At Stonegrove Community Trust (SCT) we have always worked in a strengths-based way, building upon the skills and assets within our community to develop new activities, services and ways of working. In 2019 we began to further develop our ways of working, researching, and exploring the work of others locally and nationally, planning how to develop our local framework and to ensure that we become the most resident-led, democratic, bottom-up, and transparent organisation possible. This work led us towards connecting with Paulette and another trainer José Barco for a training pilot in January 2020. During the planning process for the training, the partnership was broadened to include Community Organisers and we were able to deliver a really engaging and interesting three-day event where together with our local community we learnt, reflected and began to plan for the future. We identified local assets and connections, shared stories and ideas beginning to imagine what our shared future might look like.
The pandemic slowed down our plans for training provision and made it more difficult to attract support for a longer-term project like this, but gave us an amazing opportunity to demonstrate what happens when our community comes together to support others. We ran the largest charity-run food project in the borough for much of 2020 and our food work continues to this day.
A good example of how we work is through local resident Chrystella. She approached us recently concerned about older residents with whom she had a connection and wanted to provide a class to help them regain the mobility and confidence they had lost during the pandemic. Chrystella is already active and connected locally so knew people who were interested and had taken the time to speak to them about what they would want from a class. Our CEO Gus helped to create a small funding bid to Barnet Council to cover some costs and these classes are now running from June onwards for 25 weeks.