Ahead of our AGM on 20th february, we invite TDC members to read our annual report for the financial year 2018/19. The report details our objectives and aims as well as providing a strategic overview of some of our activities which we’d like to share with you here on our blog too.
The following text comes directly from our report, we hope you enjoy reading it.
The Trust for Developing Communities delivered our largest ever programme of work and our most diverse range of activities in 2018-19 – all focused on delivering grassroots community-led solutions to tackle inequality in Brighton and Hove. Our work was delivered through four departments: Neighbourhood, Youth, Equalities and Training & Consultancy, each overseen by a highly experienced Director leading dedicated and dynamic teams of community development workers, youth workers and volunteers.
TDC’s community development work in neighbourhoods experiencing high deprivation remains at the heart of all our activity. In 2018-19 we supported over 500 people to participate in running community activity and over 700 people to participate in neighbourhood action planning. Neighbourhood plans focus on enabling partnership projects where communities and services can work together on a shared agenda – such as the digital hub in Hollingdean and the restorative justice projects on Phoenix & Pankhurst Estates. Equalities data shows our work enables a diverse range of people to contribute to their communities – 23% are disabled, 12% are from BAMER communities (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) and 4% from LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) communities. We supported small community groups to fundraise over £32k in small grants and over £120k in volunteer time and in-kind donations. These include weekly groups and services such as job clubs, food banks, family groups and social groups for older people; facility managing groups like friends of parks and community buildings management groups; and project groups, such as renovation and greening projects. A highlight this year was Friends of Farm Green who opened their new play park after they were supported to raise £70k.
TDC was involved in supporting community members to award £27k in grants of up to £500 per project to 85 local community run projects promoting health and well-being across the city, through the Healthy Neighbourhood Fund. Our Community Development Workers also supported community members to develop skills and confidence through formal and informal training. This included training on bookkeeping, food hygiene, first aid, risk assessing, committee and governance skills, fundraising and workshops on personal and group development. TDC also ran a programme of regular Practice Sessions for colleagues from many other organisations to cascade skills across the city.
TDC had substantially our biggest year of delivering safe and transformative youth work, primarily through our Youth Grants Programme contracts for the East and North Areas of Brighton. For this work, we delivered 4,468 accredited outcomes with 695 young people – surpassing our target of 560 young people. 56% of our young people live in Council tenancies – a key performance indicator, and the highest proportion of all the Youth Grants Programme providers. Our dynamic, innovative and varied youth work programme included: funding from Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner to support young people away from criminal trajectories by supporting young people to build and race a kit car; running creative pilots to enable young people to develop tech solutions to tackle youth loneliness, and to make community spaces more accessible for young people; in Whitehawk – starting a new Youth Café delivering the Our Future City Social Action project; supporting young people to engage in the Cross-Party Working Group with local politicians; supporting the Woodingdean Youth Centre with Project Management; providing individual support to young people with health and well-being issues; supporting the establishment of the Saltdean and Rottingdean Youth Club; running a Youth Sports Festival in Moulsecoomb and consultation with over 300 people on a new skate park in the area; delivering welfare work to young people at the Pride Festival; continuing our successful work with young Travellers in partnership with Friends, Families and Travellers; and with Look Sussex to support blind and partially sighted young people.
BAMER – Our work with BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) communities includes our Engagement work, through which we ran a series of consultations on topics including: social isolation; barriers to using on-line GP services, understanding attitudes to dementia; and the health benefits of volunteering. Our research on volunteering showed how volunteering positively impacts on isolation and loneliness and the associated mental and physical health issues; can provide a bridge between people from BAMER communities and health and social care services; can improve skills, confidence, agency, independence, well-being and employment prospects. In response to these findings TDC ran Brighton and Hove’s first ever BAMER Volunteer Fair, a great success with over 40 organisations present and almost 200 people attending. “I would like to give back to the society and community I live in. I found the fair very resourceful and inspiring, motivating me to get involved in volunteering and to help others.” one BAMER volunteer fair attendee told us.
TDC delivers psychosocial support with BAMER communities to support improved mental health. This included running the BAMER Wellbeing Event ‘The Greatest Wealth is Health’, attended by over 400 people. We also worked both with the Survivor’s Network and with RISE to enable their work to more effectively reach people from BAMER communities. New work to support people from BAMER communities included our offer of ‘Social Prescribing Plus‘- personalised, individual support to enable access to non-medical activities that improve health, and our work supporting people with learning English, literacy and employment through the ‘MESH’ project.
Older People – We more than doubled our targets by delivering community development work to over 700 older people across the city, supporting older people to run activities such as the Over 50s IT Group at the Vallance Centre, Coldean Supper Club and the Hollingdean Knitting Group. We completed our Dementia Action Alliance work with Age UK – having trained over 300 new Dementia Friends and supported a peer-led group for people living with and affected by dementia.
Training & Consultancy.
Citywide Projects – We continue to support a wide range community of identity groups across the city. This included a focused project to support the Community Buildings Network (CBN) – a peer support group of people running community buildings across the city. Through this we bought together a shared resource for 36 buildings, created and delivered a health check tool, focused support on six buildings and supported the ongoing development of the network. “TDC support has completely revitalised the CBN” said one CBN Network Member.
Community Research and Learning – We began a new series of networking events focused on bringing together community groups with statutory services to ensure stronger connections and coordination within neighbourhoods. Then, following the loss of an important community service in Moulsecoomb, TDC stepped up to ensure people could continue to gain access to adult education opportunities, with proactive outreach to people further from mainstream education. TDC also worked with Brighton University to begin a community-led research project exploring barriers to services for people from a neighbourhood experiencing high levels of deprivation.
TDC’s Strategic Plan ‘Community-Led Solutions to Tackling Inequality’ sees us building on the organisation’s strengths – such as the strong, trusting relationships with communities and with partners; gained through successfully delivering responsive, grassroots community development and engagement work for nineteen years. Having refreshed our vision and our values, we are now piloting new models of work, further integrating our diverse delivery, improving organisational infrastructure and enacting our four-year sustainable business plan. This work is enabling us to be responsive to community need, to further develop as a dynamic, impactful and sustainable charity which plays a central role in enabling Brighton and Hove to become a beacon of equality.