True community engagement happens when you stop passively ‘listening’ to the needs of a community and instead give them the tools to make the change that they want. This is all we have ever been doing at the Qube. Some projects have worked, others haven’t.
The important thing is that there is a continuous cycle of fresh thinking and evaluating. This is why we gladly jumped on board the Our Space project which has been supported by Power to change and Ubele initiative.
The Our Space project recognises the importance of community buildings and how the physical assets are pivotal for giving a sometimes unheard crowd the opportunity of running and leading their own thing.
The project has given us a chance to widen our thinking about how we can truly embed an ethos of community leadership here at the Qube and the brilliant group of voluntary leaders that have formed as a result have multiple skills in a variety of professions but with one key thing connecting them, they are all passionate about truly empowering people who are facing tough times.
Tough times are of course a part of life, but when you have a community of people entrenched in tough times and a large scale media backlash telling you that wearing if they are wearing Nike trainers or owning a wide screen TV it does not constitute ‘tough-times’ then your power starts to slip away.
People are proud, they don’t wear a badge that tells you that they and their children have eaten weetabix all weekend.
Quite the opposite, they try extra hard and yes, they dress up in their work clothes, maybe put a pair of Nikes onjump on the bus and act like everyone else.
Lead positive change is the next part of the Our Space project, a leadership programme curated by Georgina Wilson who has been key to how we have gently developed our community engagement and empowerment programmes here at the Qube.
Our Space has given us an opportunity to work with leaders who might not come from the normal ‘pool’. They each reflect the differing levels of circumstances that people, families, young and old are up against and their passion for helping lead this project comes from a basic understanding that empowering and giving people a voice can lift people out of something.
The Qube is not unique in what it does but it needs people and organisations to recognise that listening is a small part, a true commitment to empowering is a far more essential part.
To join our community – come along, our two-monthly meetings are open to all and the door for conversations about doing stuff at the Qube is constantly open.
Wednesday 18th September 6pm
Wednesday 13th November 6pm