Regeneration of Brixton

The Greater London Authority’s Community Engagement Team ran a pilot peer research project designed to enhance engagement with communities whose voice and influence over public policy had previously been underrepresented. High Trees were one of the organisations commissioned for the project and we focused our work on two of the identified target communities: young black men and older members of BAME communities (65+).

The pilot project had three core aims:

  1. To strengthen connections and engagement with communities whose voice and influence on public policy is under-represented
  2. To identify and develop community leaders in those communities
  3. To generate insights that others within the Greater London Authority can learn from and act on.

It was intended that in focusing on these aims the pilot project could make a significant contribution to the Mayor of London’s agenda for social integration as well as wider policy and practice across the GLA. Outside of the GLA the project also intended to help lay foundations for ongoing civic engagement in all aspects of public policy and debate across London.

High Trees gave intensive training to a cohort of local people (the majority of whom were from the demographic to be consulted with) and trained them in peer research skills, community organising and the key principles of data collection.  They then carried out an intensive listening campaign with the support of our in-house Community Organisers. Our experienced Community Action staff then worked with the peer researchers to analyse the data, produce a report and produced a video of the project.  We also held an event to bring together the researchers, those who had participated in the work, and those who had commissioned the work to discuss the findings and what next steps could look like.  The researchers were then supported to access other High Trees services – such as our Employment support and our Training Course – where needed. 

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