Skills for life

Funding level: Up to £1,000


The Sefton Community Project refers to the residents of Sefton Road & Sefton Close in Petts Wood, Orpington, Kent. We do not have a public website but in the interests of personal privacy we have instead set up a closed Facebook Group where we promote the events we run for our community and allow safe online interaction, limited to genuine residents.

Our community is a diverse mix of people - retired, working age with families, singles and couples. We are aware of the potential dangers of isolation - not just in elderly people living alone but also (say) for new mothers - and that often in communities of this type people do not know their neighbours. Our objective has always been to ensure that everyone knows their immediate neighbours and those living in several houses beyond.

We achieve this by running a mix of social events throughout the year, including quiz nights in spring and autumn, street parties in summer and carol singing at Christmas. We are steadily increasing the number and type of events we organise to include outdoor big screen showings of major sporting (Rugby & Football World Cup) and cultural events and popular TV programmes. All these events are based on the principles of The Big Lunch (sharing lunch with your neighbours once a year). They always involve the sharing of food and drink and provide opportunities for social interaction, giving residents the confidence to ask for (and offer) their neighbours help in the event of a domestic or health emergency. The numbers attending is growing and the range of events is designed to include at least one event per year which appeals to everyone.

We also want to share the expertise of our residents more widely to include important life skills such as Information Technology, Sustainability, recycling & re-use.

Digital exclusion is a significant issue in our community with several residents currently lacking the skills or confidence to use the internet, PC, Laptop or Mobile Phone – we know this because we have to deliver hard-copy promotional material to them about our events - instead of using email or Facebook.

We plan to launch Phase 2 of the Sefton Project in February 2019 completing in December 2019. The award would allow us to purchase equipment – folding tables/chairs, Audio Visual and IT devices - necessary to deliver training in people’s homes (and sometimes gardens). The training would be supplied by fellow residents.

Our Phase 2 project objectives are to:

1. Through a series of meetings, both group and individual, identify the life skills needs of our community
2. Launch an equipment and skills sharing initiative linked to the needs identified
3. Reduce the number of digital excluded residents by 50%
4. Reduce the number of residents seeking employment by 25%
5. Eliminate the need to produce paper copies of promotional material as residents use the IT skills they have learnt

If successful Phase 2 would be followed by an initiative to encourage sustainability within our community. We would achieve this through our organised activities and also delivered through sustainability workshops designed to benefit the community and individual households, economically, environmentally and socially.

Sefton Community Project

Moment of Pride

I am proud to be part of this Project as we are striving to develop a strong and supportive Community. There are lots of people who prepared to invest time & effort to help achieve our goals.

Location: Orpington