Up Our Street's Manager, Stacy, recently secured £1000 for us to use to explore working more closely with UWE Department of Geography and Environment as part of an exciting initiative to support community organisations working with universities.
It was all part of an event organised and funded by Power to Change, which brought together community organisations and academic researchers from a range of disciplines in a 'match-making' event back in March.
The idea was to create a more collaborative approach between organisations and academics, which includes building relationships that last over time and communities having more opportunities to co-design research projects.
The event was attended by around 30 individuals, and 80 applied to join, so competition for places was stiff and it was a credit to Up Our Street to have a seat at the table.
After a day of discussion and exercises to get to know each other, we were challenged to find an academic who we felt we had an idea that could be developed together into a more in-depth research proposal.
We connected with a lead academic from UWE whose team includes researchers focused on neighbourhood planning, urban design, sustainable transport and the environment including key local issues such as air quality.
During a tense hour, each partnership had to pitch to the funders for £1000 'thinking fund' to help the organisation take the conversation further than this room. Out of 30 pitches, 9 were taken forward for funding and Up Our Street was one of those lucky chosen ones.
The next steps will be some follow up meetings with UWE followed by public and stakeholder events in September and October so watch this space.