A capacity building project to support the development of a thriving community and voluntary sector in Roehampton. Working directly with people, groups and charities to become more confident, engaged and effective at addressing issues impacting their daily life.
Roehampton, an area full of greenery, ambience and potential, yet is still one of the most deprived and isolated areas in the Borough of Wandsworth. It has a growing population that has significantly changed over the years, facing a number of socio-economic challenges.
- only 28% of residents are in full time work compared to the Wandsworth average of 51%
- around 38% of children live in poverty compared to 21% across Wandsworth
- around 61% of the population live in areas that are amongst the 10% most deprived in England.
In 2018 Wandsworth Council produced the Roehampton Community Capacity Report. The findings of this report highlighted the need for capacity building in Roehampton.
As a result we’re thankful to Public Health Wandsworth for funding this project.
We believe in an asset based approach and the recognition of skills, talents and resources within the community.
In addition we work in partnership with local services to improve outcomes around health and well-being, economic regeneration, crime and social isolation.
Furthermore by listening and building relationships to form shared values we will help communities to:
- become more informed about what is going on for communities
- create opportunities to utilise their skills, talents and experience
- feel they are heard and involved in a way that works for them
- to gain knowledge and access resources to work together, fund and plan ahead.
- Supported the most vulnerable by working with the Council – WBC ‘Summer Unlocked’ lockdown programme – Connections and increased awareness of services led to Increased referrals from young vulnerable children from Roehampton. This contributed to increased Winter offer
- Increased funding applications to support Roehampton – Brought in 30k of funding to support local organisations, over 80% (£25k) went to BAME-led organisations working with less heard communities
- Enhancing the wider Citizens Advice Wandsworth offer – EU Settlement Scheme, Macmillan Cancer Project, Crisis hardship project
- Attracting new organisations into Roehampton (Play & Learn Café) – Supported early years charity from Lambeth to operate in Roehampton, Connected to Early Help team, Successfully applied for funding from Wandsworth Grant Fund, Built partnerships with local children centre and recruited volunteers to distribute 200 play bags to low income families
The COVID-19 Pandemic has been an unfortunate time for many of us, and significantly for the residents of Roehampton. Here are some of the projects we have worked on to combat the issues relating to COVID-19:
- Created an ‘online community’ by establishing Roehampton’s only COVID-19 support group which has 426 members.
- Addressed ‘digital exclusion’ work with local charity Regenerate to produce two community newsletters with vital support information, delivered to 13,500 households by local volunteers.
- Created an easy to read step by step guide to help local residents apply for benefits to address the increase in Universal Credit applicants during lockdown co-produced.
- Established local community arts group to secure funding/donations and organised community events to over 150 local elderly residents
“The network is bringing together leaders in Roehampton to exchange and collaborate on the issues that matter to local people. I have already partnered with group members to draft and share information on local health services and have been connected to organisations that can support us to reach a large number of local people”.
– Head of Patient and Public Involvement & Equalities (Merton & Wandsworth), NHS South West London CCG
“It was a wonderful initiative by Jonathan, like ripples in the Water. It has widened and grown to involve more in the local community… Making a mark, so that it cannot be ignored”.
– Dr Janice Fernandes, Statutory Service Provider
“Roehampton needed someone with your energy and drive to bring all the groups together. Your commitment has shined through especially during these devastating times. You have brought a wealth of expertise and experience to encourage fruitful, constructive and engaging open exchanges… Where information is distributed and community grows. I cannot even envisage how Roehampton would have fared in Covid without your driving force”.
– Children’s Services, Wandsworth Borough Council
“Fascinating seeing the desperate groups under one umbrella, networking and working so hard to fill the gaps”.
– Victoria Diamond, Local Resident
“I have felt a part of the community and felt that my voice was being heard, the response network reached out and supported me to support the community and I felt that there were a lot of organisations reaching out on this platform that felt it was beneficial for the community”.
– Local Resident
“The RRN network has helped my programme grow, it’s service provision and network in Roehampton, reaching some of the borough’s most vulnerable and isolated residents during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
– John Cowley, Charity Worker,
“Unity in the community provides opportunities”.
– Judy Lockhart, Food Sales Project
If you are an individual interested in helping your community or part of group, charity or service designed to support the communities of Roehampton here are some things we can help you with:
- form groups
- write constitutions
- achieve charitable status
- develop business strategies
- event management
- nurture community projects
- access funding grants.
Roehampton Response Network
Virtual meetings, consisting of several local organisations and individuals with an objective to better their community, Roehampton.
Created in the first week of lockdown in March to provide a platform for forward planning, communication and co-ordination of response to and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and wider issues in Roehampton and Wandsworth.
The network’s meetings discuss serious topics that affect the community, such as poverty, mental health and much more.
- Total of 40 meetings
- Average attendance 26 community stakeholders
- 125 unique attendees
- Over 60 different groups , organisations and services supported (Inc. 8 different WBC teams)
In March 2021, the BBC followed residents afflicted by the national Coronavirus lockdown, discussing the great impact of the project.
Roehampton Community Week
Roehampton Community Week took place on July 5 – 11th 2021 in several locations in the Roehampton area, The event was led by Citizens Advice Wandsworth, ‘My Roehampton’ project lead, Jonathan Palma and other members of the Roehampton Response Network.
For many residents, RCW has been the first-time they have been able to relax and socialise since the beginning of the pandemic.
Positive engagements with new community groups and local services helped build relationships and a greater understanding of ‘support in the area. Many reported RCW had a positive impact on their health and wellbeing by trying something new, meeting new friends and were encouraged to get more involved in their community and ‘have their say’. The information stall in the lead up and during RCW was also a great success and helped provide a hub for the community to meet as well as promote local events and services.
There was a great turn out, of all backgrounds and ages; the children especially enjoyed and have since gained immense knowledge on the environment and recycling.
The event had many well-established organisations and institutions participate including Parish Trust, Ibstock Place, Wandsworth Council and more. There has been a great sense of togetherness and community lift spread across Roehampton and many people are eager to find out “what’s next?”
Some key facts from Roehampton Community Week:
- 37 community events in 7 days
- 1,800 total attendees
- 48 organisations, schools, groups and residents involved
- 3 refurbished communal areas
- 1 outdoor gallery
- 50k fundraised
RCW has been a momentous occasion; it has allowed residents, organisations and community groups to develop relationships within the community, utilise community resources and share a vision.
If you’d like to support the development of the community by joining our Roehampton Response Network or any of our projects, please get in touch with Jonathan Palma:
- 0203 559 2004
- Picasso Building, Mount Clare, Minstead Gardens, Roehampton, SW15 4EE
Or use the form below.