Posts Tagged ‘neighbourhood management’

Local community action at its best in Handsworth

Posted on 21st May 2011 by

I attended a community event this morning which I was invited to held in Brunswick Gardens in Handsworth.

Local residents have been working for months with West Midlands Police, Midlands Heart, Groundwork and Birmingham City council to claim back the alleyways that run between Albert Rd and Herbert Rd.

Through neighbourhood management we were able to get some funding to clean up the area and put in new fences and get an alcohol restriction sign up.  

At the end of neighbourhood management local residents led by Sonia Hymen, Marlene Graham and Selwyn Clarke were keen to keep on with their plans to transform this area.

They have been working with Wilkes Green Infants School and Groundwork to create some mosaics which have just been fitted on site this week.

In the next few weeks the iron art panels will be fitted along the metal fence to really help change the feel of the alleyway when you walk through. The designs have been chosen by local people and represent the diversity and culture of Handsworth; Handsworth park, Handsworth carnival, Vaisakhi, cricket & music etc.  

These will be painted once they go up lovely bright colours.

Slowly but surely residents plans to improve this area are beginning to take real shape. Sometimes it is these small things that make a big difference to local people so it was great to see how wonderful the mosaics look. It was also great to see so many kids enjoying the games provided by Groundwork Street games team.

Next steps for the residents is to try and get agreements in place to keep the alleyways clean and  to take over management of the small piece of land adjacent to the alleyway. Good to see the residents supported by the new councillor for Lozells and East Handsworth Waseem Zaffer and Srg Dan Wickenden & PCSO Stacie Muir from West Midlands Police.

Rookery Rd Street Operation #RRAD in #Handsworth today with #WMPolice

Posted on 2nd February 2011 by

Today is the first time West Midlands Police, Handsworth Wood Neighbourhood Police Team in partnership with local agencies and residents have carried out an operation on Rookery Rd. Over the last few months agancies have received a high numbers of complaints from local residents on a range of issues e.g. speeding, litter. The operation started at 10 and will continue today until 3pm.

The aim of the operation is to provide a high visablity operation in the area to respond proactively to local issues and promoted partnership working.

Thorugh neighbourhood management the focus today has been on cleaning up the area of land at the top of Rookery Rd by Trafalgar Rd.

Fleet & Waste Management, local environmental wardens Deb Parsons & Arfan Khan and future jobs fund trainees got involved today in cleaning up the area.

Just to make sure everyone was doing there job for the local area local resident & street champion Sonia Hyman also got involved with the litter pick and walk down Rookery Rd to spot any other problem areas.

For more information on the progress of the day looking at the WM Police West & Central teams news page or follow them on twitter

Hands on Handsworth Resident Network Next mtg 14th Feb

Posted on 27th January 2011 by

Last Monday residents from across Handsworth came along to a regular monthly meeting held by the network. Back in November the group who have met for the last 12 months decided that when the neighbourhood management programme ends on the 31st March in Handsworth they are keen to continue to still meet.

I am delighted that they will carry on meeting as it is important that there are opportunties for resident led groups to come together…sometimes there is power in numbers. There is no doubt that these members are commited, some of them have already been involved in Handsworth for over 20 years.

The network is keen to get more people involved and also has an opportunity for someone to be secretary on a voluntary basis. If you’re interested contact me on 0121 303 3401 or email

If you’re interested in coming along the next meeting is on:

Monday 14th February at 7pm @ Handsworth Community Fire Station

Some of the things that the network are interesting in doing during 2011 are:

  • More street Action Days and Community Litter Picks

  • Get local grot spots cleaned up

  • Look at how residents or local groups can get ownership or adopt local green spaces

The garden below has been developed in 2010 by Seven up and is a great example of how community groups have worked with local services to make better use of green space. The green space below is being developed into a sensor garden for children with disabilities based in the grounds of Rookery Primary School next to the children centre.

  •  Act as an action group to champion the developement of grot spots and sites that are casuing a problem locally

  • Try and influence local delivery of services e.g. litter collection, enforcement, trees

This is just a few of the issues the group are interested in so if you want to find out more or also get involved come along on the 14th Feb.


Seasons Greetings

Posted on 23rd December 2010 by
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Excelda Works do you know it’s Story?

Posted on 17th November 2010 by

On Monday I managed to have a look inside the Excelda Works on Rookery Rd which has been empty for years. As part of the neighbourhood management programme I have been working with residents and local partners to map out empty spaces/buildings and what we call “grot spots”. These are areas where we get a high number of complaints mainly due to environmental issues e.g. dumped rubbish.

Several months ago Deborah Parsons, Environmental Warden requested some help to clean up the outside of the building where litter from the street had built up and help cut back the overgrown shurbs. This work was done by are wonderful FJF trainees who left the building looking much cleaner from the front.

Excelda Works was I think built around the 1930s and has been used for various manufacturing industries since it opened? The frontage of the entrance to the building really stands out on Rookery Rd amongst what is now becoming quite a modern and busy shopping area.

The building isn’t listed currently? It is also quite hard to find any information about it’s history.

Can you Help

It would be great to hear from any one with any old photos or stories to share?

Do you know someone that worked at Excelda?

To see more of the images from our site visit follow the link to flickr by clicking here

What’s Your Story in Handsworth

Posted on 17th October 2010 by

Last Saturday I went along to the what’s My Story workshop at Handsworth Library arranged as part of series of sessions that we have coming up to help encourage local residents to become community Journalists. This first session was kicked off with an inspirational talk by journalist Derek Bishton who along with Brian Homer started a photography magazine Ten 8 whilst living in Handsworth in the 1980’s.

What was interesting is that many of the issues that Derek spoke of that interested them in producing Ten 8 are still here today. They were keen to ensure that people were able to represent themselves this inspired the Self Portrait edition. Local people were able to take a self portrait of themselves against a deliberate white canvas so as not to link the images in any way to preconceived assumptions people may have about Handsworth or the people photographed.

Derek talked of the importance of media as a powerful tool that people can use to represent themselves. Unlike the challenges that Bishton & Homer had back in the 1970s in producing photographic images and a paper magazine  many people now can simple use their mobile phone and digital media to publish images or stories in seconds.

If you’re interested in getting involved there is an opportunity to learn new skills in community journalism, photography and using social media. The sessions will be run by Brian Homer which is a unique chance to learn from one of the funding members of Ten 8 and use this knowledge to help produce the next edition of the Hands on Handsworth Magazine.

There is an opportunity for this magazine to be developed by local people to become a resource and tool to talk about what matters to the local people of Handsworth. If you’re interested call Tracey Thorne on 0121 303 3401 or email

Sense of Place 2: Graduate Placement Digital Academy

Posted on 3rd June 2010 by

Great graudate oppportunity as part of the Sense of Place 2 Project.

Funded by Urban Living, Digital Native Academy, in partnership with Nabeel Hamdi and the Centre for Urban Design Outreach and Skills at Birmingham City University, is delivering a training programme to explore opportunities for the co-production of urban services and programmes for the regeneration and management of place.  Promoting active citizen engagement in the delivery and management of programmes and projects through partnerships between civil society groups, government authorities and private sector enterprises will reduce dependency on public institutions and improve efficiency. 

It will increase the assets of community (social, human resource, financial etc) in ways in which will help build and sustain livelihoods – a key objective to all regeneration programmes.

For full details of this opportunity visit the RegenWM site

Map of Handsworth Priority Neighbourhood

Posted on 16th March 2010 by


Next Resident Network 11th March at 7pm

Posted on 1st March 2010 by

The last Handsworth Resident Network was held on the 17th Feb at Handsworth Fire Station. It was great too see that someone from most of the main resident led groups came along and some young people. After lots of discussion the group agreed that it will be really useful to work together as a wider network.

Many of the residents that attended have been working hard for their community for years, Handsworth as five main resident associations:

  • Wilkes Resident Association
  • Grove Lane Resident Association
  • Rose Hill Resident Association
  • West Handsworth Forum
  • Golden Age Forum

The Resident Network will now meet every month please come along:


Thursday 1st March at 7pm until 9pm to be held at at the Community Room, Golden Croft, Off Grove Lane, Handsworth. 

The resident network has been set up to give local residents, resident associations & resident led groups the opportunity to come together and look at ways to work together as a community on key issues that affect Handsworth.

 If you’re interested in getting more involved or meeting other people that are active within the community then please come along.  The resident network meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month and has representation on the Handsworth Neighbourhood Management Partnership.

 The Chamberlain Forum & Handsworth Neighbourhood Management has been asked to continue to support the network and will help run the meeting on the 11th

 For more information contact:

 Tracey Thorne,  Neighbourhood Manager for Handsworth

0121 303 3401

Pride in Handsworth Awards: get nominating!

Posted on 19th February 2010 by

Nominations are invited for the forthcoming Pride in Handsworth Awards to be held in May. Who do you think is giving to the neighbourhood, who should we recognise for their achievements?  There are 13 categories to choose from, all below, and the you can download the application for by clicking here.

Closing date for nominations is the 2nd April 2010 at 5pm and I would love to hear from you about people you know in Handsworth.

1. Child of Courage
This award is for a courageous child or young person up to the age of 18. Do you know
of someone who is a shining example, who has overcome adversity, disability or done
something remarkable for someone else?
2. Young Person of the Year
This is for someone under 21 who has either, achieved great things in sport, represented