Back in the 1960s two University of Nottingham academics highlighted the poor living conditions and low pay of people living in St Anns. Ken Coates and Bill Silburn published a report ‘St Anns: Poverty and Morale in a Nottingham Community’. Forty years on St Anns is still one of the most deprived areas of inner city Nottingham.
This week will see the continuation of their work as a group of academics, students and staff from The University of Nottingham meet to evaluate the progress of a skill sharing project with St Anns — which has been running for two years — and to form new partnerships between the local community and the University.
The Community Network Lunch will take place at The University of Nottingham on Wednesday 1 December 2010
Lisa Mckenzie, who has lived in St Anns since she was 18 and has now completed an undergraduate and a post graduate degree at The University of Nottingham, is helping to organise the event.
Lisa said: “In these times of austerity it is important to be a good neighbour and to share the resources of both communities for mutual benefit. Through Ken Coates and Bill Silburn the School of Sociology and Social Policy has in the past had a strong relationship with the St Anns community. Community studies and collaborative research continues to be an important part of the work of The University of Nottingham and the aim of this lunch is to strengthen those relationships in the present and the future.”
Head of University’s Community Partnerships is Sharon Clancy. She said: “This meeting is an opportunity to explain the role of the University in the community and the importance of listening to what communities like St Anns need and how we can marshal staff and student skills to work with them.
“Within Community Partnerships we are supporting a range of activities with our team in St Anns. As well as working with primary schools in the area through the Education Improvement Partnership we have also been working to place students with third sector community organisations in the area, according to need.”
In 2007, on its 40th anniversary, Ken Coates and Bill Silburn’s re-published their original report. That original report inspired budding film director Stephen Frears to make a film about the demolition of hundreds of crumbling Victorian terraced houses which saw the redevelopment of St Anns in the late 1960s.
This week’s meeting is a tribute to the work of Ken Coates who died in June this year.
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