PBSA – Place Based Social Action.

We developed a strategy and co-created a PBSA plan for the local area of Bootle alongside 17 local organisations, which maximises opportunities for everyone in our shared community. The delivery of the 3-year plan began in 2019 when we were awarded funding from the DCMS/National Lottery Community Fund. Sefton Council are wholly supportive of this PBSA application as it aligns with their own strategic ambitions to move into a place-based community model for delivery of public services. This programme will allow the partners to develop more effective collaborations and learn from each other how, collectively, we can deliver the best for the people of Bootle. Bootle is indicative of many areas of deprivation in the UK in that we see deepening inequality and social division, public alienation from democratic processes and a loss of civic pride. PBSA starts with the belief that each person matters and that our relationships with each other are what makes society strong. It recognises that, acting together, we can all be better off, that some things can only be done collectively, and that some essential things have to be shared by all of us. PBSA involves people giving their time, expertise and other resources for the common good in a range of forms.

Our programme of social action has three strands: Food, Environmental and Art, all of which bring people together to participate in meaningful activities, encouraging communication, creative collaboration and a sense of being part of something, being involved. These activities collectively contribute to: enhancing the living and working environment through the co-design and creation of public artworks and greening projects to improve the town as well as connecting food growers & providers to better support our network of food banks and educate around healthy eating.

People are involved in a range of ways; from volunteering programmes which connect the corporate/public/community business sectors to clean and green large-scale ‘grot-spots’ across the town, to being offered training opportunities to upskill and ultimately deliver community-owned services, to simple neighbourly acts – delivering fresh produce to someone living alone and isolated. All these opportunities act to empower individuals to recreate a sense of community & belonging in their neighbourhood, restore civic pride and effect individual outcomes of improved employment options, better physical and mental health and reduced social isolation.

The PBSA programme continues for a further 3 years – 2022-2025, taking the learning and experience from the first phase, actioning effective delivery, establishing even wider partnerships and connecting our community more than ever!