Edberts House - A Local Conversation on the Old Fold and Nest estates

20 November 2015

“The difference having this here is massive, I’ve talked to people I have walked past in the street for years without saying hello. It’s so important for us.”

Members of the Old Fold and Nest Local Conversation

“For us, the project all started over flasks of tea. We set up a temporary community hub in a disused shop in the heart of the Nest estate so that people could drop by and have their say and straight  away residents were popping in to say hello and find out more about the Local Conversation. When we started on this journey, a lot of people said that the area feels fragmented and some people think there is a sense of divide between the Old Fold and Nest estates.

"The two estates are neighbouring estates in North Felling, Gateshead. Over time, the area has changed radically. In particular, the Old Fold estate has undergone significant redevelopment over the past 20 years, with much of the old estate being demolished to make way for privately owned flats.

"One of the biggest things to come out of the engagement process was a need for a community space so that local people people can build relationships, offer peer support and extend networks within the community. Since then, the newly formed steering group has secured the building and a disused kebab shop next door to create a permanent community hub.

"More than 50 people came to help clean it up, bringing food to share together for lunch. The community hub is being redesigned by local people, and refurbished, incorporating a community bakery that will teach new skills and produce home baked artisan bread. As local people, we are using the passion we have for our community and our skills to meet our own needs and already new friendships are developing.

"The Local Conversations programme, funded by People’s Health Trust using money raised by HealthRespect through The Health Lottery, has put residents back into the heart of the community. We are developing a shared vision for the community and taking control of the design, development and delivery of change in our area. It’s a great opportunity to strengthen connections between people and everyone’s really excited about having more opportunities to socialise, build relationships and offer each other support.

"People who didn’t know each other before the project started are now working together to come up with a vison for their community and deciding how this can be achieved. Some older people living here talk about an ‘invisible wall’ that stops the two estates from mixing. Together people are ready to knock that wall down.”

Sarah Gorman

To see more pictures from the Local Conversation, click here.

To read about more great ideas funded by the Trust, click here.

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