Monday, April 02, 2007

Report back on north Moseley library outreach project

Below is the final report back from our north Moseley Library outreach project.

The project cost £20,000 - the vast majority of this money was spent on multi-lingual books at Balsall Heath Library. The objective was to attract children from north Moseley back into the library, especially children for whom English is a second language. Particular focus was made on the Chachi Pathan community based around Kingswood Road.

The report is as follows:

Neighbourhood Renewal Fund – North Moseley Outreach Project Report
(November 2006 – March 2007)

Report by: Sajid Khan (Project Co-ordinator)

Project Outline

The Moseley and Kings Heath ward is comprised of a mixture of neighbourhoods, some relatively affluent and some of which, particularly in the North Moseley area, are disadvantaged. In November 2006, the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund invested £20,000 for the benefit of people in the North Moseley area, helping to ensure that people are not denied services and opportunities because of the neighbourhood they live in.

The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund served to aid North Moseley as an area that suffers from problems of poor health, unemployment and underachievement in education and literacy. This fund was invested to make public services more effective and responsive and, moreover, to encourage all organisations in the North Moseley area to work in tandem for the good of the local community.

Accordingly, Balsall Heath and Kings Heath Libraries, in alliance with the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, developed and delivered a programme of activities linked into schools and other organisations working with children, parents and families in the area, providing and developing resources and promoting an awareness of the network of support, information, skills, and services available to residents in the North Moseley area.

This initiative drew on the strengths and qualities that have made our libraries so vital to our communities over the past 100 years. These include our presence and accessibility in the community, free access to all – regardless of age, ethnicity, educational background, income or social status – and our core belief in self-improvement through learning and discovery.

Forging links between our libraries, schools and community organisations, and thus establishing a network of support in the North Moseley community, the aim of this project was threefold:
1. Improving children’s development
2. Tackling health inequalities
3. Improving skills to support improved employment prospects

Partner Agencies

Partner Schools:

· Woodstock Girls
· Anderton Park Primary
· Kings Heath Primary
· St. John & Monica Roman Catholic Primary
· Park Hill Primary
· Moseley Church of England Primary
· St. Martin de Porres Catholic Primary
· Queensbridge

Partner Health Organisation:

· Health Exchange

Partner Employment Organisations:

· Integrated Gateway to Employment Scheme – Enterprising Communities Programme
· Business Insight

Partner Community Organisations:

· Epic Skate Park
· Hamza Mosque – in conjunction with Woodstock Girls School
· Moseley & District Churches Housing Association
· Moseley Community Development Trust

Programme of Events

· Introduction & enrolment for children and parents to NRF Project & Library Services
· Class Talks & School Assembly’s
· Dreadlock Alien (Richard Grant): Special performance for the children of North Moseley by acclaimed 2006 Poet Laureate.
· Provision of hundreds of free books ranging from early reading, contemporary and classic fiction, non-fiction and including numerous material in relevant community languages such as Urdu, Somali, Punjabi, Bengali, Hindi, Chinese, Arabic, Farsi and Gujarati.
· Provision of free display units to accommodate donated books, and provide access to materials for all children, parents and teachers.

Community Organisations:

Deposit of book collections, including a significant amount of material essaying various health issues, with accompanying display units at community venues for all visitors to access and, furthermore, promote the joy of reading throughout the community. Based at:

· Epic Skate Park
· Moseley & District Churches Housing Association
· Moseley Community Development Trust

Community Health:

· Health Exchange – To form a community node (support base) at Balsall Heath Library, supported by hub at Birmingham Central Library, providing a free source of information and advice about health issues.

Employment Support:

· Integrated Gateway to Employment scheme – part of the Enterprising Communities Programme. Free weekly employment advice, information resources and support for members of the community, based at Kings Heath Library.
· Business Insight – Business development support and resources at Balsall Heath Library, linked to hub at Birmingham Central Library.

Project Outcomes:

· Worked with over 500 children, parents and teachers
· Over 200 new library members
· Requests from partnering agencies for supplementary community development projects

Budget Expenditure:

· Successful


The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund has helped our public libraries to optimise our full potential to reach out to the children, parents, schools, families and the people in our community most in need of our services. In designing this initiative, the Fund recognised that our libraries have always been part of the support system for the people in our community. This enterprise has demonstrated our ability to expand and enrich our services to the community. With the support of the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, Balsall Heath and Kings Heath Libraries have been able to forge stronger links between schools and community organisations, ensuring that we work collectively to build a network of support for our community.

Our libraries will continue to play an integral role in supporting the information, educational and literacy needs of all people in our communities. While this is something our libraries have always done, the nature and breadth of this project has enabled us to broaden our services, establishing partnerships to co-ordinate services and collaborate for the benefit of the wider community. The rewards for expanding and deepening our services to the community are immeasurable, sharing ideas and resources that will create a more cohesive network of community services available to all people.

Contacts & Affiliates

Councillor Martin Mullaney – Liberal Democrat MP,
Moseley & Kings Heath Ward
(0121 689 4372)

Councillor Ernie Hendricks – Liberal Democrat MP,
Moseley & Kings Heath Ward
(0121 256 1310)

Sajid Khan – Project Co-ordinator
(0121 464 1515)

Muna Masood – Hall Green Constituency, Ward Support Officer
(0121 444 3546)

Mike Reed – Hall Green Constituency Library Services Manager
(0121 464 0108)

Abas Ali – Community Librarian, Balsall Heath Library
(0121 464 1962)

Margaret Hunt – Community Librarian, Kings Heath Library
(0121 464 1515)

Woodstock Girls School – Tahira Anees (Head Teacher)
(0121 449 6690)

Anderton Park Primary – Sharon Ruddick (Literacy Co-ordinator)
(0121 464 1581)

Kings Heath Primary – Lynette Hamer (Literacy Co-ordinator)
(0121 464 9202)

St. John & Monica Roman Catholic Primary – Eileen Walker (Head Teacher) (0121 464 5868)

Park Hill Primary – Sue Heptinstall (Head Teacher)
(0121 449 3004)

Moseley Church of England Primary – Kester Roper (Literacy Co-ordinator)
(0121 449 0441)

St. Martin de Porres Catholic Primary – Siobhan Braithwaite
(Literacy Co-ordinator) (0121 464 5500)

Queensbridge School – Steven Hedges (Literacy Co-ordinator)
(0121 464 8667)

Dreadlockalien (Richard Grant) – Jane Wilcoxson (Agent)
(01788 860666)

Health Exchange – David Stokes (Project Co-ordinator)
(0121 464 1943)

Integrated Gateway to Employment – Roshan Singh (Street Advisor)
(0797 1239196)

Business Insight – Central Library
(0121 303 4531)

Epic Skate Park – Keith Marsden (Manager)
(0121 442 2425)

Hamza Mosque – Mohammad Sulman (Secretary)
(0121 449 4385)

Moseley & District Churches Housing Association – Dave Cusak (Manager) (0121 5005)

Moseley Community Development Trust – Matt Colleran (Manager)
(0121 449 8585)


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