How it started
It was back on a cold Wednesday night in November that ROC hosted a “ROC conversation” at Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton. It was a very inspiring and exciting evening as nearly 400 people came together to talk about what is going on in our county and what could be done about it. There was representation from many areas of the community including police, councils, 3rd sector organisations and voluntary groups, and faith communities.
Even after these last few months have passed by we still hold the record for the largest ROC conversation that has been held! Congratulations to everyone on being a part!
Further to that large county-wide conversation, 4 other “mini” conversations took place at the end of January in Northampton North East, Kettering, Wellingborough and Rushden & Raunds. Each one was really well attended as well. These 4 conversations took place over an intense 2 day period. Each one had its own flavour reflecting the area it was in, as well as some powerful themes. With the launch of the CIRV initiative, gang-related issues were a particular focus.
Overall, around 600 people cross the county engaged with the ROC conversations. These have had a significant impact on their own. Our community matters, and these events demonstrated that there are many people willing to be a part of better.
“The night was inspirational and was so impressed by the passion and commitment of those here”
What has happened from the ROC conversations?
There are a number of outcomes from the ROC conversations in Northamptonshire. Many of these are not “measurable”, but we have heard enough examples of them to know that this has gone on all over the place:
- INSPIRATION – people came away from the conversations inspired to do something simple. One person said to me “I have always meant to have my neighbours round for a coffee, I really must do that”.
- INFORMATION – people came away more aware of what was going on in their communities and the issues, including for example the impact of isolation and loneliness, the challenges that young people face these days and of course the wonderful work that so many people already do to help others.
- CONNECTION – we have heard of many cases of individuals and organisations connecting in new ways as a result of the ROC conversations, from “I never knew your organisation existed, we should work together” to “I have exactly the resource that you need for what you do” and even “you and I have the same idea, let’s work together!”.
- ACTION – it seems many people don’t need more conversation to get on do something, they just do it. We have heard of further work with the homeless in Wellingborough, developing ideas for youth in Northampton, some brilliant work with mental health (particularly “well-being cafes”).
Following these conversations 4 Action Groups have been meeting, with over 100 people having attended. Those Action Groups have, in total, 14 sub-groups also working to focus in particular areas. As the work continues these are moving and reshaping, but it is fantastic to have a forum to develop idea with some highly skilled and committed people.
Community Church Northampton
St Giles Northampton
Christian Police Association