Community Engagement in Islington

Community engagement in Islington – let’s work together

Written by Kerry Peters-Taylor, Head of Programmes, BIG Alliance

Community Engagement is a big term, but certainly the name of the game for the work we are doing in Islington and east London. I have been in post as Head of BIG Alliance for roughly a year now, and am blown away by how connected and supportive Islington is as a community. Wellbeing networks for community partners, funding partner check-in calls, cross-borough support groups, it is all going on! It does mean I still have a lot of people to meet and there is still a lot to do, however.

Turning to our new AI friend for enlightenment (as we have all probably done, at one point!), Chat-GPT tells me that Community Engagement involves:

  • Inclusivity and Diversity
  • Transparency and Trust
  • Active Listening and Responsiveness
  • Collaborative Partnerships
  • Capacity Building
  • Sustainability
  • Effective Communication
  • Evaluation and Feedback

Some of these we do, and we do extremely well. But it is interesting to look at this list and compare with BIG’s goals for the coming year, we absolutely want to:

  • Increase and diversify our community partners. We worked with 90 partners last year but we know we are missing some sectors of support. We are keen to engage with more homeless charities, for example.
  • Evaluation is an ongoing improvement goal always – we collect amazing data but we really want to illustrate the impact of our work in a more exciting and eye-catching way. 

So, if you have any community partners you work with, that you think we should link up with, please let us know! And if you have come across any impact reports that have engaged you enough to sit down and read them, I would love to see them – let’s keep sharing contacts, ideas and best practices to make even more impact in our communities. 

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