Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network (WCEN) is a registered charity, first established as part of the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal in 2001
About our organisation
Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network (WCEN) is a registered charity, first established as part of the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal in 2001. 88 Networks were established across the country, in areas of multi deprivation, to bring together local people to inform decision making processes, as those who have lived-experiences of hardship and crisis, are best placed to inform what services and support they may need. Today, WCEN is the last Network still standing, still focused on our original mission to ‘bend the mainstream’ so that public funds are being deployed in areas of greatest need. Our focus is on addressing structural inequalities and discrimination, focusing on equality, human rights and social justice. We do this through collaboration with our Public Agencies, and in fellowship with our Churches, Mosques, Temples, Community and Neighbourhood Groups, Social Networks and other places of associations to be the centre of early help and prevention, and for their active citizens to be the agents of change.
The change we want to see
We all live and thrive in association with each other. When we have challenges in our lives, it is often people within our own families, communities and networks we turn to for help and assistance. Public agencies, like the NHS and Local Authority departments, were first established to provide a safety net for people who may be experiencing difficulties, but have morphed and transfigured into bureaucracies that have become separated from the communities they seek to serve, becoming instead systems that predominately serve themselves. This has resulted in major system failures and gross structural inequalities, leading to high rates of mortality, particularly amongst marginalised groups, and unnecessary hardship, distress and hurt for many. We want to see the power and resources vested in these institutions being distributed in much more equitable ways, with the huge amount of diverse capabilities, knowledge and experiences held in our civic society becoming enabled to act as co-producers of the changes we want to see.