Venue: Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston
Contact: Veronika Quintyne - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome by Chairman, Councillor Jeffrey Kaufman
The Chair, Councillor Jeffrey Kaufman, welcomed attendees to the meeting and thanked them for their attendance.
Apologies for Absence
Richard Darlaston (Oadby & Wigston Lions)
Kane Radford (Oadby & Wigston Borough Council)
Annette Day (Action on Hearing Loss)
Roger Thompson (Action on Hearing Loss)
Andy Nazer (Campaign to end Loneliness-England)
Garry Burnside (AGE UK)
Sophie Tucker (Alzheimer Society)
Jayne Edwards (Adult Learning Team Leicestershire County Council)
Nazrine Akhtar (Sangam Asian Womens’ Group)
Liz Steiner (CAB-Citizens Advice Bureau)
Louise Pettit (Early Help Children`s Centre Oadby/Wigston & Blaby)
FarhnazAbubakar (Richmond Fellowship)
Reverend Chris Johnson (Helping Hands South)
Resham Sandhu (Volunteer Changemaker)
Lesley Green (Oadby & Wigston and Blaby Mental Health Forum)
Stephen Payne (Vistablind)
Peter Owers (Christians Against Poverty)
Tejash Patel (COG Youth Service Limited)
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true record.
Following discussion on the timing of meetings, the majority of representatives present agreed that daytime meetings were preferable to meeting in the evening.
Future meetings will be organised to take place within daytime work hours.
Brief Review of Community Engagement Forum Learning
A brief review of the past work of the Community Engagement Forum was shared with those present.
The Forum was established as a good practice network. Its role is to explore how community groups and organisations, which state they serve Oadby & Wigston Borough Residents ,could assist with the implementation and or review of plans, policies, services and strategies with specific reference to helping identify needs, specifically to include those residents referred to as, “the seldom heard“. This group is also referred to as the "hard to reach”.
The Forum has hosted presentations from a variety of Voluntary Organisations and Community Groups. It has delivered workshops covering:
· Bid writing and funding applications
· Equality, Diversity and Unconscious Bias, to Council staff, volunteers and representatives on the Community Engagement Forum
· Hate Crime, Human Rights
· Stress and mental wellbeing
· Suicide prevention - Suicide Awareness Partnership
· WRAP - Working to Raise Awareness of Prevent
· Roma people history, perceptions and Xenophobia
· Gypsy and Traveller community in Leicestershire and their lived lives, history and contribution to society.
Some key issues discussed through the Community Engagement Forum have covered the issues of:
Credit Unions, community banks which aim to break cycles of poverty and support communities to be financially stable. This was delivered by Clockwise Leicester.
Hearing loss at any stage of development and how it can be supported at varying stages of development. This was delivered by the organisation Action on Hearing Loss.
Hate crimes, hate incidents and identification of how, where and when to report. This was delivered through Oadby and Wigston Council and supported by Oadby and Wigston Community Safety Partnership funding.
Transgender identification by young people and support available from public and voluntary organisations. This was delivered by Leicester, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Service (LGBT).
Community Engagement Forum Funding
Representatives were informed about a strand of funding Oadby and Wigston Borough Council will be introducing.
The reasoning behind the introduction of the funding was explained. It was noted that Oadby and Wigston borough is recognised as an area of relative economic affluence. There are pockets of relative poverty, social isolation and loneliness.
The needs of residents are changing. Voluntary organisations and community groups locally are servicing recognised needs. However, it is recognised that there are gaps in provision.
The Council wishes to identify, with the help of voluntary organisations and community groups, what the gaps in provision look like and through partnership working find solutions to address them. This help might also be the development of a plan to follow the first one hundred people claiming Universal Credit. This would have a built in tool for measurement at six months and a year to gauge how people are coping with this system.
The funding might support research or initiatives, for example around loneliness and isolation. It might even focus on the impact of Universal Credit and its relationship to issues of homelessness and domestic violence.
The Council wishes to receive proposals from community groups and organisations. These might address some of the aforementioned issues. Proposals might spring from partnership working from groups using a joined up thinking approach to establish a project or series of projects.
This identification of need, mapping, developing possible proposals and the Council’s funding stream will be a point of discussion at the next Community Engagement Forum meeting.
Workshop in Celebration of Mental Health Week 2018
The theme for MIND Mental Health Awareness Week (14 to 20 May 2018) was about handling stress in the workplace.
The Community Engagement Forum decided to deliver a workshop as part of this meeting. It did so in recognition that stress is a condition that can lead to more serious aspects of mental ill health.
The workshop was planned and delivered by colleagues from: Oadby and Wigston Council, The Conservation Volunteers, The South Wigston Local Area Coordinator and Richmond Fellowship. An expression of thanks for this involvement is minuted.
Presentations delivered on: the Universal Credit system, Stress and managing relationships and the training needs assessment for a Level 1 Community Development Course for groups and organisations in Oadby and Wigston, will be circulated with these minutes.
Helping Hands and the Citizens Advice Bureau currently support to people claiming Universal Credit. Observations and a question was asked on what the possible impact of Universal Credit might be on vulnerable people. This took into account the fact that some claimants may not have identification to support their claim.
A mini market was set up which included a range of agencies, sharing their information on what works ,hearing about key work taking place, getting de-stressed with dough/bread making and honey, a look at an innovation in colon /gut cleansing , Tai Chi, promotion of the Oadby Free Spirit Foundation’s scarf of love. The scarf continues to develop into a community statement which will see it stretch around Leicester football club and beyond, organic food tasting from the Master Gardeners and networking to help shape the future of group community working.
An A5 booklet of Active Oadby & Wigston information was shared. Along with this was a three minute stress test exercise sheet. Colleagues were given the sheet and instructed to complete it at their own leisure outside of this workshop.
Colleagues were also given information training needs assessment form for completion and return to the Community Engagement Officer. The training needs assessment covers a NOCN (Northern Open College Network) Level 1, 10 week Award in Community Development. Oadby and Wigston Borough Council plans to introduce this certificate through local community groups and organisations.
The event was very well attended. Offers were made by Vistablind, AGE UK and Clockwise to present at the next meeting in September. There may also be input at the next meeting by the Campaign for Loneliness England to, present on the Be More Us project it is spearheading.
These Community Engagement Forum meetings will not only act as innovative conduits for organisation and group learning but will provide case studies and community learning tools for development
Date of the Next Meeting
Future meeting dates are as follows:
· Wednesday 25 September 2018.Time:1:30p.m until 4:00p.m.
· Tuesday 4 December 2018.Time:1:30p.m until 4:00p.m.
· Tuesday 12 March 2019.Time:1:30p.m until 4:00p.m.
The Venue for all meetings is: Oadby & Wigston Borough Council Offices, Council Chamber, Station Road, Wigston, LE18 2DR.