At home in my street (1997)

Purpose

On December 2nd 1997, 12 children from the Methleys travelled down to the House of Comons to speak in front of MPs at the launch of the national Home Zones Inititative.

Although a new idea in the UK, Woonerven (living streets) had existed in the Netherlands for some 30 years. We planned to take a group of people from different communities in Britain to see them first-hand and to talk to the people who lived there and the people who had been involved in their development over the years.

Details

This was an opportunity for Heads Together to make a film to document the experiences of people on the trip; which would then become a resource for communities across the country: to share the learning. 

Partners

We were working very closely with the Children's Play Council and Transport 2000 As veteran lobbyists, they had the resources, knowledge and connections to plan a series of actions in order to get new laws brought in in Parliament. Meanwhile our role was to look at spreading the ideas and the learning in communities across the country–using meetings, conferences...and the new video.

Funding

Having good partners, also enabled us to get support for the project from the Ashden Trust; one of the Sainsbury family Trusts. It was to be the first time we had got substantial amounts of backing from a Trust; particularly from one not dedicated solely to supporting the arts.

In December, 12 children and four adults from the Methleys told us about what they had done in that small group of city streets. They were so enthusiastic that my honourable Friend decided to introduce a Home Zone Bill in this House.

Fabian Hamilton MP (Hansard)

House of Commons 11/2/1998

What We Learned

  • That the work we were doing was creative, it was educational, but it was also seen as basic community campaigning and development work and that we could look for partners (and funders) who were concerned with communities and regeneration and didn't necessarily have a background in the arts: cross-sector partnership.
  • The power of narrative in communication. The film told the story of a group of people visiting woonerven in their own words. The use of 'Authored Narrative' has been a recurrent theme in Heads Together's work through the years
  • Linking new ideas with traditional concepts. Home Zones with the desire to have somewhere for egg and spoon and wheelbarrow races.