At Leicestershire Cares we are always keen to reflect with our partners on our practice and to seek to use our learning to influence relevant policy debates. So, we were delighted to be able to host a visit from the Centre for Social Justice, where along with partners we shared our thoughts on community and homelessness.
The CSJ team of Dr Sam Bruce and Louise Jarvis, visited the Zinthiya trust to hear first-hand about the great work they carry out supporting people who are struggling on the margins and the challenges they face trying to run a vital service against a background of growing need and cuts in funding.
They then came to our office to meet with Neetu, Zamzam, Kieran and Ruma Ali who is setting up a range of initiatives to tackle poverty and is also establishing a Bangladeshi women’s group.
Throughout the discussion , key points that kept getting raised were: The need for levelling up to focus on people, partnership working and the poverty that exists within towns and cities as well as between cities and towns.
If you walk across Leicester, in just a few miles life expectancy and life chances can drop dramaticallyNeetu Squire Head of Community Development.
We need to ensure that community groups reflect the community all too often women and young people underrepresentedRuma Ali
Alongside investing in buildings we need to develop cost effective ways of funding community development, and to encourage an evidence based approachKieran Breen CEO Leicestershire Cares
There was strong agreement that “Levelling Up” provided huge opportunities, but also concern that the money could end up going on “pet projects” and that “learning” and an evidence based approach must be built into projects and funding.
It is always great to get out and listen to those delivering on the front line. It is also inspiring to see how much good work is being deliveredLouise Jarvis Centre for Social Justice
Going forward we are keen to explore how we might develop sharing and learning events with our community partners in partnership with the Centre for Social Justice.