These are just some of the big ideas that are taking shape in communities across Liverpool at the climax of the city’s own 100 Day Challenge.
On November 7 last year, frontline staff and community leaders in three areas of Liverpool (Anfield-Everton, Princes Park and Speke-Garston) got together to generate ideas about how they could improve life for young people.
Supported by a host of organisations including the council, innovation charity Nesta, Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services (LCVS), Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Merseyside Police, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Power to Change, the challenge aimed to unlock local knowledge, experience and skills for the benefit of young people.
The ensuing 100 days have seen more than 20 groups and organisations join forces to generate 17 ground-breaking ideas, many of which are now beginning to come to life.
These include a popular new ‘Cake Club’ in Speke which gives parents the chance to get together to have their say about the local community and an Anfield-based project that has seen firefighters working with families to encourage children to stay in school.
Other great ideas include community members in Princes Park working together to generate apprenticeship for young people, which has so far netted 10 new opportunities.
On Tuesday 3 March, all those involved will converge on Liverpool’s Cunard Building to mark the 100 days, share the stories and the knowledge they have gained and celebrate the scheme’s success.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Liz Parsons, said: “When we set out on this journey we wanted to empower community members and frontline workers to bring about the changes they knew would help improve life in their areas. We believe that the people who are closest to the challenges are the ones who are best placed to come up with the solutions. The level of involvement and enthusiasm for this project has been truly inspiring and we believe that the ideas that have been generated will help to bring about real change and improve the life chances for young people across Liverpool. The challenge doesn’t end at day 100, in fact, this is just the beginning and everyone is looking forward to seeing how these brilliant ideas continue to take shape and shape our future.”
Becky Vipond, co-director of community business Squash said: “The process has made us work differently – everyone has invested time and energy in the challenge working outside of their organisation’s main agendas to focus on some shared community issues. I think whatever the outcomes – the challenge has already been a huge success in bringing leaders and workers within L8 organisations together to share ideas, concerns, issues and to look for shared solutions. There has also been lots of laughs and many new friendships made.”
Anfield Children’s Centre Co-ordinator Margie Kelly, who has been involved with the firefighters’ back to school initiative said: “Because we concentrated on attendance and we had data it helped us focus on what we can do realistically. We used what we had, but in a joined-up way, like a jigsaw puzzle. The tools are there: it’s all about the network.”