Audio Stories Reports

Andrea/John [Part 2] Andrea gives some advice on working together


Reported by John

Reported by Andrea

Published on Friday, October 27th, 2023

Community Service Delivery Support and Relationships
Audio Stories Reports

Andrea/John [Part 2] Andrea gives some advice on working together


Written by Andrea

Written by Andrea

Published on Friday, October 27th, 2023

Community

Service Delivery

Support and Relationships

               

Andrea recently interviewed John about his experience in the U.K. At the end of that interview Andrea offered John some advice. We thought that advice was worth sharing. Unfortunately the audio was to difficult to edit so this is a lightly edited transcript of that conversation. 

Transcription from Audio [Audio Unavailable]

John 

I believe it’s more about a lot of organisations, especially the bigger ones, they’re more interested in the funding that they can get in seeming to work with certain people, but it doesn’t seem that they use their budgets as much to help people. I believe it’s more that they get a lot of the funding and they use that for administration costs, i.e, wages. In terms of actually practically helping people, I don’t really see that. It’s just on paper. The only groups that I see that really are trying to do something about the situations are CICs and small charities that are run by people who have lived experience and are from the community itself. 

 

Andrea 

How do you feel those groups are doing within Coventry? 

 

John 

They’re doing what they can with how much they have. Of course, if they had more funding, they could do a lot more. But a lot of these groups, they’ve got passionate people that run them. Some people that are also helping these people, but it’s not enough funding. 

 

Andrea 

That’s definitely the end goal. What do you feel like their next step should be? 

 

John 

To get more funding? Yeah. We need more money  

 

Andrea 

I will frame it for you. What you need to do… I am actually an activist. That’s why I’m questioning you and finding out what’s actually going on up there. What you will need to do is get together, all of the local groups together, and start going for your funding that way, put all of your events together. If you agree with each other’s principles, your aims, and your objectives, then you work together. When it comes to applying for your funding, the funders will see the list of groups compared to that one organisation. If they see all of you lot together and they see them on their own, they’re more likely to come to you because you’ve got more going for you and you’re going to be able to get more people together. That’s what you need to do. 

 

John 

I’ll keep that in mind. 

 

Andrea 

If you also need support with that, you let me know and I will help you with it. I’ve also got contacts in Coventry as well. That’s why I was interested. I actually know your MP, Zara Sultana  

 That’s why I was questioning you about that because I’m being nosy and I can also get in contact with her team. Do you know what I mean? That’s what you need to do. You have to get the masses. That’s how you are able to do things here. You have to get the collective. Because if it’s individual groups going for that same funding, you’re not going to achieve anything. But if you come together you can be a lot more effective. Do you know what I mean? And in terms of social media, well, the biggest social media platform in this country at the moment is TikTok. So you put all your actions on there. Nobody can compete with TikTok, Facebook and stuff. Facebook is mainly for your average Joes that are at home. Twitter is for your media, your MPs, all of the politicians. But TikTok is where the young people are. That can also open you up to a new audience as well. Do you know what I mean?  

There’s so many different avenues. Don’t be put off just because they’ve got a bigger budget and they can put themselves on TV. That doesn’t matter because not everyone’s watching TV. Young ones are not watching TV. They’re on Snapchat. At the end of the day, they’re only marketing to a particular type of people, which is normally in this country, you’re over 40s that are watching TVs. If you go on the street and you do actions, if you do your stalls, give out information about what you’re doing, then do you know what I mean? You get yourself out there.  

 You can give out your leaflets, get your social media out that way, do QR codes for your different campaigns and stuff. But what you do is you get together against these organizations. That’s what you do. That’s how you fight to be heard.  

 

 John 

But my question is this. I do agree with you. But these groups are of made up of  different types of people, different cultures. It’s not necessary that there’s a communication problem, but they are not really close. Like, should I say we don’t really have such a strong bond or relationship that we can say, ‘Oh, hey, let’s put all our money together.’  

 

Andrea 

No, you don’t put all of your money together. What you do is you apply for the funding to do it together. You don’t put all of your money together. That’s your money. That’s what you’ve got. You don’t do that. But when you’re applying for refugee events, which do come up, you go together. Say, for example, you’ve got you’ve got another four or five different groups. You apply for one event for one amount of funding and you all do something together with that one amount of funding. That’s how you go about it. 

 

John 

Okay, I’ll keep that in mind. 

Andrea 

Makes sense, actually. That’s how you do it and that’s how it works in Wandsworth. We have had success doing things in this way because we are working together. As a result mainstream organisations have to listen to us. They can’t compete against more organizations as one. It doesn’t matter whether they’ve got better, social media presence is what is going to be on offer to the residents, you know what I mean? If there’s all of the groups in one, you’re going to have Blacks, you’re going to have Asians, you’re going to have Eastern Europeans, you’re going to have all types of people. And they are just them, they’re just going to have themselves and they’re a little clique, isn’t it? Yeah. It’s as simple as that. You’re going to have sway over people. Exactly. That’s how you go about these things. You have to do it collectively. But you don’t give the other organisations you work with your money, that remains your money. And that’s for your organization and your cost. But when it comes to funding that’s available for refugees, you all apply together in that way.  That’s what I’m saying. 

John 

Okay. What about developing the relationship? 

 

Andrea 

What you do is you set up a network of the groups and become a Coventry refugee network. What you do is you can either meet monthly or quarterly, and you let each other know what’s going on in your groups. Then you can take ideas from each other, get new ideas from them, to promote yourself. You could even arrange days where you’re doing stalls together and handing out your information together. You get their information, you find out about what they’re doing. What I mean is you give them your information, they find out what you do so you’re not clashing and you’re not doing the same things or providing the same services. That’s how you go about it. But you can meet up. There’s groups that meet up quarterly. There’s groups that meet up monthly. You could even meet up weekly to get it off the ground. But yeah, setting up a network for refugees, you can do it. 

 

John 

Okay. That’s a great one. 

 

Andrea 

Thank you. 

 

 

Written by Andrea


I am a freelance journalist interested in empowering vulnerable communities to have their stories heard

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