion doesn’t matter? Do you want to get involved in matters in your community?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions then we are here to help you get involved through Birmingham Settlement’s East Birmingham Hub (for contact details please check our our East Birmingham Hub Page at http://bit.ly/BSEBHP) or  through B33Life on Facebook and Twitter which has been set up for the community by members of the community.