Help Kick Start the Alley Cats Project
As well as housing in Lincoln, LEAP also provides social housing with tenancy support to over 40 individuals in Gainsborough. The charity's overall aim is to provide clean, safe and social places for people to live. We provide social housing, however know that feeling safe goes beyond the homes we provide.
Our base, the HATS Community Hub (founded by LEAP in 2017) is based at the heart of Gainsborough's South West Ward, a ward which finds itself in the top 4% of deprived areas in the UK. Most of the terraced houses in the ward are in poor condition and the area with its many unloved and underused 10ft alley ways attracts lots of anti-social behaviour, making local residents feel undervalued and unsafe.
The Birth of The Alley Cats Project
Given the lack of few green spaces or safe places where residents can gather, we believe the alley ways could be transformed into clean, friendly and social spaces where neighbours and children can come together and get to know one another. And so The Alley Cats Project idea came into being.
The project will aim to engage local residents into organised activities and workshops, such as litter-picking and tidying up the alley ways before we engage with local artists to run outdoor art, crafting and upcycling workshops, creating decorative items out of waste materials to make the alley ways into cleaner, friendlier and more social spaces, valued, enjoyed and owned by local residents. We believe the connections people make helping each other out during the workshops will set the foundation for neighbours getting to know one another and looking out for one another longer-term.
As well as aiming to restore community pride and ownership, we know from our research that the increase of positive uses of the alley ways will help to discourage anti-social & criminal activities.
Want to help breathe life into this project, please visit The Alley Cats Project page on the AVIVA Community Fund website.
Encouraging Project Volunteering
The project will also help us identify community leaders and volunteers, who we will encourage to form a Residents Participation Group and lead on the planning & delivery of further community-led projects so the ward improvement activities are maintained and expanded upon.
In order to motivate and encourage more residents to volunteer and take part in this community-led improvement project, we will create a recognition scheme for continued participation. Every community volunteer - on day one - will be in receipt of a small round badge, identifying them as an 'Alley Cat'.
Based on the positive responses from our tenants living in the ward, our Public & Third Sector partners and supporters, we envision that this project will quickly gain momentum and lead to other community-led improvement projects in the ward. For this we would welcome to exceed our target so that we will be able to put money towards employing a dedicated Community Development Worker.
We cannot achieve positive change without your support. Donations of all sizes are most gratefully received, because ...