The Pankhurst and Craven Vale estates are small council estates in central and east Brighton. Although they are both predominantly made up of social housing, they are two very different communities.
Craven Vale is situated to the east of Brighton on a steep hill that can add to residents’ isolation, particularly those who are elderly or have mobility issues. The estate has few easily accessible public services or local facilities, with just one through road and one bus route that links the area with the city. The housing comprises of primarily low-rise flats with some houses, all of which are surrounded by large areas of green space.
The Pankhurst estate is on the east edge of central Brighton, also at the top of a hill. The accommodation is predominately made up of semi-detached houses with some low-rise flats. There is no outside communal green space on the estate, and few local facilities. The main bus routes are along the east and north of the area, and there is one infrequent bus that goes through the estate.
Both estates have small community centres that are well used by the local residents to hold forum meetings, run group activities and community events.
· 54% social rented households (44.5% Council housing)
· 84.7% of people living in health deprivation ‘hotspots’ (37% are in the 10% of most deprived in the country)
· 36% children living in poverty
· 38.4% Economically inactive
TDC in Pankhurst and Craven Vale
TDC has been working in both areas since 2007 to help and support residents to work together to tackle local issues and challenges, voice their concerns, and to support and develop local projects and activities.
Amy and TDC have worked in our area for a number of years. We are very grateful for all that she has helped us to achieve and the community have benefited immensely from her ongoing support
'Despite all our best efforts, the kitchen project keeps encountering obstacles, but Amy's coolness under pressure has ensured that we do not lose heart, and her attention to detail means that we will soon(!) have a fully-equipped kitchen to be proud of'.
Craven Vale Biodiversity projects
The Craven Vale Biodiversity projects are a group of projects that focus on the green spaces in and around the Craven Vale estate. These include The Friends of Craven Wood (looking after the woodland on the east side of the estate), Craven Vale gardening group, and the Craven Vale Honey Collective. TDC has supported all of these groups from the initial idea, all the way through to developing and finding funding for the projects. Alongside Brighton and Hove City Council Park Rangers and Brighton Permaculture Trust, residents have planted over 70 fruit trees, have a wild life garden and have planted hundreds of wild flower plants across the estate. The Craven Vale Community Association have recently secured funding for two community bee hives which will include training local residents to be beekeepers.
Both community centres have community cafes that are run weekly by local resident volunteers. These sessions offer the local community a friendly and accessible place for them to meet, and helps to build community cohesion. TDC supported and encouraged the volunteers to start these sessions, helped them to access food hygiene training and funding to buy equipment. The community café in Craven Vale has been running for 5 years, and is has been so successful that not only have they opened up another morning during the week, there is also now a monthly Community Sunday Lunch club, all run by different volunteers with continued support from TDC. TDC helped to set up the Craven Vale food bank which is, and has been a valuable service to many of the local residents. The foodbank is entirely run by a group of local resident volunteers. TDC has supported the group to set up clear procedures, and helped to bring other services to the foodbank including: Bhesco, Money Advice Plus, Digital Brighton and Hove, and Mother Uncovered.
The Pankhurst Area Community Association and Craven Vale Community Association are both active groups that meet regularly every month. Both associations are supported by TDC and distribute the Healthy Neighbourhood Funds within their local area. The association committees are all local residents and their aim, with the support of TDC, is to work with residents, Council Officers and Councillors to improve their local areas, to bring about positive change and to provide information and support to their local community.
Craven Vale Community Association
Craven Vale event planning – The Craven Vale dog show
Craven Vale History group
Food bank group
Older peoples group
Pebbles dance group
Queen's Park Community Association
Queen's Park & Craven Vale Newsletter group
The Friends of Craven Wood
The Haven management group