SE-Village @ The Peckham Settlement

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Community engagement put into practice again

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We’ve ramped up events in January and February as SE-Village is really starting to take off, and with every event we’re learning something new, and continuing to build on what we got out of the Kaizen Community Engagement training. We ran an SE-Skills Market which aimed to provide a one-stop place for people to find out about local facilities and advice, including volunteering opportunities. It was also supposed to be a Freshers Fair style event for SE-Village Clubs to advertise, building on the brochure that went out.

We had 18 stalls at the Skills Market – 4 of whom were SE-Village Clubs, 6 Peckham Settlement projects and 8 local organisations. All groups were advertising various different clubs and services from knitting to money advice, to employment and training advice. 5 volunteers gave a total of 15 hours of voluntary time helping on the door etc. We even generated £40 and P£52 (Peckham Pounds) from table hire.

Some quotes from people who visited on the day

“Good information! Really helpful! Thank you.

Was informative, quite detailed on what’s on offer.

Very helpful! Contacts make, Thanks!

It was good. I was pleased to see other providers that are really beneficial to the community.

A really good idea – looking forward to the next one. Thankyou.

It was fantastic and very good information. Thank you :0)

It was great and amazing. Thank you :0)

Fantastic. V. Useful!”

However, we didn’t get enough people in to the fair, partly because we had fallen into the trap of spending too much time organising and not enough time publicising, which is exactly what Nathan from Kaizen had warned us about a few days earlier. So why did we end up going out in the rain on the day and trying to get people in off the street?! Basically, we didn’t engage enough local people and persuade them in a way they understood, to come along. This may be because the publicity wasn’t targeted well enough or the publicity didn’t get to the right places. We depended too much on the (27) local organisations and networks we connected with to help publicise. And we depended too much on the delivery of leaflets to the 8,000 homes to do the work for us. Next time the publicity should be better thought through, explaining exactly what the event is. It should also be taken to where people actually are e.g. the pubs, barbers, bookies, take-away shops. More time should be taken actually going out talking to people and ‘engaging’ them as we have been taught, rather than emailing local agencies asking them to put up posters and let their clients know, which doesn’t seem to work. Some people also suggested holding it on a weekend next time and perhaps put a banner up outside to promote it during the week.

Despite the poor attendance, which was the biggest feedback from stallholders, they also said that the best thing about the event was Networking.

“A really positive idea and good for networking.

Lots of information from participating organisations.  It was a very good event and idea as people/organisations were able to learn about other groups and networks. It should be repeated again.”

Going forward we recognise that engaging people for an event should take as much, if not more time than organising the event itself, and we’re definitely taking that on board for the Big Celebration on 24th Feb.

We also ran a hub event at our local ‘Tasty Bakery’, aimed specifically at men. The location was good, people came into the Bakery to buy their food, and then came across to see what we were doing. We also leafleted directly outside the Bakery for people to come inside. There were some men who wanted further information and will be followed up by BBI and Pecan, who we’ve been working with. Many of the men did not seem interested in signing up and said they were ok being unemployed. There were some last minute cancellations and its hard work guaranteeing attendance and not everyone wants a job or even to be motivated, which is another thing that Kaizen pointed out!

Another learning has been that a drop in session and a motivational speaker (as originally planned) does not work in the same setting,  In the end the guest speakers, all from the community, waited until people signed the attendance sheet and then they started a one-to-one conversation with them, this worked very well indeed.

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Written by sevillps

February 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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