Community Psychology Festival
At Bridge 5 Mill, Manchester, the BPS presented an action based festival. Skilled practitioners from around the world were delivering action based models. Their innovative solution addressed pressing austerity issues.
The agenda was about making a better society and a just world.
It was refreshing and moving to be in the company of people who cared about others.
These committed activists had a sparkle and magic in their eyes. Everyone at this festival had belief, conviction, drive, energy and skilled expertise. They made things happen. One of the presenters is doing a Ph.D. about spirituality. Whatever your religion, there was something special going on in Ancoats. The conference shed light and illuminating insights that need recognition and implementing now.
The strength of the conference message was its venue in help locating issues. Engles made similar observations while in Manchester for his seminal work. Even after building regeneration, southern visitors commented about the east Manchester environment. An Italian claimed it was worse in North Italy.
A strength of the festival was its art, dance, graphics, photography and video. Together with social media hashtags, this was the glue that helped communicate the agenda.
On The Move Workshop
As a Gerard Egan, post-grad facilitator, educated with the Chicago School of process consulting, I wanted to see it in action. Catherine Dobson's, 'On The Move' (OTM) workshop captured this. Her aim was to get the group to re-think how people work together and inprove meeting outcomes.
The workshop set task was how to raise the profile of Bridge 5 Mill and increase its football. The OTM workshop explored east Manchester by walking the streets and its canals.
Egan would be proud of the these conversations. Here were people collaborating in non-threatening contexts, being creative and delivering sharp insights through walking conversations. It solved many issues and addressed the Bridge 5 Mill’s solutions.
Want to know more about OTM Consulting? Contact Catherine Dobson 0n 07850 198455 and firstname.lastname@example.org
I got a lot from this festival. Everyone involved deserves recognition and big thanks for making a successful, thought-provoking event.
Please get back to me if you want audio recordings, photography and video to communicate your projects.
Austerity hurts those with the greatest needs. Do something positive now.
Eddy Jackson MBE
54° North Studio
Photojournalism| Video Production | Education Online Media
BPS Community Psychology Festival 21st November 2015
Bridge 5 Mill, Ancoats, Manchester
Feedback responses to the OTM conversation/consultation walking workshop:
General features of ‘On the Move’ as an approach
- Enjoyable to take time to engage with the environment
- Helps pay attention to detail of our world
- Scenic routes helps you feel calm
- Fresh air helps a clear head, promotes ideas and thoughts
- The sunny day helped the enjoyment
- Different people picked up on different aspects of the environment
- The kinds of discussions were fluid and would not have happened sitting down at a table
- Walking in such a place is good for ‘team building’ and cohesion of the group
- Easy to talk to someone when you are walking alongside, less awkward
- More direction
- Just lovely to get outside and walk
- It was nice walking and chatting to each other.
- This kind of workshop should be planned for everybody, all the participants of the Festival
- Really enjoyable!
Relevance of location for ‘On the Move’
- Interesting to know the place and its natural context
- Talked about the regeneration and gentrification of the area
- Talked about place identity and historical context
- Being in the environment and walking through it is a different way of having conversations about it. It was great to hear more about the history, local campaigns and the local community – gave more depth to the experience
- Enjoyed the walk and seeing more of Manchester than I would normally go to.
Participants OTM feedback on how to increase footfall at Bridge 5 Mill
Comments about the location of Bridge 5 Mill and nearby geographic features
- Ancoats Dispensary campaign is an inspiring movement – link this to the activities at Bridge 5 Mill
- Having better signs from the road and from the canal
Comments about activities within Bridge 5 Mill
- Community involvement eg gardening, workshops, café
- Open the Mill up for events – heritage open days, sustainability workshops, art workshops – AND promote these
- Thinking about – what would I be coming here for? – a meeting, an event, a workshop…what else would bring me here? A café….Something to look at, such as art gallery…could it be a destination for a walk along the canal?
- Hold regular meetings or classes here
- Have a café – along-side the canal
- It looks a bit of a ‘ghost place’
- Organise sports activities and other cultural activities to promote and let people know it can be used in a different way
- Use as a cultural and social centre to let people meet and participate in the community
- Making links with the Ancoats/Rochdale canal regeneration groups
- Place for display of canal antiquities, pictures, art and sculpture, stories
History of the building
- Having a display about the history of the building, links to the local and regional textile industry, relevance of being beside the canal, how local people were employed, what the different rooms were used for
- What was the route of the silk industry – import, export and transportation of goods, what was made and how
- How did people work at the mill, where did they come from and what did they What did the machinery look like?
Importance of building design, ‘sustainability’
- Build on its sustainability and eco-features as a venue
- To organise events, festival of music, art, to help people come and enjoy the place
- Having solar panels or other forms of heating
- Good insulation is important – though the building was not designed to keep people warm, rather for cooling down machinery
- This is a nice place –can it be developed in a non-modern way?