We are pleased to continue our focus on delivering social impact projects at Barking Riverside this year, with further community research being successfully progressed at the start of 2023.
Thames Futures, Barking Riverside’s bespoke social impact assessment framework, creates opportunities for the wider community to shape the future of the area. Every year trained Resident Researchers speak to residents about their needs and priorities, with progress being measured against the Community Vision, which was established back in 2019. This year, our Resident Researchers went back and included the views of new residents who have recently moved to the neighbourhood.
Throughout March, our Community Partnership Lead, Sara Bloch, hosted three targeted Thames Futures workshops that focused on the highest priority social impact areas for 2023/24.
Residents attended the workshops to put forward their ideas for projects that could address local health needs, create a youth offer and could enhance local green spaces. Through the workshops, a greater level of understanding of these priority areas was identified, allowing BRL to design and commission responsive community initiatives.
The BRL Community Fund offers residents grants of up to £1,000 to deliver a project or initiative for community benefit. The fund has recently concluded its third round of applications and looks forward to supporting some great resident-led projects.
‘Street Trees’ is one of the previous successful entries from Barking Riverside Church. As part of this project, eight trees were planted across the estate in December, which formed a trail for residents to follow and provided an opportunity for residents to meet their neighbours over the festive period. Each tree had two Street Hosts who helped other residents to decorate the trees with environmentally friendly baubles.
Junior Omokhe is another previous recipient of the Fund. His project, the ‘Wander Wild Forest School’, offers workshops for local children about the natural environment, biodiversity and the range of animals and plants in the local area.
Funds were also awarded to the Resident Editorial Board to launch a new website for RiverView, a local newspaper led by residents; and to JDS Striving for Excellence, a youth group set up as a business incubator for new ideas.
Find out more about Social Impact at Barking Riverside.