Vauxhall is undergoing extensive regeneration work thanks to Nine Elms development. St Anne & All Saints Church is right in the middle of the area, and had a space which they wanted to use to help overcome the equality and cohesion issues that these changes would bring about. They hired us to help them decide how they could best strengthen local bonds and create a sense of place using the assets they had.
How we approached it
We carried out a detailed desk review of the issues facing the area, using materials including the JSNA data and the CAMHS needs assessment. The area was faced with big challenges, including inequality, isolation, health inequalities, fear of crime and mental health problems (especially amongst young people). There was also a clash of values between private and social tenants, and a risk of social exclusion. We then did semi-structured interviews with representatives of charities and community organisations, followed by a deliberative meeting, and a review of case studies from successful community centres elsewhere.
We developed a series of option recommendations on the basis of the work, including an intergenerational care space, a creative exhibition space, a shared workspace for charities,
a community cooking hub, and a space to be used as a bike repair workshop.