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What our Community Engagement team is up to: December

23 November 2018

The Community Engagement team works to ensure that Londoners can play an active role in decisions that affect their lives. We also work with voluntary organisations and community groups to support their work to improve the lives of Londoners.

Every few months we'll be sharing our latest news, so do keep checking City Hall blogs to find out what we're up to!

Here are some of our highlights:

 

Syrian Londoners Event

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London has now resettled more than 500 refugees via the ‘Vulnerable Persons’ and ‘Vulnerable Children’ Resettlement Schemes. In June, the Community Engagement and Social Integration teams worked together with bilingual volunteers from Civil Society groups to host a special morning of conversations for some of London’s resettled refugees. 

The event offered those still learning English a chance to discuss what was important to them, as well a chance to meet other Syrian Londoners from across the capital. Outcomes from the day have helped guide the teams’ priorities and advocate for positive changes going forward. Find out how you could help support Syrian refugees.

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month

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On 22 June City Hall hosted an event to celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month. The event was the result of a partnership between the Community Engagement team and organisations including London Gypsies and Travellers, Traveller Movement, Roma Support Group, ACERT, and the London boroughs of Haringey and Kensington and Chelsea 

A panel of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers discussed their experiences and the need to challenge negative stereotypes. Case studies were presented highlighting areas of good practice in campaigning, democratic representation and education. These thought-provoking discussions were followed by an amazing line up of poets, musicians, singers and dancers!

'Arrival' – 70th anniversary of Windrush

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City Hall opened its doors to the public on 30 June to mark the 70th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush landing at Tilbury Docks. The event was a fantastic celebration of Caribbean culture in London, with a programme including performances from dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, a gal-dem exhibition on Windrush Women, music from Black Slate, and opening speeches from the Mayor and Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE. There was also a conversation with some of the Windrush generation, and panel discussions on the legacy of Windrush.

Talks, workshops, music, film – and very good food! – created a unique space for London's Caribbean community to come together, with storytelling at its core. Watch the webcast here and get a flavour of the event.

Civil Society at the heart of London

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In July, London Funders, London Plus and the GLA co-hosted The Way Ahead: Civil Society at the Heart of London. Organisations and individuals from London’s Civil Society analysed the benefits and challenges of the Way Ahead approach. The London Borough of Southwark spoke about working alongside Civil Society, and the Clinical Commissioning Group to commission against a shared outcomes framework. IMIX and JCWI also shared their story of collaboration across Civil Society, to ensure Windrush communities have their voices heard.

Participants shared their successes, challenges, and the opportunities in delivering the Way Ahead approach, and discussed how to embed it in their own organisations going forward. Find out more about the GLA's work with Civil Society. 

Remembering the Slave Trade

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On 22 August the Mayor hosted a remembrance service to mark UNESCO’s International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, in partnership with the Windrush Foundation

City Hall was privileged to have a range of outstanding speakers and performers, who, through readings, speeches, song and dance, helped everyone to remember the horrors of the slave trade as well as to honour the courage of all those who fought to bring about its abolition. The service acknowledged the lasting impact of the slave trade, and the legacy which continues to blight the lives of African and Caribbean communities in London and across the world. You can view the webcast here.

Amigo Month

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Amigo Month in September was a five-week celebration of the 5 million Spanish and Portuguese speakers in the UK; a celebration of friendship and the rich diversity of the Spanish and Portuguese communities. 

The Spanish-Portuguese speaking communities are London's largest ethno-linguistic minority and so the Community Engagement team hosted an Amigo Month reception on 21 September, showcasing the huge contribution that the Latin American, Iberian, Hispanic, Amerindian and Lusophone communities make to London. Then Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Matthew Ryder, attended and spoke at the event.

City Hall publish grants data 

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City Hall has joined over 80 organisations in publishing grant data on 360Giving, a charity aiming to improve transparency in grant-giving, in an open and standardised format.

As a large funder, City Hall is leading by example, contributing to this aim of building a more complete picture of grantmaking. 360Giving has a free-to-use platform, GrantNav, enabling users to search, compare and download data, allowing anyone to explore how grants are used, areas of common funding and funding gaps. The public can now see the breadth of funding available from City Hall, enabling them to make more targeted applications. 

London Datastore 

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The London Datastore is a free and open data-sharing portal, which provides over 700 datasets relating to the capital. The datasets cover topics from communities, health, jobs and the economy, to help users understand the city and develop solutions to London's problems. To make this platform more accessible we are running Datastore office hours online for all Civil Society organisations.

Send your questions about London’s data and a dedicated officer will respond, signpost and support you to find what you need. Online office hours will take place on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month. Requests can be sent in at any time to [email protected]

Coming Up

Citizen Led Engagement Programme – Round 2 

The Social Change Agency recently evaluated the Citizen Led Engagement Programme pilot which they felt had created a really strong foundation from which to build on. The report identified its strengths and areas for development and provided some series of practical recommendations that will help strengthen the project and maintain a strong connection with these communities. Look out for more information about the second round of the programme and funding release dates towards the end of the year.

Qualitative Research Training

The Opinion, Research and Statistics Team delivered a free qualitative research training session on 26 September. This training helped to strengthen relationships with researchers from the first cohort of the Citizen Led Engagement programme and invited wider community groups to attend and benefit. The session focused on market and opinion research, questionnaire design and survey bias with pointers on interviewing. 

The Conversation Booth

The Community Engagement team has developed a new tool to get Londoners talking and listening to each other. The Conversation Booth is a mobile recording facility popping up at various locations until the end of the year. It invites different topics for discussion with an audio archive shared back with the community. Listen to soundbites from the City Hall and Southbank installations, as well as Woolwich Library and Goldsmiths University. 

Migrant and Refugee Data

This summer the Community Engagement team began co-producing a programme aimed at supporting London’s Civil Society to develop data capacity, maturity and skills. A co-production workshop with the Migrants and Refugee Access Panel identified the need to establish a clear ethical framework around data sharing, and an offer of support for improving data capacity within organisations. 
Through the guidance of this multidisciplinary Advisory Group, the team is soon to be tendering for delivery partner(s) to work in partnership with the GLA to deliver a new pilot data programme, incorporating the areas identified above, with London’s Refugee and Migrant sector. Email for more information.

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