Community project examples involving street parties
Facilitating street parties may be a useful project tool to support your aims of working in a community. Street parties are particularly good at involving yet-to-reach households through a planned programme across a community. Below are some examples of how this has been achieved.
Involving residents in Neighbourhood Renewal
A community participation group of a Neighbourhood Partnership funded Streets Alive to encourage residents to be involved in a new community festival. The summer event was planned on a diversity theme as the area has residents from very diverse ethnic backgrounds, including many new immigrants.
Recruiting volunteers for 'Restorative Approach' and Street Reps
On an estate in south Bristol 15 street parties have been facilitated over 3 years, initially by workers and later by trained residents. Apart from the wider confidence and social cohesion benefits, the events were used to recruit residents to become involved in a planned Restorative Approach programme. This involves residents being trained to act as mediators in disputes between residents and dealing with low level anti-social behaviour that does not involve the police. The events were also used to recruit new Street Reps. See http://www.knowlewest.co.uk/cip/restorative-approach/
Reducing exclusion, as residents mix freely in street parties
Much of Streets Alive's work has been in very diverse urban communities. In all these street parties the issue of diversity has been very obvious and in most cases very successfully achieved high inclusion of black & ethnic minority households.
Our post-event surveys have shown that as much as 89% think that "their street party brought together neighbours with different backgrounds at least a 'fair amount'".
Reducing conflict between young people of different backgrounds
Streets Alive is involved in a youth partnership project where serious conflict between young people of two cultural groups has been identified. The street parties will act as a wider community involvement process including the adults of the families and the young people will be paid to carry out the post-event surveys. The parties are integrated with the other youth activities as well.
Bringing residents together to seek views about traffic and travel
Having experienced a traffic-free street for a day, residents are always keen to have a dialogue about traffic and local travel issues. As part of the post-event surveys residents can be offered local travel information and schemes provided by the council transport teams. In addition to discussion on the day, specific surveys and further meetings can be held on dealing with speeding and planning traffic calming. This method is particularly good in targeting hard-to-reach households. See also our Roads & Traffic section.