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Let's Help One Another. Seniors And Prisoners Are Improving Fordon

Counteracting exclusion Completed
City Hall Bydgoszcz, Bydgoszcz, Poland
2015-03-01 - 2016-04-30
299 212,75 PLN
259 509,71 PLN
Project description
Stary Fordon is Bydgoszcz’s most neglected district. Originally, it was a town with a population of 9,000; upon having been made part of Bydgoszcz in 1973, it began depopulating (today: 4,000 residents) and degrading. Local trade fell, the unemployment rate is thrice that in Bydgoszcz in general (approximately 26%), 23% of residents are social welfare clients (6 times higher than the local average – “Stary Fordon – Reclamation 2013” report). There is a penitentiary unit next to the market square, a central night shelter for the homeless nearby.
The project purpose was to integrate local community members by creating a community workshop with open access to anyone willing to improve degraded surroundings.
A workshop was formed as a venue for local residents, the homeless from the local shelter, and prison inmates with outside work permits.
The workshop serves people interested in improving the district’s quality of life.
A group of 30 inmates, homeless, and local residents renovated a former bookshop (destroyed and unused for over ten years) and organised a workshop within. The integration process was supported by a psychologist (individual and group sessions). Participants jointly decided to develop a community garden – they set up 42 wooden crates filled with soil and plants in the local square. Six benches, 2 tables, and 2 dustbins were produced for the recreation area. A performance stage, nativity scene, and installation for historical reconstructions were developed on workshop premises, also used for craftsmanship and DYI classes and culinary meetings. Three local fetes were organised to show the workshop and its produce.
Project beneficiaries included 30 persons (10 inmates, homeless persons and Stary Fordon residents each), and over 400 open event participants.
The Bydgoszcz-Fordon penitentiary unit recruited 10 inmates for project purposes. The Bydgoszcz City Hall offered premises and a donation to purchase materials required for the workshop. The Residents’ Council of the Stary Fordon housing estate facilitated contact with local residents.
We use the grant for capacity building