What is this project about?
The objective of Community Connectors is to investigate ways to take community development forward in Southampton, in this current and changing socio economic climate. In particular, the project seeks to find out if it is possible to make connections between the ‘people assets’ there are in the city (with the skills and running activities relevant to community development) with those who live in the parts of the city where there is little recognised community engagement.
How we are running the project
We will recruit 8-10 researchers from areas of the city where there is poor community engagement. The researchers will conduct research in three contrasting areas:
Our target areas
Millbrook – very little engagement
Townhill Park/Harefield – A Big Local area with paid development support yet engagement is still challenging
Bitterne Park – no paid development support yet lots of engagement
What our Community Researchers are doing
The researchers will use their own knowledge and experience to phrase the research questions and methods underpinned by their knowledge of the local areas whilst at the same time participating in training delivered by an experienced lead researcher. There will be no boundary between learning and doing. Southampton University have committed to validate the questions, results and ethics of the research
What will happen at the end of the project
At the end of the project we will produce a report of the findings, presented by the researchers at a high profile local event, which we will use to encourage conversations between participants, and feed into the design of future community development work/activities. Following this event, the report will be disseminated locally and nationally.
What are the benefits of the project?
As well as the benefits to the City, our project will particularly benefit the researchers through increased skills and confidence.
How are we spending our money?
The grant will be spent on the recruitment, training and support of the researchers and associated expenses, the production of a report and the dissemination event.