The team at CHAD were delighted to have Prof Sian Griffiths (Chair of the CHAD Board) spend the day with us last week. Sian was keen to spend time with the CHAD team and get to know our local area better. We jumped at the chance to introduce her to some fantastic people and community projects in the City and County, and it was a truly memorable day for both Sian and the team.
We are grateful to everyone who took the time to show us around and provide an insight into their work. To read more about their work, please visit the links provided. But here’s what we got up to on our day out…
Our day started with an introduction to VOICES and the Expert Citizens programme. Andy Meakin, Director of VOICES, talked about the work the organisation does to support people with multiple and complex needs, reaching out to those who are seldom heard.
Building on this conversation, Darren Murinas and Rachele Hine talked more about the work of Expert Citizens. Key aspects of their work include acting as advocates for those with lived experience and carrying out service audits with agencies to help them provide the quality of services that are needed.
We are really proud to have just completed a collaborative research project with VOICES and Expert Citizens on street activity in the city centre, and look forward to growing this relationship in the future. Keep an eye out for the report that will be out soon!
We then met Marvin Molloy, a Development Worker with My Community Matters. After providing some background to local projects, he introduced us to two very inspirational women who kindly spent time with us talking about the work they have been doing in their communities. Karen Johnson, Chair of Portland Street Community Group (Portland Inn Project), shared with us all of the great work they have been doing with the community to tackle fly tipping and to develop useable green space within the local community. They are also looking into opportunities to develop a local disused pub into a community hub.
Next stop was Middleport. Amelia Bilson invited us into her home and shared the work that Middleport Matters has been doing to support people to connect in their community and provide spaces for people to meet and share interests. A snap shot of their first 12 months of activity can be found here and you can follow Middleport Matters on Twitter here.
Following a delicious lunch at Middleport Pottery, we visited a recovery centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme run by One Recovery. This is a warm and welcoming space for people who are in recovery from substance misuse and plays a very important role in helping people rebuild their lives. Thanks to Tony Bullock and Debbie Moores for taking the time to show us this great facility.
All in all, we had a great day out of the office connecting with local people and community projects. We look forward to building on these relationships in the future.