Podcast and blog about Community Development in Wales, the UK & beyond: promoting its value; sharing its learning; connecting its practitioners
Podcast #30 – The dispossessing effect of gentrification with Christian Noakes
In November 2020 an online article found its way to me by Associate Editor at Peace, Land and Bread, Christian Noakes called ‘Displacement of the Dispossessed: Community Development Under Capitalism’.
The way it deconstructed gentrification and its lexicon, re-presenting it to be the pernicious and insidious process it is is remarkable. It’s a must read for anyone who looks around them, particularly in urban areas (though not confined to them), and is frustrated at the abundance of bland, unimaginative, speculative development they see, and in particular for anyone who feels they have a diminishing, what David Harvey calls, ‘right to the(ir) city’.
Podcast #29 – Data or dinner: discussing data poverty with Nesta
In this episode Russell is joined by Rob Ashelford, Head of Nesta Cymru, upon the release of a report into the extent of data poverty in Wales and Scotland published by Nesta and Y Lab based in Cardiff, Wales.
The report Data Poverty in Wales and Scotland reveals a stark picture for as many as 1 million people in Wales and Scotland – 1 in 7 of the adult population – who lack sufficient data to meet basic digital needs, that in turn can widen inequality, aggravate disadvantage and hinder people’s access to information to allow them to play a fuller part in society and their community.
The report cautions against merely ‘throwing’ data at people and instead taking a more nuanced look at what data needs people have. Community Development potentially plays a key role in uncovering the nuance required: by facilitating collective and communal responses (such as buying data in bulk); providing free access to those experiencing data poverty; and advocating on behalf of those experiencing data poverty.
You can follow Y Lab on Twitter at @ylabwales and on LinkedIn at @y-lab-wales , and Nesta at @Nesta_uk
Acquiring "a profound sense of place" - catching up with Hope St Mellons
Back in June for episode #25 Russell caught up with Helen Griffiths and David Clague from St Mellons in east Cardiff to explore how they we adapting to life under the lockdown and how they were adapting their community development activity to address challenges that had emerged.
Russell and Helen – who works with Hope St Mellons – kept in touch and caught up again to have a socially-distant chat in the garden of their community house to see what had happened in the intervening period.
Hendre Lake by Peter Manly, St Mellons
Podcast #26: Breaking the links between ethnicity and poverty in Wales
Back in February 2016 Joseph Rowntree Foundation published the report Breaking the Links Between Ethnicity and Poverty in Wales by Duncan Holtham (from the People and Work Unit), Anna Nicholl and Chris Johnes.
At the time Russell was developing podcasts for the Communities First workforce in Wales as learning resources and Duncan joined him to record a brief overview of the report’s findings to help inform the workforce of issues around ethnicity.
Complementing this, two Communities First workers outlined some of the practical ways in which they involve people from black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities:
* Allan Herbert, then working for South Riverside Community Development Centre in Riverside in Cardiff* Peter Beynon, then working for Swansea City Council in and around the city centre
Given the recent #BlackLivesMatter campaign, the economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic, and the disproportionate mortality rates to the virus experienced by BAME populations, the findings are a sober reminder of the work to do in Wales, and elsewhere, to tackle discrimination and inequality and the particularly corrosive impact they have where they intersect.
Each participant has given their consent for the episode to be made available again.
Podcast #25: Community Development & Covid 19 (part 2)
In the second part of a series looking at how Community Development is adapting to and tackling issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Russell chats first with Chris Johnes from Building Communities Trust (BCT) in Wales about how they are helping to bring to government’s attention the stories from communities about how the pandemic is affecting people.
Russell then chats with two people involved with one of BCT’s 13 areas across Wales, St Mellons in the east of Cardiff: Helen Griffiths from Hope St Mellons and David Clague a local pastor. They talk about some of the things that they’ve been involved in locally to help ease the isolation, loneliness and poor mental health that the lockdown has caused including distributing activity packs to children, starting a community diary and, in partnership with The Message Trust, inviting Father Christmas to visit St Mellons on his sleigh! You can also follow Hope St Mellons on Twitter.
Bethania Church FB: Bethania-Church-819245558136000Rumney Coronavirus Support Group FB: https://www.volunteercardiff.co.uk/rumney-coronavirus-support-group/
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Podcast #27: Small Is Beautiful – storytelling & knowledge in social care with Nick Andrews
Nick Andrews from the Wales School for Social Care Research at Swansea University, joins the podcast for the first time to discuss his work to bring research and practice together in social care systems.
Nick’s training and background is as a community social worker and is a disciple of the Most Significant Change methodology that emphasises the value of storytelling and importance of giving people voice about what matters to them in social care settings. It’s a methodology that is just as applicable, I believe, to community development, and I can point to two community organisations near to where I’m based in south Wales that use it.
Nick also convenes the Small Is Beautiful network of small grassroots ‘disruptors’ and organisations in Wales that includes Action In Caerau and Ely (who joined for podcast #14), Solva Care and Kim Inspire.