Neighbourhoods: Implications for Policy and Practice. A Training Guide for Professional Workers in Urban Neighbourhoods

By Dorit Brown and Duncan Scott.

Available from: Community Education Development Centre

Lyng Hall, Blackberry Lane

Coventry CV2 3JS

Price £32.17 (inc. p&p)

The training materials consist of a video and guide containing
activities and exercises designed to prompt discussion about
concepts of neighbourhood and community.

The video is an excellent medium for promoting discussion about
what professional and lay people think a neighbourhood is. The
video consists of still photographs and a running commentary from
residents of two contrasting neighbourhoods: Cheetam Hill and

The impact is strong, as their experiences and understanding of
neighbourhoods are so different and varied.

Cheetam Hill is a reflection of inner city Manchester;
Northenden of the suburbs. One is rich in racial diversity and
culture, the other is a white neighbourhood, with a visible elderly
population. There are stark images of deprivation in one and
affluence in the other. There is also an insight into how
boundaries are seen, the Jewish population in Cheetam Hill regard
their community status differently from the Asian,
African-Caribbean and white communities.

The richness of this diversity and what it brings to the
neighbourhood contrasts with Northenden where there appears to be
less enthusiasm and respect for new black residents.

The value of the package lies in the sense of personal insight
it gives into the experiences and perceptions of what constitutes a
neighbourhood. There is also an element of identification with the
image shown, and the commentary made. It is clear there is a
looking back to your own neighbourhood and a consideration of its
similarities or differences to those shown.

The materials will be valuable to anyone involved in work with
neighbourhoods, communities or localities, youth work and personal
development schemes. The video is interesting and thought
provoking, the accompanying guide offers easy to follow exercises
and offers scope for lively discussion. The photographs used in the
video are assimilated in the text which adds to the package’s
innovation and creativity.

Robina Shah is psychologist and race equality officer,
Manchester Council for Community Relations.

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