In this introductory blog, Ieva Pojuner tells us info about her role as Community Action Intern working with the Community Savers groups in Miles Platting.

Alongside my role within CLASS, I am a final year Social Anthropology and Sociology student at the University of Manchester. I spent the summer of 2022 as an intern with Greater Together Manchester, supporting a Social Super Market pilot project to tackle food poverty and food waste. This experience enlightened me about the strong sense of community that has been created by local residents and frontline workers in Miles Platting. I was eager to continue supporting those living in the area and across Manchester, which led me to the Community Action Internship with CLASS.

I have connected strongly with Community Savers as a women-led organisation after studying intersectionality and feminist theory. This really made me aware of how women face additional barriers in inequitable socioeconomic conditions. It has been inspiring to learn more about how these groups come together and support each other during these current times of economic and political uncertainty. I am looking forward to learning from these relationships throughout all my community action work this year.

My work with CLASS has particularly focused on the Miles Platting Community and Age Friendly Network (MPCAN). After a few months of working with action groups across Miles Platting, it has been eye-opening to learn how representatives from across the community congregate to think collectively and engage in collaborative ways. Communication is at the heart of these networks, and it has been a pleasure to begin supporting MPCAN to maintain this. I have really enjoyed getting to know key members of the community and hearing about their priorities for ongoing local developments. Being a part of these conversations and listening to such critical pieces of dialogue is something I am grateful for. Although it has only been a couple months, I have learnt a lot about what it takes for a community to build trust and positive social relations. Even when there may be setbacks, the individuals in this community can always come together to find meaningful resolutions.

As for 2023, I am looking forward to making progress with MPCAN regarding plans for a new social club in Miles Platting. I anticipate this project to be very rewarding as we continue to facilitate community consultations and create a space for residents to socialise and connect with one another. This development, once completed, will be enjoyed by future generations to come, and I am excited to support its journey through each stage.