What we’re learning from the citizens of Ashbrow and Fieldhead

What we’re learning from the citizens of Ashbrow and Fieldhead

We’re excited to be working with citizens and organisations in the Ashbrow ward of Huddersfield and the Fieldhead neighbourhood of Birstall. With the support of the New Citizenship Project, together we’re learning how we can best work together to make our local places even better.

In June 2019, we shared stories of what makes us feel proud to be part of where we live. We then worked out the common themes in our stories (as well as what’s different), and talked about how we could use these as building blocks to help us work together better and help more people to get involved.

In December 2019, we were delighted to be back in Ashbrow and Fieldhead sharing stories about what’s happened over the past few months. We shared some suggested building blocks for our ongoing work together, based on the themes that are most important to people in Ashbrow and Fieldhead.

We’ve also been sharing what we’ve learned with senior managers at Kirklees Council. Some of the key questions the work has already raised are:

  • How might we put more trust in the people of Kirklees?
  • How might we promote and enable personal connections?
  • How might we encourage every person’s ability to contribute?
  • How might we provide buildings and greenspace where people can be together?
  • How might we celebrate people’s everyday efforts?

By changing how we work together in response to these questions, we hope to create stronger relationships between Kirklees Council and our citizens and partners, so that we can work together to make our local places even better. We’ll be sharing what we learn throughout that journey.

Citizens are already planning what to do next, based on what we’ve learned so far.


What’s happening in Fieldhead

Our workshops in the Fieldhead neighbourhood have been kindly hosted by Fieldhead Primary Academy, where children and adults are involved in planning the activities. Vice Principal Donna Popek told us that getting to know more people in the area “has opened up so many doors”. And we’ve seen how the school’s Pupil Parliament is really encouraging the children to have a voice in their local area.

Citizens have joined the Tenants and Residents Association since we first met and are helping others find out about what’s happening locally, and the children have organised community litter picks and made more connections with people in the area. Our participants are currently planning one or more activity days to bring people together, and thinking about more ways for children to go out and meet people in Fieldhead.

If you’d like to get involved in the work in Fieldhead, please contact Ashley Fothergill.
Email: ashley.fothergill@kirklees.gov.uk or call 07870 610278.


What’s happening in Ashbrow

Citizens and local organisations from across the Ashbrow ward have been participating in our workshops at the Top Club. There are already lots of great things happening in Ashbrow, and we’ve been talking about how to help even more people to get involved, and how to share the positive stories from Ashbrow more widely. We also talked openly about the challenges of working together (“Sometimes things are done in spite of the big organisations”) and how we might overcome these.

Participants are currently thinking about organising a kind of Freshers’ Fair for local organisations, so that people can get together and find out what’s going on locally and get involved. We’re also talking about ways of supporting people to tell the stories of our local places and the amazing things that are happening here.

If you’d like to get involved in the work in Ashbrow, please contact Claire Howe.
Email: claire.howe@kirklees.gov.uk or call 07812 106782


You can see a quick summary of our conversations in these live twitter threads from our workshops:

We’d like to say thank you to all the citizens who have already got involved in this important work.


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