During the summer, Spring to Life began a ‘Needs assessment’ initiative in the Three Estates – South Kings Norton. Funded by the Big Lottery Community fund, we have been speaking to a wide range of people in different settings in order to capture a sense of what the concerns and visions are for their community, and what are the priorities for developing positive mental health and well-being. We have taken on people living locally to help with this. So far we have had a couple of ‘Vox Pops’ in Hawkesley Square. We also plan to speak to people in GP practices, sheltered housing sites, door to door visits, as well as for our new local members to carry out these conversations with their own friends and neighbours.
The long term aim is for the results of this Needs Assessment to set the basis for developing a long term well-being programme in the area, supporting different social groups using different approaches, and working in partnership with other organisations operating in the area.
A key component of this current project is also for Spring to Life to continue to develop its local networks. There are many local projects and groups doing amazing work in the community. During our Vox Pops and other community conversations we have been sign-posting people to these existing projects.
From these conversations we are also developing a core group of local people that we come across that are interested in seeing their community improve and grow. This group will get to meet once in a while and advise on the long term development of the Spring to Life programme.
Some of the things these conversations are showing us are the huge assets that this community has. These include an incredible sense of community where people know each other and look out for one another, the many green spaces in the area, and other spaces such as the Hawkesley Community Centre and as well as other facilities. Spring to Life will aim to make use of these assets in order to maximise the impact made.