"I thought it was very very interesting, I was excited, I got goosebumps hearing about the projects and I thought this was an amazing thing to do."
So said one of the participants in the "Community Voting day", held in Northumberland Park, Tottenham in 2017. Community development expert and Big Local Trust rep Gayle Wallace filmed some of the immediate responses to this small but impactful project and posted them onto Youtube.
Northumberland Park ward Councillor John Bevan added:
"Its really impressive. There are a lot of people here. In Northumberland Park its often difficult to get people involved. I think we have cracked that problem here. And some of these groups doing projects, I really didn’t know that they existed, or what they were doing, and they are obviously all doing good stuff, so hopefully we can improve the area, and they’ll get motivated and perhaps we can do it again sometime."
That feeling of mutual support, of being on a learning curve, and a sense you were helping other projects was especially evident in comments made by Rosa, who was also willing to give back some of the funding her group had been awarded in a pay it back process, to enable another group progress:
"Oh my god, that was the best part of it, I felt good, happy, and a part of someone else’s project moving forward."
Since then Gayle, who has been passionate about participatory budgeting since 2007, has been supporting similar projects in Northumberland Park and Broadwater Farm. The 2018 Northumberland Park Community Voting Day saw 27 groups present their ideas to a packed audience at Duke’s Aldridge Academy. The community voted to give nine projects a share £40,000.
The first ever Broadwater Farm Community Voting Day took place at Broadwaters Inclusive Learning Unit on Saturday 30 June 2018. More than 100 people packed into the primary school’s hall to listen to ‘Dragon’s Den’ style presentations from 29 projects. They were bidding for funding from a £75,000 pot.
More information on these projects is available on two dedicated webpages: