“Top-down; lacking input from community”

A while ago, I did a whole-day drop-in workshop at Pepys Resource Centre to see how people using this library feel about the regeneration of Deptford. It was an interactive workshop where people could choose how they wanted to express their opinions: by drawing, building a model, chatting and/or writing some comments in response to four questions. The latter two were the preferred choices.

I set up in the main library space where everybody could see me and I invited people to join me as they came in. It was a Wednesday, which meant Luciana and Joyce were there with many others. Luciana was assisting whoever came in, Joyce was teaching people to cook in the morning, the befriending club for the elderly was present and stayed for a community lunch, and downstairs there was a training course for local women. In the morning, before people arrived, Joyce showed me how to cook a simple, cheap but healthy and tasty meal in just 20 minutes. I also joined the community lunch where we all sat together and ate all the different things that were made that morning including ‘my’ dish. In the afternoon I chatted to the women on the course. Throughout the whole day, I engaged in interesting discussions with various people who came in about the changes happening in Deptford and collected views and comments. I leave it up to the reader to interpret the comments.