As part of our community events this week, we’re hosting guest blogs from selected organisations. Natasha Friend from Camden Giving shares some insights into the various roles necessary to effect change in Camden.
Q: How many sectors does it take to change the world (or at least change Camden)?
A: All of them, but here’s why…
At Camden Giving we’re three months into a partnership with Camden Council, Camden businesses and Camden citizens to fund and support great ideas that will achieve the Camden Renewal missions. We’re working with a group of 12 Camden citizens who have a unique insight on inequality in Camden. Together they are choosing over a hundred projects a year that will receive funding from them to run anything from food banks to greening projects. And unlike other funders, Camden residents can and are applying to receive funds to run projects themselves. The funding for this first year has come from Camden Council, but we hope going forward more organisations, including businesses, will play a role in funding this work and supporting citizen-led change in Camden.
Different sectors and people are wearing different ‘hats’ in this partnership.* Some of these hats are well worn – the people wearing them have worn them for generations – but in other cases, people are trying on new hats. None of these hats will be optional if we want to bring about systemic change within a decade, so I’ve outlined these below and why they are each so important.
*With due warning that this blog contains some slightly stretched comparisons between communities and outfits.
The enabler hat
This hat sits on the heads of decision-makers at Camden Council. They’re providing the initial funding to make this programme run and are working to ensure that funding is available to make this project sustainable. They’re creating a culture where the creative and specialist citizens are the stars of this borough.
There’s a fine balance between relinquishing responsibility to achieve these missions versus enabling those who are well-placed to take the lead. It’s clear to see the effort being made at the Council to get this balance right, but I’m sure that there will be points along the way when we’ll need to rebalance it. The enabler hat suits Camden Council well, but they can’t take off their service delivery hat. There aren’t a great deal of outfits that go with two hats, not in my wardrobe anyway. It’s brave to wear both and them doing so is what will eventually mean that in 2030 we’ve met the renewal missions.
It’s worth pointing out that some people take off one of these hats and put another one on. That’s what makes communities exciting places.
As this works moves along, we’re really excited to keep changing how we work and what we do.
We’d love to hear feedback and we’re always around for a coffee.