Newcastle Council is rolling out its Empowering People in Communities (EPiC) project to more city neighbourhoods such as Blakelaw, Cowgate, and Kenton following a pilot in Walker, Elswick, and West Denton.
The project involves bringing people together to help rebuild community spirit and shape action plans to tackle issues that matter to local residents)
EPiC was unveiled earlier this year as part of the Council’s Better Lives, Safer Communities programme, where an additional £1.5mn is being invested to tackle anti-social behaviour.
In Elswick, residents have been working closely with EPiC staff to spruce up their streets, parks, and back lanes with weekly litter picks to make the area more attractive. Local west end charity Cornerstone, Benwell, has become a litter pick hub where families can loan high-visibility jackets and equipment for free to tidy up their community.
Meanwhile, EPiC officers have supported the delivery of crime prevention talks, including advice on how to spot online scams, to residents in West Denton and Walker.
Coun Paula Maines, a Kenton councillor and Cabinet Member for a Resilient City at the Council, said:
”EPic has been a fantastic addition to the work we do in our neighbourhoods. It’s about listening to our residents, understanding their concerns and working with them to develop plans and take action to make a difference.
”From the community litter picks to family fun days, all of this could not have been done without the hard work and dedication of residents, businesses and community groups,” she added.
”We’re looking to deliver more projects in the future so that our communities continue to be safe, vibrant, and welcoming places that we can be proud of,” Coun Maines said.
The next EPiC project will focus on the north west districts of Blakelaw, Cowgate, and Kenton.
These neighbourhoods all experience issues with motor bike disorder, waste, graffiti and low-level crime.
The project seeks to build community confidence by working with local partners. The project will focus on ”community consultation’, making sure the voices of residents are heard and acted on and ensuring that services are meeting the needs of local communities as well as creating new initiatives.