The two organisations will work together to promote civic engagement and community connection in Tottenham.
Date: 12 July 2021
The London Met Lab, London Met’s flagship civic engagement initiative, is forming a new partnership with Tottenham-based charity Living Under One Sun (LUOS), which focuses on reducing social isolation, improving access to services and community connection.
LUOS is a multi-award winning charity, created in 2005 by mothers of many cultures and ages wanting to reduce their social isolation, access information and basic services, know more about what was going on around them, and improve and make safe their much-neglected neighbourhood. 15 years on LUOS is a community-led organisation, working in the heart of major inner-city changes and challenges, where community of diverse backgrounds and abilities have not had a voice.
In Tottenham, where 43% of children are living in poverty, both a long-term lack of investment and austerity have led to a disproportionately negative impact of COVID-19. The Tottenham constituency had the highest furlough take-up rate in London, with 17,000 residents relying on the scheme. Covid has necessitated the acceleration of action to tackle growing inequalities and to support economic, social and emotional resilience amongst impoverished neighborhoods.
This new partnership will see London Met and LUOS work together to codesign a programme to build skills locally, in relation to community action research; to co-produce webinars and forums to exchange partnership learning and achievement across sectors; and offer social prescribing - referring local people to link workers, community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support, in line with the strategic outcomes of the local authority, GPs and health service providers.
London Met will offer its expertise to LUOS through workshops and their community where appropriate, including training on digital inclusion. London Met students will be offered learning, volunteering and long-term placements with LUOS, for the benefit of both the charity and the students, who will have the opportunity to develop skills and gain work experience.
A representative from LUOS said, "Our strength lies in being community-led and responsive. In surviving we have shown much resilience as we are both grass root and well networked and considered a community anchor by partners like London Met, and the Local Authority. We have a community mandate to be where we are, at home in our neighbourhood, whilst always strategic and working closely with stakeholders, locally and London wide, as well as sharing good practise nationally and internationally - ready to always celebrate our achievements, our presence and our voice.
"Our stories, skills and aspirations come alive to shape our neighbourhood, in what is an exciting and important time to be active and have hope to change things for the better for all, and most urgently for women and in particular for BAME and refugee communities."