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The Kensington Community can be found on the edge of Liverpool city centre. A previously prosperous community, it began declining in the1990s, becoming one of the most disadvantaged wards in the city.

Kensington is a diverse, lively place, set against a continuing backdrop of housing issues, high unemployment, low educational achievement, serious health problems and lack of community cohesion and networking.

Here, members of the Creative Civic Change project Kensington Vision CIC share their experiences of the programme.

Encouraging community cohesion and engagement

Kensington Vision CIC was established as a grassroots organisation in 2007, aimed at encouraging community cohesion and engagement.

It consisted of a group of residents passionate about giving local people a voice as well as supporting them to grow in confidence. It also ran engaging projects and promoted opportunities for people to use their talents creatively and effectively.

Kensington Vision was set up by Steve Faragher and Wendy Miller, who eventually built a team of eight staff and over 30 volunteers. It was supported by partner organisations in the local community, including D-Street Media, Twinvision, AVCT and KCLC.

With backing from Creative Civic Change, we were able to keep our community radio station alive and introduce a wider range of creative services in the local area.

We have an open-door policy for volunteers and help people to gain skills, develop a voice, gain self-confidence, knowledge and a better understanding of how they can contribute to their community.”
Kensington Vision staff 

How creativity changed our community

We established and developed Liverpool’s only volunteer-led community radio station, which broadcasts on FM 24 hours a day. After training local people to become involved in radio via our AVAGO radio training programme, we hosted over 500 guests on our lunchtime radio show.

Alongside the radio station, our community café, The Croissant of Inequality, has been the focus for many of our inclusive activities, ranging from art classes and crafts sessions, to a regular guitar workshop and therapeutic music sessions.

Over the past three years we have created two successful community festivals, a community chalking wall, murals and radio plays, all whilst helping local artists to develop their practice, work and career.

Kensington Vision CIC also published a community newspaper which was delivered to every home in the ward.

“It has given me some structure to my life, somewhere to go, confidence and feeling I have a role in the community and something to offer.
Kensington Vision participant

Michaela’s story

Michaela, 34, lives in the local area in supported accommodation and has long-standing struggles with her mental health. After taking part in our radio training sessions, Michaela became a regular presenter on Liverpool Community Radio. After embarking on the new challenge, she grew in confidence and became a valued volunteer in our community café, also carrying out paid work for the project.

Looking to the future

To mark the end of our CCC journey, we commissioned a local artist to produce a mobile mural to highlight the activities and projects which took place over the last three years. This will be put on display in our community café and can be taken with us to public events and community activities throughout the local area.