We are a local organisation run by residents in Ashley Ward, Bristol. This encompasses the areas of St Pauls, St Werburghs and Montpellier. Ashley ranks highly on national indices of multiple deprivation, particularly St Pauls, but it also very diverse and has huge potential. We want to bring out that potential!
Our project will comprise three components over the course of two years (June 2017-November 2018):
- Fun community litter-picking events
- Installing, refurbishing and updating community noticeboards
- Tree planting
Fun community litter-picking events
This will be an event held every three months with local residents. Working with local housing associations and organisations, it will be a day spent gathering litter in the areas of St Pauls, Montpelier and St Werburghs, with a focus on St Pauls. The idea is to make it as fun as possible, and people who attend will get some expenses as well as a special gift pack (a card Vocalise T-shirt and stickers). It will seek to get a diverse range of people involved, in terms of ages, ethnicity and faith. There will be a chance for videos, plenty of photos and some games.
Community noticeboards form an important communications mechanism for residents and can also boost the appearance of an area. However, Ashley Ward’s noticeboards are patchy and in a state of neglect. Those that exist are often inaccessible to residents and contain out of date information.
To address this, Vocalise will organise a regular team of people to update the noticeboards. We will also organise events with local people and schools to paint and refurbish the noticeboards (with an opportunity for sponsors to be recognised for each board with their name/logo). This will be done in partnership with local artists and art organisations. In addition, Vocalise will install some new noticeboards in areas where they are lacking.
There will be a system for residents to put information into the noticeboards freely and in way that is inclusive, following a model similar to Up Our Street in Easton, who are kindly providing free mentorship and guidance for this project.
Who doesn’t love trees? Those big green things do more than absorb nasty pollutants, pump oxygen into the air and look nice – they are also a vital habitat for wildlife and have been found to improve our mental health!
Areas with lots of trees and parks consistently have better health rankings and happiness than those that don’t. However, due to budget requirements, Bristol City Council has had to cut a large amount of funding for parks and tree maintenance. In fact, essentially there will be a £0 budget! This means that a lot must now fall upon the community to manage, otherwise our green spaces will go into decline and our city trees will be felled when deemed a hazard and not replaced.
We want to protect our trees and parks, so that new generations can benefit from what they offer at no cost. Working with a range of organisations, residents and schools, Vocalise will organise a series of tree planting and park events across Ashley Ward. Some of the unique things this initiative offers include:
- Each new tree will be planted by a child with a local resident, supported by a specific sponsor. There will be a wooden plaque at the base of each new tree that commemorates who planted it and who sponsored the planting.
- Planting and park events will aim to get people from many different backgrounds, ages, cultures and faiths involved.
- Park events will combine some planting and maintenance with environmental education for children and young people.
Throughout this project, we will gather feedback from everyone involved and compile a report that can be used to approach other funders – thereby sustaining this work for many years to come.