On Saturday I joined an exceptional World Cafe event where around 100 local residents and groups – and many of them young people – came together in small workshops to address three basic questions around what they think could be better in the local community and ideas to change things. This event was based on participatory budgeting and working together to come up with ideas as a community. Groups pitched ideas for funds to help make the small change happen from which big things can come in order to make our community better.
Around 30 young people helped facilitate the table discussions, receiving training beforehand in Cranford Community College in how to facilitate.
This was a fantastic event and I’m am looking forward to working with some of the young people and parents I met on seeking to increase basketball opportunities. One school pupil told me “I like to play basketball near my house but I just play on my own.” We can’t just stand by and let talent and passion go undeveloped – but we can try and make a difference for young people like him and many others who may feel isolated or struggle to find others to train with.
Other ideas also came through – ideas around respect for each other, more street parties to bring neighbours together, history telling events for children and families to help and so much more.
Keeping our communities safe and prioritising our wellbeing takes action and I look forward to working with our local community and residents to make Hounslow a better place to live for all.
I want to dedicate a big thank you to the Mutual Gain team for making it go so smoothly. We need to build on this brilliant event and build on the fantastic progress we have made this weekend.