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An essay on the concept of place in policy

Renaisi was set up in 1998 to work in, with and for deprived neighbourhoods. Our definition of deprivation and scale of work was very much of its time – an era of significant government investment – and a focus on neighbourhoods drove our work. While much has changed in the intervening twenty years, not least

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Vidhya Alakeson: Better places through community business

Ennerdale Bridge is a small village in the Western Lake District. Eleven miles from Carlisle, it is as beautiful as it is remote. In 2011, when the only pub in the village was threatened with closure, residents came together and raised £67,000 in just eight days to keep it open. Buoyed by that success, they

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Pakistan Youth and Community Association, Leicester

Helen Walker: Speaking the language

When you think of ‘improving or changing a place’ you instantly think of physical change – improving the environment, building housing, creating ‘space’. But what if you thought ‘this place would be better if I could speak the language?’ If you were isolated by your lack of ability to speak English even when you had

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Thomas Neumark: There’s mixing and there’s mixing

In 1902 George Gillett, the founder of The Peel (a charity working in Clerkenwell, London) and future Labour MP wrote that, in London, “the evils of poverty, overcrowding, intemperance and vice are to be found in some of their most aggravated forms, side by side with a world of pleasure and luxury rarely surpassed in

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Bethia McNeil

Bethia McNeil: Collective change and collective impact

I work in the business of measuring and understanding change. I do this because I believe that understanding whether and how the work of the social sector creates change will improve that same work. It’s an interesting tension that improving how the social sector relates to and engages communities (arguably its primary role) might not

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