The strengthening of local groups will be achieved in a variety of ways, as follows:
Provided through a regular newssheet (adding to or building on those already in circulation) and a resources book focussing on Economic Development support in the area.
2. URBAN PROJECT DEVELOPMENT FUND.
An URBAN specific Project Development Fund managed by the existing Development Fund managers in Forward Planning, and Community Development (both at York Court), and matched from the Project Development Fund (Equalities and Social Justice) will be made available to local community groups within the focus area.
The purpose of the Project Development Fund will be to finance:
- research into the needs of specific communities, such as the disabled community, Asian and African-Caribbean unemployed men, in the focus area and the development of project proposals to meet these needs.
- attendance of management committee members from local community groups on specific training courses;
- the preparation of funding strategies, development and business plans for community groups in the focus area;
- 'Pump-prime' money for new projects where funding is required for project publicity, hire of meeting rooms, childcare and similar.
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3. ACCESS TO TRAINING
i) Community Action Training- a new training and project development programme from Bristol City Council.
An integral part of this business plan is a new training programme, which will be delivered exclusively to community groups in the URBAN focus area. The Community Education Service in partnership with Community Development will deliver the programme with tutors and support workers recruited from the local community. The course will be designed and implemented as an Open College Network Accredited course with input from local community groups and will be specifically targeted towards individuals who are involved in the management of local community groups operating within the focus area.
The course will bring together the expertise and knowledge from the University of the West of England, Bristol City Council Education Department, Bristol City Council Equalities & Community Development and local community groups.
The aims of the community action training course will be to:
a) provide pre-vocational, integrated pathways for targeted groups into further education and employment in community work, youth work, community education and welfare related areas of employment growth;
b) raise skills and self-esteem of participants who are currently excluded from employment, training and the regeneration process;
c) provide training and support for local groups seeking to participate in the regeneration process
d) provide a unique and innovative community education programme, which fills a current gap in provision, by providing opportunities for groups of people to engage in their collective development to build and sustain strong community organisations and effective self-organised services.
Design & development of course
An Open College Network Course Development Worker will be recruited to the project and located within Bristol City Council's Community Education Section. The development worker will work directly with groups in the focus area to produce an Open College Network Accredited course level 1-2 (NVQ equivalent 2/3). Places on the programme will be accessible by referral from a number of sources, including District Community Development Workers within Bristol City Council, local voluntary and community groups and self-referral.
The training programme will contribute directly to the sustainable regeneration of the focus area by strengthening the skill base within local voluntary and community organisations. This will enable local groups to engage more effectively with the regeneration of their communities, beyond the life span of the Bristol URBAN Programme Initiative.
The course will be delivered within local community facilities and offer childcare support, transport, language support and access requirements for disabled participants.
ii) Community Enterprise Training building on the expertise of a local voluntary sector provider, BACEN, who will design a community enterprise training programme specifically for the focus area. This plan includes a small amount of funding to enable local consultation and research to be undertaken prior to BACEN developing the new programme.
iii) Funding programmes -customised training by experts in response to demand. Experience and skills in developing and monitoring projects particularly for European programmes such as ESF, is very limited in the focus area. This element of the plan enables expertise in specific programmes to be brought in when appropriate.
iv) Mentoring. This project links to the Fast Track project, which will be recruiting, training and supporting mentees from the URBAN area. Co-ordinated by the Equalities Unit, Bristol City Council will provide placements and support targeted specifically at ethnic minorities and women from the URBAN area. 15 places will be available.
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4. VOLUNTEER SUPPORT PROJECT
This element of the plan provides initial support for the design of a new volunteer support project, which will build on the experience of a local volunteer agency. The aim is to develop a proposal for a new locally based project, which will enable local people to gain access to volunteering opportunities and receive support.
5. PROJECT SUPPORT
i) FIRST STOP ADVICE
The Community Development Unit at York Court will provide 'first stop' advice and support for all projects in the URBAN focus area. The aim will be to ensure that all groups with ideas can gain access to information and advice in the early stages and if appropriate further support will be provided for project development either in house or by referring them to other agencies.
- project development advice- feasibility and resources
- charitable status/constitutions/roles and responsibilities of management committees
- writing a development plan/ business plan
- support and advice from other agencies
- the requirements of ESF
- training providers
- links with other similar projects in the area, particularly SRB, and best practice.
ii) PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
A new URBAN specific community development worker will be recruited to take forward specific ideas, to develop projects, secure other resources and facilitate effective networking between all projects and agencies engaged in regeneration. Close links will be forged with other non- URBAN capacity building providers, to ensure minimal duplication, additionality and improve information flow across the area. The worker will also provide support to the Local Community Partnerships.
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6. ON-GOING PROJECT DEVELOPMENT ADVICE TO TARGETED GROUPS
(Asian Women, Refugees, Bangladesh Community, African Caribbean Women)
The make up of the community within the focus area is extremely diverse, with complex and sometimes conflicting needs. A broad based approach used alone to tackle the barriers to training, employment and economic opportunities would not take into account the developmental, cultural, social and economic needs of specific communities of interest. For this reason a targeted approach was adopted for the first phase of capacity building and this has now identified how progress can be achieved with the 4 target groups in order to achieve further development. Other specific communities not mentioned here would be able to access research, training and other project development advice through the measures identified above.
i) African-Caribbean Women.
This community of interest was identified as having no specific network or support group and work was done to identify the potential members of a network and begin the process of drawing people together. A series of meetings and a small conference were achieved and there is now some enthusiasm for continuing to work together. At present the 'group', which contains some highly skilled and experienced members, has not been formalised in any way. Capacity building will be achieved in 3 ways:
- the group developing a sense of identity and ownership of what it wants to achieve.
- advice from Community Development on how to move forward and if required develop a formal structure in order to access funding and
- access to training such as Community Action Training and mentoring.
ii) Asian Women.
Consultation has taken place with a wide spectrum of Asian Women Group's in the URBAN focus area. This resulted in a conference being held during February 1998, which was attended by 60 people representing a wide range of Asian Women's groups.
As a result of the conference a multi-lingual steering group has been established to oversee the development of a project which in the first phase will increase the capacity of the network and its constituent groups through training and partnership support. This will enable the group to develop an employment and training project proposal, which meets their community's needs.
Consultation and development work with refugee groups in the city, together with research into work done in other cities/ best practice has established the following:
a) Limited services are being provided to the Somali community through the efforts of 3 small groups with very limited funding. The Vietnamese community has 1 group providing information and advice.
b) The needs of refugees whilst differing widely on cultural terms are common in respect of access to information about services and gaining appropriate support.
c) Family and community support networks are important for access to jobs, housing and other resources.
A proposal has been developed by Community Development which will enable the various groups to work together under the leadership of Refugee Action to establish a formal network (phase 1) which will then work on the development of a common resource for refugees (phase 2). Community development will continue to support this process.
iv) Bangladesh Community
The Bangladesh community in Bristol suffers some of the highest levels of unemployment, however there is a well-developed community project the Bangladesh Association, which enjoys a high level of membership support and a strong sense of identity. The initial work with this community has therefore focussed on how to further develop the work of the association and from this how to set up an effective Employment and Training project. At present an outline proposal for the latter has been developed which will provide the basis for a new project following further work assisted by Community Development.
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