Tel: 020 7723 1216   Email: info@onewestminster.org.uk

Westminster Community Network

Welcome to the Westminster Community Network or WCN, as it's often calledThe WCN exists to be the voice of the voluntary sector in Westminster.  Anyone who works in the voluntary sector and serves Westminster residents is welcome to attend meetings and participate. 

One Westminster supports the WCN by setting up meetings and events, providing information and updates and through the Chair, currently Sarah Mitchell, ensuring that the voice of the sector is heard loud and clear by our statutory and business partners.

"What needs in Westminster can your organisation not meet alone?"

"What needs in Westminster can your organisation not meet alone?"

This  Westminster Community Network meeting took place on the 26 January at the Stowe Centre. The topic under discussion was “Identifying Community Needs and Building Partnerships” and some  47 representatives of different Westminster charities attended the afternoon  workshop. In the first part of the meeting, organisations were asked the question: “What needs in Westminster can your organisation not meet alone?” and five main community needs were identified.

In the second part, organisations  discussed in groups how to work in partnership to address those needs. This meeting created the possibility for a constructive conversation among voluntary organisations in Westminster, which will allow the sector to build new partnerships. Feedback forms circulated at the end recorded that some 97% had found the workshop to be excellent or good and 100%  said that it helped them networking and/or creating partnerships. We coudln't have hoped for a better result!

OTHER WCN MEETINGS SCHEDULED FOR 2017

OTHER WCN MEETINGS SCHEDULED FOR 2017

All meetings will take place on a Thursday afternoon on the following dates:

27 April

20 July

12 October

7 December

Details of the exact times and venues will be released nearer to the event dates.

Addressing the question of social cohesion

Addressing the question of social cohesion

For its September quarterly meeting, the WCN hosted an open-space event to consider the topical question: “What would make people feel a stronger sense of belonging in Westminster?"

More than 30 people attended the event (held in the Abbey Centre), which over the course of two-and-half hours involved the participants in first identifying key answers to the question and then breaking into informal groups to discuss each of the suggestions which  had been grouped into main topics. Nine main subject areas came under discussion: Housing, Community Events, Funding, Education and Learning, Public and Green Spaces, Resources, Inter-generational and community activities, Employment and Volunteering and Decision Making.

The participants then suggested more detailed solutions to each suggestion and finally everyone was invited to vote on the top ideas. Here's the top six:

  1. Council-owned community spaces should be free.
  2. Support local businesses to keep running and increase social connections.
  3. Applying for small grants can take up too much resource re. the application process and reporting. Needs to be proportionate to amount of money on offer.
  4. Ward budgets (£30Kpa.) should be better advertised as many do not know about them.
  5. Develop a wide-ranging homeless strategy - not just a rough sleeping strategy.
  6. More effort to minimise language and cultural barriers with such things as  translations and involving different religious groups/places of worship.

Feedback from the participants was good. Many commented on how they had enjoyed the informality of the open space meeting format and the enthusiasm and energy it generated. As one said: "This is what community cohesion is all about - people talking to and listening to each other." 

A report of the findings has been sent to the Community Cohesion Commission at Westminster Council and you can read a summary of all the suggestions and the top 20 ideas below.

WCN OPEN SPACE meeting ideas and suggestions

WCN's aims

WCN's aims

Westminster Community Network will:

  • Provide a vibrant space where the voluntary sector organisations of Westminster can interact with each other.
  • Provide opportunities for voluntary sector organisations to meet, discuss issues of mutual interest and share good practice.
  • Be the independent voice of the voluntary sector in Westminster and seek to influence decision-making for the benefit of the sector as a whole

CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE NETWORK

 

CYPN meets bi-monthly, disseminating good and emerging practice, building partnerships and raising issues of strategic importance within Westminster.  Find out more here

Next meeting: Tuesday, 15 November,  10am to 12pm at Paddington Arts.

WCN suggestions for improving health service in Westminster

WCN suggestions for improving health service in Westminster

We've sent on this summary of the issues raised in the useful group discussions that followed presentations by London CCGs at the WCN meeting on 19 May 2016, which looked at the future of health care in Westminster. See below for a copy.

Suggestions for improving Westminster's health care

Housing In Westminster - Joanna Kennedy WCN 19.02.16

WCN Charter

WCN Charter

The WCN has its own agreed terms of reference and a charter that was agreed in 2015.

Please click here to view the charter pdf

WCN news and info...

WCN news and info...

If you have any WCN news or info about your organisation that you'd like us to put up on this section of the site, please email Nina Hathway.