The Work and Us

A big part of Lankelly’s work happens in relationship with people in five places around England – Barking and Dagenham, Gateshead, Greater Manchester, Oxford and York.

A group of us, from Lankelly and from each of the places, have been bringing together learning and insights from this work. We’ll be sharing these on Lankelly’s website over the next six weeks.

The work is varied but it is coherent. We want to disrupt ‘business as usual’, the dominant practices in places which result in further harm to people already subject to marginalisation. 

In each place there are interconnected networks of people coming together with this in mind. They come from all parts of the system – they are residents, many with direct experiences of oppression and marginalisation, they run small community groups, they work in charities and services, they are local funders, they work in statutory institutions. All are leaders in different ways. 

Lankelly’s resourcing provides time and space for them to come together to work out what it might take to loosen the cement around ‘the ways things are done’. This might be around commissioning practices, how foundation funding flows, whose voices are listened to and what counts as evidence, dominant narratives, mindsets and culture, how decisions are made and by whom and the stifling effect of rigid KPIs and metrics. 

In each place people are taking steps, in different ways, to bring alternatives to life. They are also building relationships of mutual understanding and solidarity in the process.   

We will be sharing lots of examples over the next few weeks. We hope it is a feast of ideas, from which you can pick and choose what is relevant to you. 

We don’t claim to have the answers, we make plenty of mistakes and we are learning as we go but we think this is important and urgent work. We would love to hear from others on a similar path and we invite anyone with an interest in this work to connect with us. 

Sarah Cassidy (Marmalade, Oxford), Carrina Gaffney (Lankelly Chase), Afshan D’Souza-Lodhi (GM Systems Changers), Rich Gibbons (Gateshead Coordination Team), Avril McIntyre (LC Associate, Barking and Dagenham), Cathy Stancer (Lankelly Chase), Emmie Wise (York MCN)