We are working in conjunction with Kensington and Chelsea Social Council to deliver a joint project called K&C Together, a programme that aims to increase the number of Kensington & Chelsea residents working, paid and unpaid, in the borough’s voluntary and community organisations (VCOs). The target population are those who are marginalised, experiencing structural barriers to inclusion, and so are less likely to be found in K&C VCOs, particularly (though not exclusively) in decision-making roles. We think that the better these organisations reflect the reality of life in the borough and the people who live in it, the greater their ability to tackle the causes of the problems local people care most about.
The programme seeks to include and enable anyone who can benefit from it, so we are promoting K&C Together widely and talking with anyone who wants to get involved. We will specifically target people from groups least represented in local VCOs, including:
- People under 25 years of age
- People who identify as disabled or have a life-limiting health condition
- People who identify as being from groups that experience discrimination because of their gender- especially women.
- People who identify as being from groups that experience discrimination because of their ethnicity
- People who identify as being from groups that experience discrimination based on their religion
- People who identify as being from groups that experience discrimination based on their sexual orientation
We know that poverty is one of the biggest barriers to people realising their potential. While many voluntary and community organisations in K&C aim to work with people from low-income households, people with first-hand experience of poverty can face a range of barriers to getting paid or voluntary roles in these groups, so K&C Together also targets people living in low income households.
If you face a barrier to getting involved that isn’t on our list we still want to hear from you. We have asked some local people with experience of the barriers on our list to join us in designing and delivering K&C Together because we know we don’t have all the answers and we need help from you to improve things.
How we plan to work
First, we want to understand what you love, what you’re good at, what your goals are, and any things that get in the way of where you want to go. We aim to discuss these things with you and make a plan together. Ways we can help include:
- Finding a role that fits the caring responsibilities you have – for children, a sibling, parent, friend or a partner
- Finding a voluntary role that fits the paid work you’re doing or, if the amount of paid work you have varies, a voluntary role that’s flexible enough that you can do it when you have time and in a convenient place- looking how what support you might need with benefits.
- Helping you build your confidence for the role you want – maybe by starting small, or in a way that means you can try something out without committing long-term
- Helping you build the skills and knowledge you need for a role – we run workshops, and connect you to a range of sessions run by our partners, too – including building your confidence with reading and writing, number work, basic IT skills, understanding of the types of organisations you are applying to, how they relate to each other and how to get the best out of them
- Helping you to demonstrate that you are the right person for a role you want – CV development, interview preparation
- Connecting you with like-minded people with whom you can share experiences, navigate the voluntary and community sector, and get back up when things are tough
- Supporting you in the early stages of your journey if you need it – coaching, mentoring, making introductions to new people and organisations
In addition to working with you we will also be working with the organisations to enable them to recognise the barriers they present and start to dismantle them.