By Dan Barron, Community Organiser
The Springwell Tenants and Resident’s association held the 20th Anniversary street party representing the opening of the Springwell estate after the Oakhill flats had been demolished. The event saw over 30 residents of all ages walk through the doors. There were games and competitions for the residents to participate in, to win prizes which consisted of a £100 Asda shopping voucher and a £50 Asda shopping voucher as the main prizes. All food was donated by local supermarkets and residents were encouraged to bring stalls to the event and sell some wares. This was a credit to the tenants and Resident’s association for being so proactive in sourcing the donations.
Every month for the last five months the TARA has hosted a residents meeting where residents can come together to discuss the problems they are experiencing on the estate. The first meetings saw 3 residents attend but 4 months down the line 24 residents came to an inclusive meeting to share and talk about the problems and how they can create positive change in the community. The residents had prioritised what they believe to be the biggest problems on the estate through a democratic voting process and the TARA has now began to work towards that.
When Jacqui and Michelle first wanted to take social action to create positive change in the community. But didn’t really know how to. At first, they were more reactive and followed the decisions of more experienced members that founded the Tenants and Residents association. However, as the TARA has progressed, they have both put their best foot forward when they are learning new processes, always giving 100% effort. Although at times it has been hard and time consuming, their commitment to the tenants and resident’s association has been amazing. They continue to strive to make their community great by wanting to learn and develop their skills every week.
They have continued to attend training sessions to understand the community organiser process, seek digital support in learning new digital skills or for general advice. It is due to their unprompted commitment that they have become more confident and knowledgeable. As a result, between them they have chaired meetings, recorded minutes and are continuing to be developing positive relationships with service providers, local authorities and councillors in the area. Additionally, they are taking further steps to become more autonomous creating positive change in the area for residents. A further credit to them is their ability to positively challenge action that directly affect the Tenants and Residents Association that could be considered as exclusive bringing an equilibrium to the acting board.
Moving forward the TARA is planning a Christmas event in the future, looking at a bank account and they have now significantly increased their membership.