Making it work for Every One Every Day

Participatory City team during EDI training

On 11th December, I delivered a bespoke equality, diversity and inclusion training session to team members at Barking-based organisation Participatory City. I wanted to blog about it because Participatory City are an exciting and innovative organisation, and I was blown away by the intelligence, insight and enthusiasm for their work that participants in the session demonstrated.

Participatory City’s raison d’etre is community participation and co-production – and they have big ambitions. Currently, they are working in partnership with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham to deliver the ground-breaking Every One Every Day scheme, which will facilitate the creation of 250 community-led projects and form 100 new businesses within the area over the next five years.

Participatory City’s Development Director, Wayne Trevor says that “Every One Every Day does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s about helping to ensure that everyone in Barking and Dagenham has the opportunity to be part of ongoing, self-sustaining projects that motivate them and enable them to develop new skills and relationships within the community, regardless of who they are and the circumstances they live in”.

Each project will be developed by the community, for the community, based on ideas contributed by the community. Ideas already in production include ‘Great cook’ batch cooking sessions, ‘Open corners’, which transforms unused green spaces into places for growing, learning and playing, and ‘Trade school’ sessions enabling people with specialist knowledge and skills to share these informally.

Wayne, along with team members Eleni, Saira, Edwin, Rahela, Christina, Aggie and Bobbie-Jo took part in the training, which covered topics including the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion to organisations, the Equality Act 2010, the social model of disability and stereotypes and bias. “If Every One Every Day is going to speak to all members of Barking and Dagenham’s communities’,” says Wayne, “it’s crucial that we identify potential barriers that could make it difficult for some members of the community to get involved, understand the implications of these and set about finding solutions”.

True to their name, the team participated their socks off, working together to generate a multitude of ideas which they will now transform into a comprehensive Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

“The training was great,” says Wayne. “Sarah’s mix of subject-matter expertise, skilled delivery and friendly and informal style enabled the team to both learn and create. The activities were varied, interactive, engaging and tailored to both meet our learning needs and be relevant to the work that we do.”

To find out more about Participatory City and the Every One Every Day project, visit their website or pop into one of their ideas-generation 'shops' in Barking or Dagenham.

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