Manchester-Salford ecosystem: research update

The following update was circulated to local stakeholders in Broughton and Cheetham with details of activities since we began fieldwork research in late Spring this year. We would particularly like to thank Shirley Lundstram, Salford City Council and Pauline Clarke, Manchester City Council for their help with initiating this research and putting us into contact with a widening group of research stakeholders and informants who have contributed to workshops and in other ways.

Stakeholder meetings

Initial meetings with key contacts and their colleagues helped us in initial scoping of local stakeholders, who included local authority officers, members of community and neighbourhood organisations, as well as individuals working in various roles in the two areas. Two stakeholder workshops were subsequently held: one held in Crumpsall Library and the other in the Broughton Hub.

The workshops involved people with different remits in relation to community engagement, neighbourhood management, welfare, housing and economic development as well as representatives of voluntary associations. The aims of the workshops were to introduce the project to local stakeholders with knowledge of the different activities and communities in the area and to scope out the key issues, themes and interests relating to everyday participation, local governance and cultural value in Broughton and Cheetham.

Mapping

We also co-produced maps of both areas, which identified assets and problem spaces and places, and learned about key data sources and potential further stakeholders and contacts. The data that were identified can be layered – e.g. on digital maps – and brought into dialogue with other forms of evidence about cultural assets and engagement emerging from other methods. On the basis of this work, we developed some early ‘maps’ which we took to a conference on similar research in July in Edinburgh – you can read about it and see a poster on the research here.

We are now working on developing the ways in which we will disseminate this data to the many different stakeholders across the project and also thinking about how to use the maps for further interactive activities, including with the planned focus groups. We will keep you updated on the progress of this work. If you have any direct questions or suggestions regarding local data please contact our one of our two full-time post-doctoral project researchers, Mark Taylor, via the Contact form.

Ethnographic research

Delyth Edwards, our second post-doctoral researcher, has been undertaking ethnographic research in both areas. This has involved exploring and observing the different kinds of participation in public and open spaces and talking and interacting with many different people who live and work in the two neighbourhoods. She will continue this work in Cheetham and Broughton whilst also coordinating the household interviews (see below). Contact Delyth via the Contact form to find out more and if you want to take part in the interviews.

Interviews

Two ‘waves’ of 30 household interviews with people living in the areas who broadly represent the general population are due to take place, one before year end and the other early in the New Year. We will be asking questions which explore the range and variety of people’s day-to-day activities – at home, in work, during their spare time – in order to better understand how they participate and what their participation means to them. Currently our interviewers are finding people willing to talk to us who fit the profile of the local population by calling at households in particular areas. If you would like more information about the interviews please contact Delyth via the Contact form and leave name and contact details, and Delyth will get back to you.

Focus Groups

Drawing on our various scoping work through stakeholder engagement and ethnography we would like to hold three ‘focus groups’ (discussion groups with between 8 – 12 participants). These are scheduled to take place between now and December. We are currently working with contacts to find people to take part in the three groups, one of which will involve people who use public and open spaces for different kinds of everyday participation, and the other two with young people, discussing what they like to do and what they think about the opportunities to participate both in the area and in Manchester and Salford more broadly. If you would like more information on the focus groups please contact Abi Gilmore via the Contact form.

We would like to thank all those who have participated and contributed to the research so far – we will keep you updated on future developments, including the dissemination of the research findings via local events in the near future.

Abi Gilmore, on behalf of the Understanding Everyday Participation team

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