SE-Village @ The Peckham Settlement

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Big Objectives Met for Big Celebration

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We had some big objectives for our final celebration event on SE-Village. These were

  • To celebrate completion of the pilot phase
  • Affirmation of everything all the SE-Villagers have achieved
  • Connecting SE-Villagers together with each other (project leaders and other stakeholders)
  • Trial a crowd-funding event
  • Re-launching the new phase and getting the news out and getting more publicity about the project out/inviting the press

As a celebration the event was fantastic. There was a real party atmosphere driven by everything from the Caribbean buffet to the blind pianist Peter to the kids’ sumo suits! Here is some of the feedback people wrote on post-its as they were leaving:


“An amazing night, loved every second, this is our village” “ditto”

“Great. Very inspiring”

“Nice to meet people from the local community”

“Excellent nite. Go community spirit! Its ALIVE here!”

“Great event! Shows what Peckham is made of…”

“It was very enjoyable and a great way to involve the local community in what’s going on at the centre”

“What a wonderful time I had. It was very nice. Thanks a lot”

“I really enjoy this event, everything is excellent”

“Thanks. It was great. My daughter had a good time. Made lots of contacts and met so many nice people.”

“An excellent evening and great fun watching the presentations and voting. Lovely food too. Thank you!”

“The event was wonderful as usual – looking forward to the next one already.”

Organisationally, we did really well. The event was well-organised by Vanessa who was really on top of all the different bits of the puzzle. We were fantastic at getting new faces along, which the team were briefed to do. It would actually have been nice to have a few more of the clubs present so next time we still need to work on the balance between audience and projects at an event. However, what was good was that a number of project leaders came just to enjoy the event and not to pitch. For us, we think it is fantastic to see people engaged with the community and joining in without an agenda! Hopefully, seeing other projects win prizes at an event like this may also have helped reinvigorate their own hopes and aspirations for their own projects.

In terms of affirmation, we definitely achieved that for the projects who went for nominations, but not necessarily for those who just attended the event or didn’t attend at all. For the overall winner, Olive, being able to stand up and pitch really built on everything she had practised at the recent ‘Winning Hearts and Minds’ SE-Workshop.

The nomination approach worked really well for getting people to connect and talk to each other (everyone had 2 nomination stickers each). We had 7 projects looking for nominations, and the ones that did best had arrived early, had leaflets or other information to look at, and had mobilised some support themselves (bringing friends and family), as well as working hard to engage people at the event. Because we got a broader audience there than just SE-Village that worked really well too for wider connections. Some of the projects, like SE-Village Stars, had their own contact sheets so hopefully they will be able to follow up some new connections. One of our feedback quotes was “Thank you for organising this event; enabling me to network with others and meet with new friends. Also finding out more about what is going on in the local community.”

The trial of crowd-funding worked really well. People were enthusiastic and the winners were really pleased with the prize package we put together (P£ plus £ from RESTORE-Peckham plus free book from Octopus publishing plus free membership to PVSF and for the overall winner a marketing course with PVSF. Having seen that it was possible to get donations following the community elders event, we were inspired to have a go with other partners and stakeholders. The donations from PVSF came because they ‘owed’ Peckham Settlement some timecredits for a volunteer working with them, so we did a deal on those. RESTORE have been a long-standing partner throughout the pilot phase and were happy to match fund. We phoned Octopus publishing and asked for copies of the Levi Roots business book ‘You can get it if you really want’, focussing on the South London and entrepreneurship angles. We also asked Greggs for a discount on 150 cupcakes for the event because we couldn’t afford the full amount but we wanted to support them because one of their stores was burned down in Peckham in the August riots. They then offered them for free, which was really amazing!

However, Pitch your Project was a bit confusing for some. The nominations and then later vote aspect was simple to explain, but when people are in a rush to enter the event and/or quickly filling an attendance sheet, its hard to listen. Plus some attendees were older and it was all too much new information. Next time it may be a good idea to remove the nominations stage and just have the pitching/voting – however, if we drop nominations for the sake of simplicity then we have to find other ways to enhance connectivity. It also raises the question of how the choice is made about who pitches.

The big question is whether this approach to crowd-funding would work if we ask people to part with hard cash, rather than P£ which we had given them… We believe to some extent that depends on the persuasiveness of the project pitches, so for future events they should definitely practise/be coached more on their pitches.

In terms of re-launching the new phase, because funding is still up in the air, this was more of a closure of the pilot and a promise not to let support collapse despite some of the team leaving – there was some anxiety from projects “I’m just getting started and getting some momentum, I hope you’ll still be able to support me!”

Ahead of the event, we got in the South London Press following top tips from a volunteer mentor on how to do a press release. We also posted the event on PVSF and Southwark website, as well as Peckham Settlement Facebook (but not SE-Village, we need a better approach/training in using social media better). We have sent out a post event press release to South London Press, Southwark News, Evening Standard and The Metro and are waiting to see if there is a response – to date SLP have interviewed the project manager and we may get coverage in this Friday’s edition, they also want to interview the overall event winner which could help publicise their project – watch this space!

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Written by sevillps

February 29, 2012 at 9:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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