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Francis Sealey, chair of Enfield Climate Action Forum (EnCAF), explains the background to the first Palmers Green "Local Community Hub" - an afternoon and evening event in November bringing communities together to discuss the things that concern them, such as air pollution, social isolation, food insecurity and other issues both big and small.

A local community hub in Palmers Green

palmers green community hub

Palmers Green's first local community hub will be held at the mosque in Oakthorpe Road on 18th November (provisional timing: 1pm to 8pm)

In November there will be a Local Community Hub to address the concerns of our communities in Palmers Green and the immediate surrounding areas.

The idea was inspired by the community hubs that Enfield Climate Action Forum (EnCaf) held last year in Edmonton, which successfully brought people together to talk about climate change and public health.

A local coalition of civil society groups working in partnership with statutory authorities called LocalMotion, which is backed by some leading charitable funders, thought it was a good model to engage local communities and build action plans from the bottom up in a collaborative way. So they are cooperating with EnCaf to pilot this innovative approach.

The Co-op Membership Engagement Team, who took part in last year's climate hubs, will also be a partner in this, while Palmers Green mosque are keen to take part and have offered their education centre to host it.

A group within the mosque are planning to contact other faiths so that we have an inter-faith contribution to the hub and are also working with young people to develop a project around youth unemployment, which is a major concern.

To help us with the design of the hub we have jointly developed an online survey to find out what local people's concerns are. Early responses show that issues like air pollution, green space, mental health and social isolation, housing and insulation, and food insecurity are coming up as major concerns.

Community Survey - Palmers Green and surrounding areas

EnCAF - LocalMotion Enfield - Co-op - Community Survey - we want to know what you think

Click here to fill in the three-minute survey

The community hub will be divided into several sessions and people will be able to take part in some or all of them. Each session will have a key speaker who will briefly introduce the topic and a facilitator will then encourage those there to engage on the topic in a constructive dialogue to look at how we can work together to achieve positive results.

We hope this local community hub will help us create a model that we can then replicate elsewhere so that we can create community engagement across the borough in a constructive and participatory way.

Community hubs: Francis Sealey on what they can achieve

participants at a community hub at forest road health centre in 2022

Two EnCAF community hubs held in Edmonton last year focussed primarily on climate and health and were well attended

Community hubs are a great way of bringing people together to discuss issues that affect them and suggest ways to make a difference. The hubs EnCaf did last year created a great deal of discussion and issues like the importance of green spaces and are now being followed up this year by working with national groups like Edible London and Tiny Forests to see how green space in Edmonton can expand. In a survey we did the lack of green spaces was the number two priority that concerned people most.

Also as a result of the community hubs last year we have now set up a collaborative framework with the local authority and the health authorities, where we meet bi-monthly to see how we can work together. We are also talking to the community hub department in Enfield Council to discuss how we can make action on climate change an ongoing activity that we both co-operate on.

The hub on November 18th (provisional timing 1pm to 8pm) will focus on these issues and we hope to develop some actions that we can take forward to improve our local area through collaboration with each other and with the statutory authorities.

Francis Sealey briefs an online meeting of Enfield Climate Action Forum about November's Palmers Green community hub

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