Imagine Anfield attracts international attention

IA_logoThe Appreciating People team is in the middle of a great community engagement project alongside the Anfield Breckfield Community Council in North Liverpool, working with the community there to develop its own change. The project, which is part of the Imagine Anfield programme, is helping residents create the change they want to see in their own community.

AP director Tim Slack explains: ‘In the past, it’s been all about external agencies asking people about things that the agencies can do for them. What we haven’t got is a people plan written by local people,’ Tim says his involvement started when a local resident told him ‘No one wants to help us the way we want to help ourselves.’

Anfield’s community has suffered a series of blows over the last 15 years, with whole streets around the football club being compulsorily purchased by the council, or bought by the football club, to make way for extensions to the ground. But a series of different owners at the club, and plans – including abandoning Anfield for a new stadium in nearby Stanley Park – have spelt uncertainty for the local community, with some members of this close-knit community moving away to start afresh elsewhere, while others have stayed and fought for right to stay in the area they’d been brought up, and, often, lived all their lives.

‘What’s great about this community?’ is one of the key questions we asked residents, and the answers have contributed to a community plan that will be delivered over the next five years. The team is asking the community what they value most, will use those positives as the basis for creating a plan for change. ‘If you’re in a low income situation, with low resilience, your survival matters on a day-to-day basis,’ says Tim. ‘You’re not thinking about your long-term future. To get people to be more aspirational, to have more confidence, to be able to go beyond the day-to-day – that’s the biggest challenge we face, and that’s where I think we’ll do things differently.’

ABCC was one of the first groups to use our AI essentials cards for their training, testing them for us to make sure they were clear, concise and accessible. You can read more about them here…

Our work with ABCC has caught the attention of industry professionals internationally, including Axiom News in Canada, who published an article about it in their online magazine.

For more information about our work in Anfield, give us a call on 0151 427 1146, or click here to see more of our community development work.