This new report is part of the Centre’s community research project in partnership with ActEarly, UCL, Bradford Institute for Health Research and the University of York.
The research with local families included a project entitled ‘Thoughts on the Streets’ (pictured). This was one of the research team’s community-based methodologies that helped identify the stark reality for people living in Tower Hamlets. Many people are stuck in inadequate housing, and making the best use of the number of beautiful, but inadequately managed outside spaces, trying to provide the best start for their young families. The results focus on the intersection of the home inside and outside and identify current and potential synergies. Families participating propose much needed improvements that can and need to be made.
Four ongoing stressors and/or influencers emerge from the data, setting the backdrop to the interview responses:
1. In aiming to support their children’s wellbeing, families make trade-offs between positive features of the local area (particularly its accessibility and walkability, school provision and local friendships for their children) and the quality of their home environment (particularly lack of space or disrepair) and concerns about the local area.
2. Families needs from the physical environment change with each child’s age.
3. Unaffordable and/or unsuitable housing is a continual pressure for families which affects all family members, including children, to varying degrees.
4. Families are fighting a battle on their own due to stressors they feel are out of their control, for example repairs, improvements and anti-social behaviour, all of which are currently within the control of others.
The findings present a massive opportunity for all stakeholders, to plan a response together and deliver on that plan. The Bromley by Bow Centre, as one stakeholder, is fully committed to playing its part to forge the next steps and deliver on improving home lives, inside and outside, and residents’ wider health and wellbeing.