The second round of our award-winning social impact project, Thames Futures, is now underway. The BRL team is collaborating with a fantastic new group of residents for a timely round of research, examining how residents’ priorities have changed since the pandemic and measuring the social impact achieved at Barking Riverside since 2020.
Back in 2020, 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 Barking Riverside and Thames View area. This research created a bespoke ‘Community Vision’, a document outlining local people’s priorities for the change that they wanted to see in the area, along with accompanying proposals from BRL for how this change would be enacted.
A number of short-term successes have already emerged from the first round of Thames Futures. One of the key priorities in the Community Vision was that Barking Riverside and Thames View should be a place where resident voices are heard and acted upon. In response, BRL proposed that our community newsletter, Riverside News, would become co-produced with residents. The newsletter is now solely run by Thames Ward Community Project, and is written by local people, giving their voices a platform and reaching thousands of homes across the ward.
The team of community researchers will go back out into the community annually to measure how residents feel about change in the area, ensuring the Community Vision is always up to date and reflects the views of all our residents—both new and old.
Thames Futures won the 'Community-led Placemaking’ category at the Planning Awards 2021.
Find out more about the Community Vision project.