Our Place L4 Walton – A Better Place Initiative

Our Place puts communities at the heart of service delivery in their area and involves local partners within a neighbourhood coming together with local people to identify the issues that matter most to them.

The L4 Walton – ‘A Better Place Initiative’ was one of the Breaking New Ground projects which took part in the Our Place programme in 2014-15. This is a grass roots initiative  which is supported by a community led partnership including; Alsop High School, Community Support Officers, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Youth Service, Walton Group of Churches and Registered Social Landlords.

During the Our Place programme, the initiative focussed on four main areas which were identified as being important to the local community in Walton including:

Young people

The partnership identified the need to make contact with young people on their area, on the street and in local parks and in particular, young people who are at risk of becoming disengaged. They also sought to challenge the emerging gang culture by organising positive diversionary activities and through mentoring and skill transferring sessions.

Families

Many seek help when a child exhibits challenging behaviour but do not know where to access support. This partnership used the Our Place programme to develop and offer opportunities for family learning.

Community task group

Local residents will meet bi-monthly to identify “hot spots” of anti-social behaviour. The community will see and become involved in incremental change. The Task Group will be coordinated by the Walton Youth Project and a local Registered Social Landlord. Resident’s Associations, local Councillors and Police will help target specific areas and improve community relations.

Harmony inter-generational programme

The partnership also developed plans to encourage, train and support young people to work alongside older residents, assist at Lunch Club and engage in open and constructive dialogue.

As a result of the consultation work during the Our Place programme, the L4 Walton Together set up a ‘L4 Our Community Matters Forum’ in November 2015 led by Alsop High School, Walton Youth Project and Walton Group of Churches which over 50 people attended. At this first hub meeting, the 2020 vision (a result of community consultation work) was presented, along with an Operational Plan demonstrating how the vision would be implemented.

Hope 2016 Initiative

Lighting of candle by L4 Walton student
Lighting of candle by L4 Walton student

On 7 January 2016, the Hope 2016 Initiative was launched as a month long festival to share stories of hope to the Walton community, with a particular focus on young persons.

We are delighted that Alsop is able to facilitate a wide programme of speakers and events to bring residents together and inspire young people.’

Teacher Peter Bull, coordinator of Hope 2016

L4 Walton assembly
L4 Walton assembly

A number of community events and speakers were organised during this month as a way of drawing community members together including:

  • Alastair Machray, Editor Liverpool Echo
  • Colin Parry, Warrington Peace Centre
  • Lord Mike Storey
  • Sir Jon Murphy, Chief Constable Merseyside Police
  • Steve Rotheram, MP

Margaret Aspinall, Hillsborough Family Support group, visited students at Alsop High School on 22 January 2016, to talk about her search for justice for the 96 Liverpool fans who died at Hillsborough.

Re-dedication of the Alsop memorial mosaic mural
Re-dedication of the Alsop memorial mosaic mural

At this event Bishop Tom Willliams re-dedicated the Alsop memorial mosaic mural which was designed by two local community artists who worked with local children to create 96 red butterflies.

Red butterflies commemorating Hillsborough
Red butterflies commemorating Hillsborough

On 12 January 2016, 85 years old Zigi Shipper talked to students at Alsop High School, Walton and St Mary’s Church, West Derby about his life during the Nazi regime and his experience as an Auschwitz survivor (for more information click here).

We hope that by hearing Zigi’s testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives.’

Mr Joe Mangan, Headteacher at Alsop High School

This is a grass roots community festival and as such is something others can replicate in the places where they live. We pray that other churches, schools and community groups will be inspired to create their own festival of HOPE and see this sharing of ideas, hopes and dreams as a way of drawing key community members together & inviting speakers to share their stories in other places around the diocese.’

Reverend Canon Dr Ellen Loudon, Area Dean of Walton

Update: November 2016

alsop-high-school

Alsop High School wins a regional educational award for their outstanding work to foster cohesion and develop pride in the wider community of North Liverpool. The Hope 2016 initiative won the prestigious “WOW” Award at the 2016 Educate Awards ceremony in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on 18 November 2016.

“We are delighted that Alsop has won the “WOW” Recognition  Award. This is an achievement for the whole school and the wider community. This initiative encouraged dialogue, collaboration and friendships between so many of our young people and community leaders including people from different faith communities.”

Peter Bull, Co-ordinator of HOPE 2016

For more information about the month of activities, and next steps for the Walton community lease contact: office@alsophigh.org.uk or p.bull@alsophigh.org.uk

You can also visit Alsop High School website.

Visit the L4 Walton - a better place website