What community means
When Cheshire Peaks and Plains Housing Trust (CPPHT) was close to fulfilling its stock transfer promises regarding the improvement of its housing stock, it needed to turn its attention to supporting neighbourhood sustainability. But this posed a problem.
In an area as economically diverse area as Macclesfield, there was the very real possibility of being viewed negatively for using resources to support socially excluded groups.
But instead of using this as an opportunity to trumpet CPPHT’s own perspectives on sustainable neighbourhoods, Andrassy Media conceived of the project as a kind of informal consultation exercise, going out to the communities of Macclesfield and asking ‘what does community mean to you?’
Andrassy Media then carried out a two month intensive campaign of development work, to engage with and seek the views of local community groups and activists.
Acting on behalf of CPPHT, we went out into the community, securing opportunities to meet groups and interview local people. Along the way we gathered images, words and video that built up into a creative kaleidoscope of local views.
These raw ‘assets’ were then incorporated into a range of media – a publication, exhibition stands, a short film, and so on – which were launched at CPPHT’s tenants’ conference.
What marked the materials out as unusual was the complete absence of editorial ‘voice’ – they were populated entirely by the comments and views of local people.
And yet this very absence of CPPHT’s own opinions was their greatest strength – they sent out a clear signal about organisation’s desire to listen the local community and respond to local priorities in shaping the area’s future.