North West Locality: The Young Foundation
- Chicksand Estate
- Columbia Road
- Collingwood Estate
Our work takes a bottom-up approach to improving health and wellbeing. We work alongside local people, organisations and services to design and deliver solutions to the challenges they experience in their communities.
We connect people with the tools, networks and resources needed to make that happen. So far, this has ranged from community-led events, to peer-led English courses and women’s enterprise projects.
We work together to improve services and the wider system to be more responsive to local need; informed by the stories, experiences and actions of local people. We believe in building strong relationships, sustainable practices, and using the tools of enterprise, research, and community organising to ensure lasting change.
Pre-Covid – Get Fit Feel Inspired
Get Fit Feel Inspired (GFFI) was designed and delivered by and for young adults from the Chicksand estate in Banglatown.
Many of them felt that there was nowhere for them to go and with limited job opportunities - further increasing issues such as poor mental health. Since Summer of 2019, local resident Sajid and his friends have been running GFFI, which bridges football training at the Shoreditch Power League with workshops from local leaders and charities on health and wellbeing.
They have explored careers and life paths, developed support networks and campaigned to improve the football cage on their estate.
To date, GFFI has reached dozens of young men, received funding from Sport England, and connected with national services such as Prostate Cancer UK, Street Games and the Good Gym.
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We continue to support residents to design and deliver community projects in their neighbourhoods.
Local people can to develop their project ideas and offer one to one remote support from our team. This includes training, project planning and development, information and networking opportunities and more. For more information or to join us, get in touch!
Post-Covid case study – Kid’s activity packs initiative, Chicksand Estate
On the Chicksand estate, CDC volunteers identified that many families were struggling to entertain their children during lockdown.
This was adding additional strain to the challenges of food and employment insecurity and having to home school.
Volunteer Munnie, who has been involved in the programme since 2018, came up with an idea to bring some light relief to her neighbours through arts and crafts.
Every two weeks Munnie and the other volunteers prepare and deliver activity packs to 90 different families across the estate (and counting!). They have been well-received and led to greater communication and collaboration on the estate.
The children have been using WhatsApp to share pictures of the different things they have made like sending Eid celebration cards to other members of the community:
"The response has been really amazing - parents calling me up, sending photos and voice notes of their children enjoying the activities” - Munnie
Outcomes and impact
Since 2017, we have reached thousands of people across the North West of Tower Hamlets. As a result of the dozens of resident-led projects we have supported to date, we have seen:
- Increased confidence levels and participation in community activity
- Better use of local green spaces
- Greater collaboration between residents and local services
- The development of digital and face-to-face spaces for people to promote health and wellbeing
- Increased capacity of residents – including new skills, access to funding, and greater partnership working.
We aim to have an impact across three levels – for individuals, the community and the ‘wider system’ (e.g. local services and the council).
Our impact at the individual level:
“CDC is basically letting residents of Tower Hamlets do what they want to do, and they help us find a way. I never had a clue, but I always dreamed I wanted events and stuff like that happening, big summer events and barbeques with all the community getting involved, and I wanted there to be dancing, little lights, making it all beautiful, somewhere for the elderly to go, and CDC has made that happen so many times perfectly, and let me get involved the way I wanted it to happen. So, it feels like me doing it, I did it, and CDC was there as my backbone helping me with all the other things that I didn’t know existed and hadn’t done. I’ve become a more confident and more outspoken person.”
Ina, CDC Volunteer/TH Resident
Our impact at the community level
"Events like this bring people together, it empowers communities and engages different ethnic groups who are here, especially different religious groups like Muslims and non-Muslims. I think the main thing is to see people happy, coming together, putting their differences aside and making the most out of what has been organised”
Jamie, CDC Attendee, Chicksand Eid Event
Our impact at the system level
“I think CDC is filling a huge gap ... you see the problems in society with poverty, with knife crime, with young people getting more and more into anti-social behaviour, we need a different way of thinking how to engage with people and it can’t just be old traditional thinking of ‘we’ll go out and tell people what they want’, it’s more on the level of we’ll go out and find out what they want and let them do it. We listen and give people ownership to change their estates, and change their lives as well, and that’s powerful.”
Tarik, Local Councillor, CDC Stakeholder
Website: Young Foundation