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Our Place Programme and the Highfields Community Action Project

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The Highfields Estate sits within Belle Vale and Hasbury Ward close to the Town Centre of Halesowen within the Borough of Dudley; an estate of social rented high and low rist flats commissioned in the late sixties and early seventies. The neighbourhood is identified as a super output area (733) with an average population of 2,000. The estate is the third most deprived in the Borough sitting within the top four percent most deprived in England; descirbed in the indices narrative as an isolated pocket of deprivation. In terms of domains, the proportion of the population experiencing deprivation, the indices highlight a number which are listed below as marks of multiple deprivations:
  • Income
  • Employment
  • Health & Disability
  • Education, skills and training
  • Living environments

Interestingly these domains are also reflective in the issues raised through the survey particularly and are therefore reflected within the conclusions for potential future activities and actions. (Indices of deprivation 2010 Dudley MBC).

In terms of population the Belle Vale and Hasbury Ward which contain the Highfield's Estate has a population of 13,484 of those 95.40% are White, 1.18% are Mixed, 1.98% are Asian are Asian British, 0.41% are Black or Black British and 0.94% are Chinese or Ethnic Groups; this latter percentage is the highest in the Borough. The Highfield Estate is identified as a super output area (733) and has a population of ten percent of Black Groups.

During the summer of 2012 the Centre for Equality & Diversity (CfED) commissioned an Independent Community Researcher to develop a local survey that could be used to engage with organisations both working on the Highfield's Estate and surrounding Halesowen Town Centre. Seven organisations agreed to take part in the survey which has a Highfield's focus and this report sets out the findings as an estate benchmark for future collaborative working to address the outcomes from the survey through action points.

Conclusions and recommendations of the report were:

  • Early win; get estate cameras repaired and working
  • Briefings for Local Councillors
  • Meetings with Local Police to develop better relationships on the estate
  • Funding bids for children and young people's development work
  • Campaign with local tenants and residents to change the names of the blocks
  • Secure funding with partners for a programme of community celebrations
  • Develop with partners a social action programme for regular litter picks
  • Develop with potential new partners local tenants and residents structures
  • Broker better access to courses by Education and Training providers for local jobs
  • Discuss with Borough advice services how to respond to a growing demand
  • Secure 'buy in' from sports bodies to deliver programmes of healthy sport
  • Develop a proactive local communications strategy between partners and people

After almost 2 years of efforts in raising funds to undertake some practical work on the estate we have received a grant from the W.A. Cadbury Trust which will help to bring the vision for the estate alive, and have also been successful in accessing funding via the Our Place Programme.

The Our Place Programme aims to give communities more power over local services and budgets in their neighbourhoods, aligning these with all other resources that communities can bring. Through Our Place, the government is encouraging communities to develop innovative new ways of delivering local services.

The grant we have received will support the process in developing both a Development Strategy and an Operational Plan.

To find out more about the Development Strategy click here.

 

Our Place Events and Activities


Operational Plan - Highfield's Estate Halesowen

 

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