Community Research and Co-Design

Birmingham has been selected as one of five pilot areas for the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) Neighbourhood Fund Programme. The aim of the programme is to test different models and approaches to community engagement to better understand how, where and why it supports improved outcomes for children at risk of becoming involved in violence.

BVSC Research have been commissioned as the lead ‘Community Research and Co-design Partner’ for the Neighbourhood Fund in Birmingham. We will be working alongside researchers from the University of Wolverhampton, University of Birmingham and Aspire4U to undertake three phases of work:

1. Feasibility Phase (July 2021 – September 2021)

Drawing upon official data and local intelligence and insight, this phase sought to identify the hyper-local area of the city that would be the focus of the Neighbourhood Fund. 
Following extensive analysis, Lozells and Newtown were found to be at the highest and most immediate need, targeting a specific area spanning the boarder of these localities (see map). You can read more about how and why this area was selected in the Feasibility Report.

2. Discovery Phase (September 2021- February 2022)

During this phase we will be working with the local community to identify the causes of violence, making sure that their needs and aspirations are understood and reflected in decisions about the local project.  Working alongside residents, the VCFSE sector and statutory organisations, we will be seeking to better understand how the community is already being served as well as the ways in which this might be improved improved and built upon, and partnerships strengthened.
Key to this phase of activity is the recruitment and training of community researchers by the University of Birmingham, and the recruitment of a Community Navigator who will support communities to identify key issues that are causing violence and help them to identify solutions. To do this, we’ll create a Local Action Group made up of community members and local stakeholders to take forward activities in phase three. 

3. Co-design Phase (February 2022 – July 2022)

In this phase we’ll work with the local community through the Local Action Group, to develop an action plan which puts the community’s own understandings and solutions into practice, drawing on the best available evidence of what works.
Following the above phases of activity, the YEF will provide support and funding for up to five years for areas to implement the community’s plans (in phase 4).

For more information about the YEF Neighbourhood Fund Programme contact Sophie Wilson [email protected], or Clare Harewood [email protected]