30 July 2019

Several years into their project, find out how Manningham Housing Association have started a programme of change in their local area.

Project Timeline

November 2016 - ongoing

The project

MHA has provided premises (‘The Hub’) to local organisation Hollings Youth Association (HYA) to work in the local community with the main aim of reducing antisocial behaviour (ASB). ASB has affected our tenants and the surrounding area for a long period, making our tenants feel unsafe, particularly after dark when young people are congregating.

In order to achieve this, HYA have employed multiple interventions to work with the young people and members of the local community. This has involved positive engagement through diversionary activities and using the Hub as a base for community building. Opportunities are provided for young people to become physically active and to support their growth and independence by encouraging their personal and social development, enabling them to have a voice, influence and place in their community and build positive relationships.

The young people participate in a wide range of activities in order to build their confidence and self-esteem, gain understanding and respect for their own traditions and those of others. The Saturday football session alone attracts around 60 young people aged 8-18 from the surrounding area. As a result, the work reduces anti-social behaviour and inspires young people from marginalised communities back into education and training.

Challenges

The initial challenges to the success of the project are also those that demonstrate its necessity, as shown by the following statistics:

Bradford council’s report ‘Understanding Bradford District’ (2017) said, "
Bradford is ranked the 5th most income deprived local authority in England with 27% of the District’s population living in areas classed in the 10% most deprived areas in England. 29% of children in the district live below the poverty line."

More specifically, Bradford Council’s Manningham Ward Assessment 2016-17 showed that the area has a significantly younger age profile than average, with 46% being under 24 years of age. The perception of young people hanging around as a problem is 42% compared to the district 25.2% and drugs perceived to be a problem is 31% compared to the district 20.3%. Reception aged obese children are 25% higher that the district rate which could lead onto further problems such as diabetes and CHD if lifestyle changes are not made. GCSE attainment for grades A-C is only 36.6% which is far below the district and national average.

As the local community has seen the benefits of the project and more of the community has become engaged and involved, the challenge going forward is for HYA to secure more funding to be able to deliver further interventions.

Outcomes


The main aim of the project – to reduce anti-social behaviour in the surrounding areas - has been achieved. There are far fewer young people congregating on the street and there have been no major incidents e.g. during Halloween and Bonfire night when anti-social behaviour would normally be guaranteed.

To investigate some of the underlying problems, last year, several young people formed a committee to help carry out a consultation with 60 of their peers to find out what issues they faced and how they think they could improve their neighbourhoods. The findings showed that 18% of the young people were not in education, employment, or training (NEET) and 63% didn’t take part in anything outside of school including sporting activities. Lack of confidence, lack of support and lack of facilities, all came up as issues and more than 50% said that they never mix with other young people. Almost all were from South Asian communities and over 73% talked of a lack of facilities and opportunities for young people outside school.

HYA has built a reputation and gained the trust of young people in the area but lacks the resource and capacity to fully support its ambitions. There is now a desire to extend the work that has already been achieved and reach more young people in order to further their educational and employment prospects. Several applications for funding have been made to resource individual projects and also to increase the capacity of HYA.

The Hub has become a central point for the local community where MHA tenants and their neighbours can drop in for advice, support and social interaction. In the past year the project has organised weekly women’s coffee mornings at the Hub, tuition for primary and secondary school students, CSE (Child Sexual Exploitation) project, community cohesion events and weekend recreational activities for young people.

HYA have also worked in partnership with ‘Near Neighbourhoods’ to provide confidence building sessions to local women where they can discuss some of the issues effecting them. Young people have been assisted with CVs, job applications, personal statements and interviews. Volunteering and training opportunities have also been provided. Further partnership working with Bradford college will introduce courses at the Hub and funding is being sourced to provide a number of computers to assist in the delivery of these courses.

If you did this again, what would you change?

The project has proved to be a very effective in dealing with the problem and so if we had to repeat it, we would have initiated this particular approach earlier.

What can others learn from this example?

HYA is an organisation composed of individuals living in the same area who have firsthand knowledge of the local issues. This has proved to be an essential component of the strategy to address them.

For more information contact jonathan.coles@manninghamha.co.uk

Creating Safer Neighbourhoods