A group of resident Community Researchers has been creating an ‘impact report’ into the success of our award-winning social impact framework, Thames Futures. The report will assess the effect of the project against key priorities outlined back in 2020.
Two years ago, BRL partnered with The Young Foundation and a team of locally trained Community Researchers to interview over 400 residents about their experience of living, working and studying in the Thames Ward area. This research created a bespoke ‘Community Vision’, a document outlining local people’s priorities for change they want to see in the area, along with accompanying proposals from BRL for how this change will be enacted.
Thames Futures will run for many years to come. Community Researchers will regularly head out into the neighbourhood every year to measure BRL’s progress against the original ‘Community Vision’.
This year’s report will look at how the pandemic has changed residents’ priorities for the area, and evaluate how BRL can respond accordingly.
Key takeaways include attitudes towards transport connections. It shows the Overground station and newly launched river bus service, as well as existing bus routes, are seen as major local assets.
The pandemic has led to a renewed appreciation of green spaces and a desire to reconnect with neighbours through community activities, events and groups.
Having more shops, cafés and restaurants nearby is still a major priority for Riverside residents, but for those who have lived locally for longer, there is appreciation that a number of new amenities are now operating, such as the Rivergate Co-op, the pharmacy and The Wilds, a multi-purpose, community, ecology and event space which opened last year. A further Co-op store is due to open in August 2022.
In the coming months, this report will be shared with the local community for final feedback, before being circulated to local stakeholders who play a role in local change. This will then help BRL and The Young Foundation identify priority projects moving forwards, before the next round of community research is conducted in early 2023.
Find out more about our social impact.