Local People in Bridgwater

25 September 2017

“In all my time living here, I have never seen this part of the neighbourhood. I have enjoyed the walking group and chatting to other people.” Mary, resident

“The Forum provides a much-wanted platform for the community to express their views and concerns they want to address.

With our support, residents have informed the designs of all the activities through a series of pop-up events and design workshops around the neighbourhood. Votes and comments are presented to the Forum and help  to shape their decisions.

The Forum recently organised a fun day for the community, with everyone lending a hand to promote it through their friends and local groups. The event brought over 120 people together in  the local park, enjoying the range of  fun activities on offer as well as each other’s company.

As well as the opportunity to learn skills, on-street activities have enabled new people to become engaged in the project. One example is the social walks, where residents are seeing parts of their neighbourhood they haven’t seen before and meeting new people.

Some residents are now working together to get a series of walks happening on a weekly basis. They have tested a route, which they will discuss with other residents before they begin  to promote it.

A recent planting event also provides a good example of how events, however big or small, provide an opportunity for residents to talk and get to know one another. Residents had the chance to meet people living in different areas of the neighbourhood, who they had not been in touch with before, and share their contacts and expertise with others.

Neighbours soon realised that they  have skills and resources that could help each other and are now working together on different projects, including building new benches, which were painted in purple to offset the existing blue and green planters. The planters reclaimed an area of ground that was normally overrun with parked cars and now provides a pleasant space for people to sit with friends.

Skills, confidence and networks are growing in the community alongside people’s desire to see positive change in the neighbourhood through up and coming activities that include community brunches and gardening, plus new colourful benches and verge planting on the horizon.”

Alan Muir, project officer




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