The Second Wellingborough Community Resilience Forum was hosted by One Wellingborough Plus and partners. It started with a look at the agenda, and then with everyone introducing themselves with hosts Marion and Jonathan talking about the first forum.
Slides from first forum were shown and briefly introduced by Marion, including what community resilience is, its ingredients and its challenges. She also talked about our discussion about what a resilient Wellingborough would look like. Jonathan also talked about who attended, pointing out that people were keen to join in.
We then moved on to the agenda of this forum, discussing what common needs we all have, with everyone giving examples of these. Marion then presented slides about Community Resilience Ingredients and we talked about forming a Time Bank and the idea of a Community Chest.
Delegates discussed what other things could be offered and what we can do moving forward. Everyone shared lots of ideas, providing lots of useful feedback. Thank you to those who joined us, we hope that you find the video useful and informative. To support it there is a full transcript is available below.
Attendees – Marion Turner-Hawes, Jonathan Hornett, Tony Aslam, Jaya Tailor, Jenny Dixon, Samuel Shoesmith, Skye Summerton, Gary Johnson, Victoria Bland, Paul Crofts.
Apologies – Myrle Roach, Karon Turner-Hawes, Trina Breedon, Scott Fitzsimmons, Debbie Dymock, Valerie Anslow, Jennie Scales, Judy Sumner, Wendy Steele, Adam Henley, Annette Bridgeford, Carina Fisher and Becky Sampson.
Marion Turner Hawes – Victoria Centre Manager and Streetwatch. Wants a greater sense of community
Gary Johnson – Artistic director of GLJ Theatre. Togetherness connecting community organisations.
Jaya Tailor – One Wellingborough and One Wellingborough Plus. Try to engage with BAME community, waiting for lock down to be released so that everyone can do outdoor activities
Jenny Dixon – Sofawise Director. Missing forums that we used to have, because we need to get something back around community.
Tony Aslam – Councillor Victoria for BCW, trustee VC, Streetwatch, everyone to unite together
Samuel Shoesmith, Welling Active Travel/Critical Mass, wants less car use/more active travel
Skye Summerton, Community Champ Morissons’ Wellingborough store, people looking outside of their own lives
Victoria Bland and Sophie – Wellingborough Library. We need to help the homeless.
Paul Crofts – Northants REC. To end the use of food banks because we’ve ended poverty.
Jonathan Hornett – One Wellingborough Plus Coordinator and Wellingborough Eco Group Secretary. Hopes that this forum can bring people and organisations together to work with each other for the benefit of everyone.
Quick recap from our first forum – Slides from last forum shown and briefly introduced by Marion, including what community resilience is, ingredients, challenges and what a resilient Wellingborough would look like. Jonathan then talked about attendance numbers, contributions and that people were keen to contribute.
Discussion – What common needs do we all have?
Jenny – We need food clothes and shelter
Tony – Need to feel love, give love and respect each other
Jaya – need a social life, family and friends, human contact and socialising
Samuel Shoesmith – Social interaction, being able to chat each other
Victoria – Warmth and company
Paul – Freedom from fear, to feel secure, not to hated, discriminated against, valued and respected
Gary – Money to pay bills or help
Jonathan – A sense of purpose
Victoria – Healthy
Samuel – need to excerise, move about.
Marion – Getting out and exploring, being connected to nature and being able to clear your mind
Jonathan – belonging to a family, group of friend or an organisation like a church
Jenny – Must not forget that some people are excluded, many people don’t have family or a network so feel isolated.
Marion – Being a minority, LGBT, felt isolated, made her own families
Victoria – The ability to reach out to each other
Jonathan – Have somewhere safe to go, be it a community centre, library, community space
Skye – Young people join gangs to feel part of something.
Marion summed up what common needs we have: Food, shelter, clothes, warmth, somewhere to go and to be heard. Sense of belonging, enough money, get around be it transport or actively. Creativity and a sense of purpose.
Jonathan – Learning and news, teaching young people and adults, sharing balanced news rather than being fed from one source from the internet.
Marion – being involved in decision making, being represented
Skye – huge issues with people not being included including homeless people project 1615, special needs, it’s about getting those people heard. Morisons can help with donations, can offer spices etc for BAME communities.
How does a good society jointly meet those needs?
Important to remember basic needs when thinking about this. Marion presented slides on Community Resilience Ingredients:
- Them and us, it’s all about us! Time banking – rewarding volunteers
- Local Banking – we used to have building societies, national banks move money away from communities. A credit union used to exist at the Victoria Centre, we have a population of 75,000.
- A sense of community – building this by working together with common action and aims.
- Networks of support – providing help for each other as part of a society
- Food – Could we grow food or make food affordable, rather than having food banks. Creating a connection between what we eat and where it comes from.
- Share resources/Community Chest – Where we decide where resources can be spent.
- Making decisions, can we do this together. We do have a council, but we are not being heard because this has been lost somewhere.
Discussion – What other things could be offered?
Skye – Morison has a farm to fork scheme, where people can go to the farm, to the distribution centre and to the store.
Jonathan – Introduced the Community Allotment and talked about using this to support community gardening, to teach people how to garden, and to share seeds and plants.
Jaya – A lot of people are in need but are proud so would rather go without rather asking.
Marion – Could be framed that some people get help and others give help, but all of us need help at some point. The benefits system is divisive, assuming those in need can’t give back. We need to create a system that moves away from doing to doing together.
Skye – Asian community traditionally do not take charity, as society is fixed.
Jonathan – Traditionally this is how people have been brought up in this country as I was.
Marion – it’s about being included, sharing is important and enabling helping is needed.
Victoria – The library is still there during the pandemic to support people
Victoria – It’s about empowering people and supporting their confidence to engage.
Marion – Enabling mobility, public transport.
Jonathan – Community centres, Library, community amenities are needed for everyone as we come out of lockdown.
Discussion – Why Haven’t Started Doing this already?
Victoria – Adjustments made through the pandemic including collection services, library to you and digital output for young families. Phone calls to clinically vulnerable. Maybe we could build upon these to become more resilient.
Marion – Jonathan has written plans for the future
Jonathan – Talked about recording videos for Wellingborough Eco Group’s Advent Calendar and Wellingborough Eco Map, and introduced a new initiative called VIC that would invite and support new groups to be set up at the Victoria Centre and share their activities with videos.
Discussion – What we can do moving forward?
Jaya – said that people haven’t joined the forum, we’ve tried emails and social media
Marion – it’s not just the forum, it’s about the whole community resilience
Jaya – When we started the meals, no one had the data, we need to know who needs help. This time round there wasn’t the information around.
Jenny – I’m wondering why this has changed, data protection comes into it but there’s a miss-match between voluntary services and state.
Marion – A lot of networks have gone, voluntary organisations have less money, but new groups have formed to fill the space. New council’s purpose is to save money
Jonathan – 20 people have committed to come to this forum this time, 10 did, 10 apologised, we now have 30 people registered for this forum. We also have 100 on Facebook as part of Wellingborough Forum who want to discuss issues and share community events.
Victoria – Continue to post on events on social media and on posters to keep people up to date – we can carry on doing this at the library.
The next Community Resilience Forum will be on Friday 9th April at 2pm.