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What happened at the event "Let's Make Our Neighbourhood Better"?

There was a fantastic turnout when local people gathered to "make our neighbourhood better" on 16th May at All Saints Church, Lyham Road in Clapham Park.

Over 50 people came!

Great conversations were had and participants came up with over 45 different ideas, all listed in detail further below!"

More event photos

What do *I* care about? 1st conversation round

We answered this question in small groups of 4 people around 9 tables in total.

Here is an example of what people care about: (click photo to enlarge output sheet)


See photos of each output sheet, and the conversation summaries in the spreadsheet below:

Download the data

What do *WE* care about? 2nd conversation round

Here is an example of what people came up with: (click photo to enlarge output sheet)


See photos of each output sheet, and the conversation summaries in the spreadsheet below.

Download the data

What am *I* willing to do? 3rd conversation round

Here is an example of what people are willing to do: (click photo to enlarge output sheet)


See photos of each output sheet, and the conversation summaries in the spreadsheet below:

Download the data

Ideas Ideas Ideas!

Each idea was posted on a "dotmocracy" sheet. See the example below!


Over 45 ideas were generated! See the blog post below for a list of all the ideas, themes, a summary and analysis, which you can comment and act on!

Closing comments from participants

"Interesting -> co-create solutions"
"Renewed Aspirations"
"Lots of work to do together, we all achieve more."
"Clapham Park Food Bank - Referral system, vouchers, contact Lydia 0208 675 7661 for more info."



Participants came up with ideas in the form of dotmocracy sheet, as shown below:

IMG_1044 IMG_0950

In Dotmocracy, a key principle is one idea per sheet. Each sheet is numbered for ease of reference.

Ideas were written up onto 46 sheets and voted on by participants.

See the results of the voting in the spreadsheet below!

Go straight to the Analysis!

Download the data.

There was strong agreement on most ideas, with many of them having united strong agreement and a few having unanimous strong agreement, indicating a broad consensus on the sort of ideas that participants would like to see go forward in the Clapham Park neighbourhood.

Here is the full list of ideas that were generated. You can click through any one, to see the original sheet. There you can comment and even act on the ideas together!

1. Education for employment
2. Bike project continuation
3. Bike project fundraising/organising
4. Sewing classes
5. Employment support
6. Peer to peer employment support
7. Local arts centre
8. Getting people into work
9. Local facilities for arts, crafts, facilities and well-being
10. Young people's neighbourhood map
11. Intergenerational involvement in provision of youth services
12. Intergenerational dialogue and collaboration
13. Intergenerational activities
14. Network of small inter-generational community venues
15. Community Venue
16. High impact community projects
17. Gap in local youth services provision
18. Teen empowerment
19. Youth engagement in local decisionmaking
20. Alternative health & wellbeing service
21. Drop-in venue(s) for health, well-being and welfare
22. Local news/info service
23. Local community network
24. Local classified service
25. Local community trading
26. Local Inclusion
27. Make community involvement easier & more fulfilling
28. Know your neighbours
29. What commitment is needed?
30. Play the Community Game to WIN/WIN
31. Local lottery for local projects
32. Fun Brixton community event
33. Fun community events for socialising
34. Friendly, safe streets
35. Inclusive community picnics
36. Shopping for elderly service
37. Help your elder neighbour
38. Peer to peer elderly services
39. Coffee mornings for elderly
40. Homework Support
41. Community gardens & food growing services
42. Places to grow food
43. Local food growing project
44. Return of the warden patrol
45. Housing Association Forum 1
46. Housing Association Forum 2

Themes and analysis

On examining the ideas, 19 underlying themes were identified. These themes have a direct or indirect relationship to the ideas. For example, an idea may be about a Youth activity, but the nature of the activity is such that it requires a suitable venue, so in this case both Youth and Venues are the relevant themes. The themes (most frequent first) are as follows:

  • Youth
  • Community & Neighbours
  • Elderly
  • Venues
  • Local Information & Networks
  • Skills & Training
  • Intergenerational
  • Safety
  • Children
  • Employment & Jobs
  • Funding & Support
  • Sustainability
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Enterprise
  • Local Trading
  • Food & Growing
  • Housing
  • Education

So what was most heavily represented?

Youth was the most heavily represented theme reflecting a lot of concern about young people's welfare. The Elderly came in at fifth as a theme. It was a pleasant surprise to see the emergence of a strong Intergenerational theme at seven. Exploring how young and older people could be resources and providers of services to each other could be an enormously beneficial big win and would greatly contribute to the Community & Neighbours theme that is the second most represented. Community & Neighbours as a theme emerged from a clear desire for people to get to know each other socially. This would create a solid foundation for Clapham Park residents to get involved and work together more to make things better for everybody in the neighbourhood.

What is key to enabling effective community action?

To enable the potential for effective community action, key pieces of infrastructure need to be available. This is reflected in the next two themes. In order to meet, take part in activities and receive/provide services, there needs to be physical places where people can gather & make things happen. These needn't be dedicated "community centres" in the now established sense, hence Venues rather than Community Centres as the theme name. One question that people often have is "how do we find out what's going on?" There may be meetings, activities and services locally that are relevant to them, buf if they don't know about them, they can't take part in what's happening or make use of available services. Furthermore, the community groups and local organisations organizing meetings, activities and providing services, need to better coordinate, collaborate and pool resources in the post-Cuts environment. This all gives rise to the Local Information & Networks theme for the various ways of connecting people with information and other people.

Worklessness and unemployment as key areas of concern

A clear cause for concern is worklessness and unemployment, especially amongst young people. Various themes arose addressing different aspects of this. On the supply-side, people need to have the necessary skills & experience to be employable hence the Skills & Training theme. Once they are employable, they need to be connected to the demand-side, the employers who have jobs, thus the Employment & Jobs theme. There may not be enough vacancies for all the employable people, so exploring ways of creating employment via Enterprise & Local Trading may prove to be critical.

Safety children and old people

The next most significant themes were around Safety & Children. Amongst older people, safety is primarily a matter of perception. Young people however are genuinely at risk of violence and there are clearly grave concerns arising from recent incidents. Better provision and signposting of youth services would be key in reducing violence amongst young people. Weaving a strong intergenerational strand through services & activities for both young & older people combined with higher levels of community cohesion and neighbourliness would increase both the perception and actuality of safety amongst older people.

Involving children more

Regarding Children, the common thread was about involving them as active members of the community rather than just being the passive targets/receipients of services. Children who are active citizens are much more likely to be positive participants in the community, when they are adults. They also gain invaluable exposure to the sort of interpersonal and other skills that will make their adult lives much more satisfying.

Different angles on funding

Regarding Funding & Support, one idea that was particularly intriguing was the notion of a local lottery to fund raise for local projects. Three obvious concerns regarding that idea are that a) there are faith groups that have a firm line against any sort of gambling so would not be able to participate, b) startup & running costs of such a lottery, c) legislation on gaming for money.

Last but not least... sustainability, food and growing

The themes of Sustainability, Food & Growing are obviously environmentally beneficial, but can also be sources of skills, employment, enterprise & wellbeing if handled correctly.

Many things don't need that much money to get started

A lot of the ideas don't need that much money relatively speaking, just sufficient coordination and facilitation to get and keep them going. There is also a lot of potential for the various ideas to support each other as they become projects, again that relies on the coordination & facilitation. So a focus on local information & networks would be strategic.

How to use the spreadsheet below to browse themes

Here are the different themes that came up in the Clapham Park Neighbourhood Event. If you are interested in a particular theme, you can look up any of the related ideas by their number below.

  • Look down Column 1 for the theme that interests you e.g. Employment and Jobs.
  • In second column, you will see a bunch of numbers. Those are all the ideas that relate to the theme. In the case of Employment and Jobs it tells us that the ideas to look up are 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 17. So we can check those ideas out, from the list of all the ideas above!
(Frequency is the number of times relevant ideas for each theme appears.)

Download the data


46. Housing association forum 2

Click on the photo to enlarge

Feel free to comment, and act on these ideas, and to connect with other participants who were there with you in the sessions!


45. Housing association forum 1

Click on the photo to enlarge

Feel free to comment, and act on these ideas, and to connect with other participants who were there with you in the sessions!


44. Return of the warden patrol

Click on the photo to enlarge

Feel free to comment, and act on these ideas, and to connect with other participants who were there with you in the sessions!