Kirklees Learning Site

What’s happening

· Existing members of the Community Engagement team are being trained in ABCD.

· The team have been out in the neighbourhoods holding Learning Conversations & identifying local Community Connectors.

· The team have started to develop Asset Maps of the different areas involved in the process.

Some examples of community action in Kirklees

Community Building in Dewsbury town centre via Basement Recovery Project

· Basement recovery project have a new community space / venue in the town centre which is available to all groups to use.

· The CB has started having learning conversations in Dewsbury town centre. He began by talking to volunteers in charity shops and has had 18 conversations and identified at least 3 connectors.

· The CB  is organising a skill share day in Dewsbury for anyone to come along to say what they want to share and what they could learn.

· Basement recovery project are also recruiting a trainee Community Builder who will take on the CB work in around 6 months time.


· Connectors in Thornhill organised a Big Lunch event in June attended by over 230 people which provided an opportunity for groups and individuals to connect.

· 4 connectors are linking with local people and have arranged a range of activities including;  a clear up of ¼ mile of path that was over grown and had barriers preventing wheelchair access;  a Curling activity for residents of a care home; Gardening club.

· Connectors been asking people “what can you do that you can share with others?” and have been collating this information. This has revealed a range of assets and gifts such as; A bouncy castle, a 7 seater car, baking skills, Shetland pony for rides / petting, joinery, nails and make up art, computer skills, help out at parties, gardening.

Clayton West

· Three connectors in Clayton West organised an ‘Open House’ for residents in July. Over 120 people came to share their interests and views on the area.

· People enjoyed chatting to people they knew and didn’t know over a cuppa and home baked cake. It was all about coming together & having fun.

· People shared their skills and there were lots of ideas for new activities and groups generated e.g. yoga, knitting, singing.

· The Open Village event took place on 19th September 2015. It consisted on a day and evening of events and activities hosted and run by residents and groups throughout the village of Clayton West. Open Village was supported by Made in Clayton West, which is an open network of local residents . They are connecting people and skills in the village to help make things happen that make Clayton West an even better place to live.

Birkby Community Builders Project

· Birkby over the last 9 months has become a stronger interconnected area and increased community participation has begun to transform Birkby in- to a proud and connected urban village.

· New groups of people and organisations have come together, had conversations and are creating community activity for Birkby to enjoy and attracting people from further afield who don’t have the same offer where they live.

· Birkby now is flourishing with many new people being involved in ideas for green spaces and parks, family activity, intergenerational sessions, African dance and drumming, women’s health and wellbeing sessions. Birkby is connecting and becoming a more harmonious place for people to share ideas, skills and their time.

Laila Ahmed (Community Builder) and Graham Lee, local resident and activist community Connector, showing Chris (Nurture Development UK Co-ordinator & ABCD Guide) around and telling him tales of community building in Thornhill.

The details of Graham’s involvement as a Connector and community capacity builder were powerful motivators for what can be done in relationships between community and council folk like Laila and her strong community values.

More community stories here.

More on the The Open Village event here.

Which of our team members is in Kirklees: Associates Sarah Frost and Chris Shaw.

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