Reclaim the Space is a programme funded by the National Lottery Know Your Neighbourhood Fund from April 2023 until March 2025 in the Rochdale Borough wards of Milkstone and Deeplish, Spotland and Falinge, and Darnhill, Heywood.
The project builds on our creative consultation project in 2022/23 in Darnhill and Deeplish which focused on Community Safety and identified the barriers to accessible public spaces and asked how these should be addressed.
The focus of Reclaim the Space now shifts from community safety to social isolation and aims to understand residents’ views on what is needed to increase connection in their local area. We will collaborate with the communities to cocreate an artistic resolution. The increased creative engagement will offer opportunities for connection and a supported pathway from participant to volunteer.
We will target specific marginalised communities within the localities who are most at risk of isolation and loneliness – this will be young people in Darnhill, through our Young Producers programme, and communities at risk of experiencing racial inequalities including refugee and asylum-seeking communities, in Milkstone and Deeplish and Spotland and Falinge.
We will offer accessible opportunities for connection and a supported pathway from participant into volunteer, with a range of opportunities; from ‘micro volunteering’ at one-off events or for short periods, to joining a community steering group.