By Dan Barron, Community Organiser
Since May, I had been supporting Kadeer, who is a community leader from Ferham to engage with the community both physical and virtually. Initially, Kadeer was looking to create a constituted group. We were able to support Kadeer in understanding what was needed and searching for others who wanted to join over several weeks. This included several organisational structures as Kadeer’s daughter was also considering becoming a Community Interest Company. I was able to advise Kadeer about the current COVID guidelines regarding activities, when he was very actively coordinating litter picks within the area.
Kadeer is also the administrator for the Ferham Community Group’s Facebook Group. I joined the group when it was under 50 members, however during the last few months the membership has grown to over 250 member. The post in the Facebook group generally focus on local issues such as litter, fly tipping ASB, crime and the offer of help from other community members.
We have been able to provide and share up to date COVID19 information to pass on to the group and its members from the original lockdown to the new tier system guidance that has been implements. By posting the latest guidelines we have tried to show the simplest information to notify communities what to do in this current fluid environment. We have also promoted local testing sites so that residents who needed tests would have up to date information to receive a test swiftly.
RotherFed have helped support the online community with several competition and activities throughout the national lockdown and through the summer. The Ferham Community Group has been a great outlet for us to engage with several projects such as: Crafty Talk Crafty packs and the Rothersteps project. These projects were developed to provide residents with activities throughout lockdown to help relieve stress and mental health issues. Most of the engagements had come through the Facebook Community Group’s online community page (Facebook).
We have previously created virtual community drop-ins that members online could join by clicking on the zoom link. The drop ins were created so communities could have a chat with myself and local electorates about issues they are experiencing such as ASB, Housing issues or an outlet to speak about COVID19. We have also managed to produce two successful litter picks on Ferham Park over the summer with residents from Ferham, which have followed Covid guidance/restrictions. The results of the litter pick were promoted on the Ferham Community Partnership to promote community activity by sharing photos of the event. This was good for engaging with residents about litter in area and on the parks. The online community page is still growing its membership and we will continue to support its members with activities, COVID guidance and general information in future.