Looking at Ipswich

Voist has spent the summer exploring community activity happening in Ipswich. We kicked off with a workshop in July bringing together a group of active, innovative individuals who are passionate about improving community development in the local area. We explored what could potentially be done to encourage better working relationships between service providers in Ipswich.

We have since been exploring best consultation methods in order to gather new and exciting data that tells a story about Ipswich's social capital and local social impact. Please explore what we have found out so far.

Identified during the workshop:

  • We need to find new and improved ways of collaborating 
  • A lot happens in the area and things are changing rapidly - with more people moving into the area than moving out. How can local activity and information be brought to life to ensure information does not get caught up in silo’s and the benefits of area development are accessible for all
  • A better understanding between service providers in the area needs to be fostered
  • Everybody wants to ensure that the Big Local money has a real legacy and long lasting social impact on the area

Exploring connections in Ipswich

We started to explore the various relationships and connections in existence in Ipswich within the pilot project study. We asked participants from Wot's Up, Activ Lives, Ipswich Community Media and Ipswich Community Ventures to map out who they were connected to in relation to their work in the area - giving a rough overview of the social infrastructure. The map below is a visual representation of the connections.

Click to explore the map full screen

Key findings from The Meeting Place:

  • There is appetite to better understand the impact of the centre - especially if the gain/benefit is outlined from the onset
  • There is capacity to be maximised/utilised - but reaching those who could use it is a barrier
  • Centre manager resource/time poor - there are a few key steps that could be taken that could help with transforming the current hub to be better utilised by the community
  • Initial map of connections/network of reliance is very small - perhaps there is a need to encourage more connectivity
  • Could there be funding/resources in place to help matchmake volunteers/skills swapping/resource sharing within the community
  • No known way of identifying the various groups in the area at present

Exploring impact in Ipswich

For the pilot we looked at the impact that local organisations Activ Lives and Wot's Up have in Ipswich.

Key findings from Activ Lives:

  • More funding is needed in order to grow the staff count for the organisation - therefore allowing Activ Lives to host more events and groups
  • TThe organisation utilises a number of community hubs not just in Ipswich but around the county and are a very well connected organisation - they will be a key consultee for giving information for assessing current and shaping future community hubs
  • Initial network mapping shows Activ Lives to have built many strong working relationships in the area. They understand how to maximise their resources by successfully collaborating with many other organisations
  • It would be good to interrogate their working partnerships at a more detailed level and explore how much of their local impact is determined by the strength of their connections