An innovative style of community engagement is being launched across the Royal Borough using the World Café approach, with the first event due to be held in Clewer East and Clewer and Dedworth East on 15 June.
The aim is to bring people together to identify and discuss those issues that matter most in their communities, share ideas, and find community-led solutions. Present at these events will be council representatives from different teams and from a diverse mix of local organisations to listen to get a better understanding of how to shape their own services.
World cafes are a growing and proven form of informal social innovation across the globe because they can empower inclusivity and honest conversations between communities and stakeholders on set topics.
There are plans to hold World Cafes in every ward across the borough during the coming year, and attendance is free. Events are due to be held in Ascot and Sunninghill (Ascot Durning Library) on 7 July, and in Hurley and Walthams (venue to be confirmed) on 21 July. For those unable to attend Clewer East and Clewer and Dedworth East on 15 June, a Clewer and Dedworth West event is planned for 9 August in Dedworth Library.
Councillor Andrew Johnson, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Growth and Opportunity, said: “The best ideas and solutions often develop through informal discussions rather than more formal processes. The World Café format enables inclusive and open conversations to better understand our communities’ views and knowledge on a set topic.
“Through this listening process, we want to empower our communities and enable sustainable change. We encourage you therefore to look out for the events being held in your ward, come along, share your ideas. This new approach is a great opportunity to make real and lasting changes where you live.”
The launch of the borough’s World Cafés also coincides with the council’s Love Your Community campaign, running throughout this month, celebrating the Royal Borough’s thriving communities. The campaign started on 1 June, in time with National Volunteers’ Week.
The Royal Borough has a rich range of community groups, events, activities, and a vibrant voluntary and community sector. The Covid pandemic empowered stronger partnerships between the council and the borough’s different communities. Within weeks of the outbreak, the Royal Borough was home to 76 community-based initiatives, with localised community hubs comprising of public sector partners including GP and social prescribers, faith groups, charities, businesses, politicians and local neighbours, all working in unison to support residents.The council is keen to build on this closer collaboration to continue supporting stronger, better connected and more resilient communities.
A full list of the confirmed World Café events and their venues, how to book, and planned events across the borough for the coming year can be found at World Cafes | RBWM Together.
To find out about volunteering opportunities across the Royal Borough visit Volunteering in RBWM | RBWM Together.