Campsbourne Community-Based Research: Pilot project report

Fransman, Jude; Abbasalizadeh, Hassan; Atuhaire, Sheilla; Deterville, Aiyesha; Dunn, Eleanor; Erkmen, Filiz; Kambeja, Ronald; Onkal, Ayça; Rognaldsen, Anna; Sibanda, Sherilyn and Stephens, Shannae (2022). Campsbourne Community-Based Research: Pilot project report. In Campsbourne Community Research Collective Campsbourne Community Research Collective, Campsbourne Estate.

Abstract

Campsbourne Estate lies in the heart of Haringey (North London). Despite its location towards the more affluent end of the borough, its rich architectural heritage, diverse population and proximity to green space and good schools/health centres, the estate is home to significant deprivation with some of the worst rates in England, particularly in terms of ‘housing and services’ and ‘income deprivation affecting the elderly’.

Haringey Labour Party Manifesto 2022-26 pledged to empower local communities to make change, putting residents at the heart of decision-making. In 2021 residents were awarded a Civic Fellowship from the Institute of Community Studies (Young Foundation) to pilot a 6- month community-based research and training project on the estate.

Grounded in Community-Based Participatory Research and a feminist ethics of care, the training was structured around three modules, each of which included a short period of data collection: i) understanding ourselves (autoethnographic research); ii) understanding our peers (peer research); and understanding our community (action research).

A diverse cohort of 10 community researchers was recruited including 6 individuals and 2 family teams. The entirety of the research grant was spent on compensating the community researchers for their participation in both the training and data collection at London Living Wage.

Autoethnographic research (through multimodal journaling) revealed positive and negative examples of lived experience and started to map the meaningful places on the estate, identifying the need for a community hub.

Peer research (through informal interviews with family and neighbours, and a formal survey administered to residents) considered difference and representation, expanding the map of meaningful spaces, identifying those that felt inaccessible and exploring what different groups would look for in a community hub and what might prevent their engagement.

Action research (through organisational case studies and a workshop with Haringey Council) built on the research findings to develop three proposals that were shared with councillors and other stakeholders:

i) council to rent the Kurdish Advice Centre one day a week as a space for information sharing, advice sessions, classes and socialising;

ii) council to work with a team of young people to co-design an outside sports facility;

iii) council to work with a representative residents group to map accessibility and safety on the estate and consider appropriate actions.

It was stressed that budgets must include fair compensation for participants and the agreement of tangible outcomes.

Next steps include: i) supporting the council to implement recommendations fairly and responsibly; ii) continuing to strengthen relationships with the key organisation in the estate (iii) expanding the network; iv) seeking funding for further research and development work; and v) exploring implications for other participatory processes.

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