CWF supported the four inaugural local area networks of the Waltham Forest Connecting Communities Programme, between 27 November and 13 December 2018. We were happy to see so many of the voluntary and community sector (including social enterprises) from different parts of the borough in attendance.
Connecting Communities is a national government (Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government) pilot programme, for which Waltham Forest is one of their pilot areas. The council and MHCLG have just agreed a funded programme to be delivered in the borough over the next two years or so, which includes having local networks for groups and individuals to support local provision in Chingford, Leyton, Leytonstone and Walthamstow. CWF will support this, because we think it is a great opportunity to bring together local groups and organisations in the area in which they work, and for council and community to communicate and to work together, as well as to map local provision so that everyone can be better connected and we can raise awareness of the amazing work that local community groups and organisations do.
Everyone learned a bit about Connecting Communities and what the council wanted to do from the LBWF team. We took time to introduce everyone in the room and a little about the work that they did, capturing some of the information on maps. We will be adding all of the groups and organisations to digital maps that can build up over time and made available publicly.
With a lot of people in the room at each meeting, we broke down into groups and discussed the Connecting Communities priorities and what we thought the local priorities and relevant activities for each were. The outputs and summaries of this will be added here: for Leytonstone, Chingford, Walthamstow and Leyton.
Feedback was that the meetings were very positive and people particularly welcomed the opportunity to meet other groups and organisations, learn a bit about them and start to work with them on local priorities. We hope that this will continue as the networks are delivered throughout 2019 and beyond.
Everyone is invited to express interest in their local network, so that they will be sure to find out about future meetings and events – you can do this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org