OurSpace: Exploring Authentic Community Engagement

This is a unique time to re-imagine community organisations, and their role in offering recovery support to local communities. It is important to hear from a range of voices, and particularly from those most affected by this current crisis and by forms of long-standing economic and social injustice. We are recognising a need to redistribute power locally, and to examine our own and key decision-makers’ positions and privileges, before jumping into the work of rebuilding. 

How and in what ways could, should, and/or might this happen in our communities? 

What are practical ways to shift our working patterns and build more authentic relationships with a wide range of community stakeholders? What are some of the challenges that we encounter when building community relationships, and how could they be overcome?

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  • Exploring the radical nature of community work
  • Mapping barriers to authentic community engagement
  • Addressing inequalities and injustice in your community context
  • Practical tools and methods to build meaningful relationships with a broad range of community stakeholders
  • An enriched idea of how community engagement can work for your organisation
  • A practical toolkit for building more authentic relationships in community
  • Community practitioners and leaders
  • Community businesses
  • Social and community projects and initiatives

Stephanie Gamauf is the Co-Founder of OurSpace, a grant-funded multi-partner programme working across community centres in Lambeth to build locally-rooted leadership capacity and to design new solutions towards greater diversity and inclusion. She recently published the OurSpace Toolkit for Inclusive Spaces, a collection of practical tools and advice for community practitioners. 

She previously worked as Head of Programmes and Community at Impact Hub Brixton, a community-focussed coworking space. Stephanie has extensive experience in supporting the growth of local businesses, and working on community-led placemaking. She designed and delivered enterprise programmes for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Her management of 'Open Project Night', a platform for community innovation in Brixton supported the growth of more than 130 local ventures.

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