We’ve had an interesting start to the year, having secured our first charity partnership which we are all very proud of. For those of you who haven’t heard yet, in March we were chosen as the charity partner of the i360, the new observation tower on Brighton seafront. The i360 team were really interested to hear about the work we are doing with young people and are committed to helping raise awareness and funds to support us.
I know it’s really important that we use this opportunity wisely by making the attraction more affordable and accessible to communities who don’t normally have the chance to visit things like the BAi360 on their own seafront. The funds raised from the graffiti art will go straight into our work with young people and we are putting it into ‘street work’ – youth workers meeting young people on their own turf as they street socialise in areas around Moulsecoomb, finding out what they need or would like to do.
When I mention something like ‘streetwork’ I’m only too aware that whilst we’ve been around for 16 years, lots of people don’t know what we’re actually doing or how we do it, so as an organisation we need to build on the i360 partnership too, to raise our profile. Our first step was to appoint a new Business Development Manager, Ruth Chapman who starts with us a day a week at the beginning of July. The prime reason for all these developments is to involve business in our work and grow the understanding and support for what we do across the city. I hope that if people understand what we do they might support us by donating to our work, projects and activities. Run a marathon for us or a boot sale, volunteer…or just send us a cheque!
The other way we make ourselves known to communities of course, is through door-knocking. A tried and tested community development method for gaining a greater understanding for communities we’re working with and listening to their needs. Among many others over the years, I remember door-knocking the whole of Stanmer Heights flats with volunteers in Hollingbury in 2006 – I’ve never been so fit! We also notice that it is important to regularly refresh this methodology and recently our workers in Queens Park were taken aback by the levels of isolation and problems that people shared with them. They have gone on to make contact with the relevant statutory and voluntary sector partners to tackle these issues, signpost people and think about local activity but it tells me once again that it’s only through going out to where communities are, that we really reach people who wouldn’t normally know about or contact services.
We hope you enjoy reading this blog where we will share stories of the people who make TDC what it is and where we will tell you about some of the community activities we are helping to support all over our vibrant city of Brighton & Hove.