UCL is Creating Connections with East London
By ucyow3c, on 23 May 2014
UCL’s Public Engagement Unit is currently working hard to build relationships and engage with the public in East London.
As part of this, I attended an event called Creating Connections, which was held in Stratford, East London. Creating Connections is the name of a series of events that are designed to bring together UCL staff and students with representatives from community organisations, charities, residents’ groups and social enterprises, with the aim of finding ways to work together.
Around 60 people gathered in University Square, Stratford for the event, which included themed discussion groups – covering topics like ‘How urban planning affects local communities’, and ‘Supporting health improvements in East London’ – there were also informal networking opportunities over drinks, giving a chance for the East London community to find shared areas of interest with UCL’s academics and students.
One of those present from the local community was Sifundo Msebele, founder of the charity World Champions. She explained: “I found it very useful, the format of the evening was well thought out, and it was valuable to have representation from organisations that provide pan-national provision, so that those of us with specific knowledge of Newham and East London can act as useful ports of call and vice versa.” Frances Blackwell, the Programme Director for the community Mentoring Service Reach Out, was also at the event, and explained that she had ‘…met with some interesting people who I hope to be able to work with in the future.’
On a personal note, I was really pleased to see so many people there, from such a diverse range of backgrounds, and it was great to partner with two organisations with such a long history of community work in East London UEL and Newham Council.
The event was well attended and the feedback we received seemed very positive. As a result, we will be holding another Creating Connections event in East London during the autumn term.
Creating Connections East London was held in partnership with the University of East London and Newham Council. For more information on Creating Connections, please visit: http://uclu.org/services/volunteering-at-uclu/creating-connections