This is something we’ve been thinking a lot about this month, inspired by some of the young people we met taking part in The Challenge, their summer project as part of the National Citizen’s Service. Many residents I talk to feel positive about the changes proposed by DIY Porter’s Lodge and surprised when I tell them that lots of other residents share their positivity.
There’s an overwhelming sense that a few people are intent on spoiling the area for the rest of everyone else – for example pulling down some of the vertical garden by the Ironbridge, dropping litter, speeding, not picking up their dog mess. As a result of this a lot of people feel negative towards trying anything new at the risk of it being spoiled and then making the area feel even more unloved because of the actions of a few.
It is hard to remain positive but we firmly believe that by involving residents in the changes that are going to take place and investing in the area that this can have an affect on how people behave within it. If the majority can show that they do care for the place and have a positive vision for how they want the place where they live to be – then they wont let other people take this away from them. Hopefully, by empowering residents to take ownership of their area, making their ideas turn in to real change this will act as a catalyst for lots of community projects and initiatives and a new feeling of hopefulness about how the neighbourhood can be. What do you think?