The Fact Find
Background – a scattered scarred environment
A conurbation made up of six towns, Stoke-on-Trent is densely populated with multi-cultural pockets spread across a city deeply impacted by the rapid decline of the Potteries and associated manufacturing industries.
Diversification and gentrification has evolved over the past decades with benefits to some and to the detriment of others. Low-income and unemployment induced poverty have led to inevitable poor health determinants and social breakdown.
Key Issues – an overlooked community and landscape
Out of area landlords and isolated large social housing estates left people feeling forgotten. Persistent offending, anti-social behaviour and major waste issues such as used condoms, discarded syringes and fly tipping posed serious health and mental wellbeing implications for residents. Children were growing up in a polluted environment, which they thought was the norm. Many areas became undesirable places to live with sub-standard housing stock. Homelessness became prevalent. The city urgently needed change. Stoke City Council rose to this challenge and one of the ways they implemented community led change was by setting up a team of community development workers called My Community Matters, formerly called My Health Matters.