Between 2001 and March 2012 VAC hosted and supported the Camden Community Empowerment Network (CEN). CEN’s were established in 2001 under the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal as a mechanism to promote community engagement in local decision-making and influence change at a local level. In March 2012 funding for CamdenCEN was withdrawn.
- Facilitated voluntary and community sector involvement in consultations and decision-making processes
- Hosted regular seminars with voluntary and community organisations on issues that affect the sector
- Gathered voluntary and community organisations’s perspectives on sector-specific issues and fed these back to strategic and decision-making bodies
- Provided training for organisations and individuals working with the public sector to shape policy and strategy
- Circulated briefings and factsheets on topical issues to keep the sector informed
- Carried out research and gathered evidence to promote the value of voluntary and community sector activity.
Changing role and ongoing work
With the role of the Local Strategic Partnership and other strategic boards under review, CamdenCEN began work on the Camden Blueprint project in response to interest generated by a seminar on the Localism agenda in March 2011. Under the Localism Act, changes to the planning system expected to give communities greater power and ownership over policies and plans that affect their local area by allowing people to develop their own local plans. This is called ‘Neighbourhood Planning’.
Through providing independent support and facilitation to two very different neighbourhoods in Camden, CamdenCEN sought to learn how neighbourhood planning could work in the borough and by March 2012 had developed a Camden Blueprint to share the learning with other communities and with borough planners.
Whilst funding for CamdenCEN was withdrawn in March 2012, some of its work now continues through other channels. To find out more about ongoing work and the Camden Blueprint project please visit the CamdenCEN website, or alternatively contact Donna Turnbull (Strategy and Policy Officer for CamdenCEN: 2001 -2012) using the contact details provided below.
Tel: 020 7284 6567 (Typetalk: 18001-020 7284 6567)