Social Life returns to South Acton to measure social impacts of regeneration

We are proud to launch the third Acton Gardens social sustainability study with Social Life and the University of Reading. The study builds on previous assessments in 2015 and 2018 and explores how the Acton Gardens regeneration programme is affecting people living in South Acton.

To read the summary report, please click here.

The research took place over an extraordinary period in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when most residents were staying at home, schools were shut and many people found themselves spending unprecedented amounts of time in the local area.

We were keen to continue the third round of this research to ensure the study captured the experiences of a community and a country living through crisis. The difficulties of life were reflected in many conversations and survey responses and mirrored national reactions to the lockdown. The research also gave valuable insight into residents’ experiences of the pandemic and how relationships, social networks and the work of different agencies supported resilience and helped people get by.

The study made six recommendations for Acton Gardens that we are already getting to work on to further support the local community through the regeneration as well as the longer-term challenges left behind by the pandemic.

These actions include:

  • supporting local partners and organisations through the Acton Gardens Community Chest’s annual £50,000 funding pot to develop new projects and activities, especially looking at food poverty and engaging communities with food growing
  • supporting the set up of the Acton Gardens Development Trust which will become the community’s long term stewardship charity which will be able to access external funding and create local initiatives
  • providing continued personalised support from L&Q’s regeneration team and Ealing’s decant team to council residents during the moving process
  • working with resident members of the Acton Gardens Community Board to develop the group’s accountability and impact through the introduction of thematic meetings that focus on key updates and an action tracker to formally raise and track issue
  • working with residents and the Community Board to develop the retail and community facilities offer at Acton Gardens which will see the opening of a brand new health centre, barber, nursery, educational centre and café by early 2022.

We have made a commitment to repeat this social sustainability assessment every two to three years throughout the regeneration programme and Social Life will be back at South Acton in 2023 to continue this research.

To read the previous Social Life reports, please click on the links below:

2015 Social Life Study

2018 Social Life Study

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