Community Connectors

About the Project

Projects led by community leaders in Coventry was put into action as part of Coventry City of Culture 2021.

A group of 10 Community Connectors co-created cultural projects within their communities, developing and collaborating on projects which create meaningful participation opportunities for community members, following the success of the first cohort launched last year.

The programme, was delivered by Coventry City of Culture Trust and 64 Million Artists, it gave community leaders the platform to engage with their local area by improving and using community spaces, putting on a community event, or creating a piece of art.

It was part of the Love Coventry programme, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, which took Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 to neighbourhoods and streets across the city.

This round of projects aimed to work directly with people living in Wyken, Foleshill, Longford, Bablake, Upper Stoke, Canal Basin, Binley, Willenhall, Stoke Aldemoor, Whitley, Cheylesmore and other city communities.

The first group of participants delivered projects in Foleshill, Henley Green, Finham and Stivichall, Earlsdon, Stoke Aldemoor, Holbrooks and the city centre.

Keep scrolling to find out more about each of our 18 Connectors, and the projects they are working on.

Produced by the Coventry City of Culture Trust and 64 Million Artists with support from The National Lottery Community Fund.

If you would like to know more about the Community Connectors programme click the 'Email Us' button to get in touch and we'll get back to you.

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INTRODUCING THE COVENTRY COMMUNITY CONNECTORS

Video: Community Connectors: Meet the Second Cohort

Video: Community Connectors: Introduction to the Programme and First Cohort
Credit: Mindriot Productions

Audio Described Version

Projects & Events

Ground 2 Table: Taster Session

Have you ever wanted to grow your own fruit and veg organically or become part of an allotment community but don't know where to start? Then help is at hand. We would like to invite 6 local family groups (this includes single parent families) to join us at Henley Mill allotments in the CV2 area of Coventry.

This project is part of the Community Connectors programme.

25th June 2022

Coventry in Colour Exhibition

From February to May 2022, creatives predominantly from Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage backgrounds have created postcards. Come along to Inini Initiative and see the 200+ postcards created.

This project is part of the Community Connectors programme.

6th - 10th June 2022

The Good Neighbours Songwriting Project

Stylusboy, Coventry singer-songwriter Steve Jones, will be sharing the songs he has written at an intimate live performance at The Welcome Centre in Coventry. You are invited to come and hear the songs and find out more about Good Neighbours.

This event is part of the Community Connectors programme.

30th May 2022

Creative Wellness Project

Have you ever desired a creative space of self-expression and self-exploration through your fertility journey? Or maybe a creative, safe space where you can practice self-care?

This project is part of the Community Connectors programme.

7th to 26th May 2022

The Village Butty

Visit the floating village hall at the heart of the canal basin and find out more about our spring celebrations.

Supported by the Community Connectors programme.

29th April - 16th May 2022

Beats the Streets

A FREE family fun day with live music performances, free sports sessions, a rap workshop with MC Liburd, creative writing activities, bouncy castles, food and drink and postcard making.

This event is part of the Community Connectors programme.

30th April 2022

 

Your Community Connectors

Image of Dan De Feo. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Image of Dan De Feo. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Dan De Feo

North East

About Dan

Image of Curtis Liburd. Photo by Jamie Gray.

Image of Curtis Liburd. Photo by Jamie Gray.

Curtis Liburd

North East

About Curtis

Image of Chloe Deakin. Photo by Jamie Gray.

Image of Chloe Deakin. Photo by Jamie Gray.

Chloe Deakin

North East

About Chloe

Image of Olugbemi Moronfolu. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Image of Olugbemi Moronfolu. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Olugbemi Moronfolu

North West

About Olugbemi

Image of Anna Crockatt (right). Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Image of Anna Crockatt (right). Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Anna Crockatt

South East

About Anna

Image of Daniel Messenger. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Image of Daniel Messenger. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Daniel Messenger

South East

About Daniel

Image of Steve Jones. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Image of Steve Jones. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Steve Jones

South East

About Steve

Image of Viktoria Sesi. Photo by Jamie Gray.

Image of Viktoria Sesi. Photo by Jamie Gray.

Viktoria Sesi

South East

About Viktoria

Image of Fareed Siddiqui. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Image of Fareed Siddiqui. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Fareed Siddiqui

South West

About Fareed

Image of Mark Gibbins. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Image of Mark Gibbins. Photo by Dylan Parrin.

Mark Gibbins

South West

About Mark

Image of Boyanka Bobeva

Image of Boyanka Bobeva

Boyanka Bobeva

North East – Foleshill

About Boyanka

Image of Mel Gregory

Image of Mel Gregory

Mel Gregory

North East – Henley Green

About Mel

Image of Emilie Lauren Jones by John Whitmore

Image of Emilie Lauren Jones by John Whitmore

Emilie Lauren Jones

South West – Finham & Styvechale

About Emilie

Image of Kieran Joseph

Image of Kieran Joseph

Kieran Joseph

South West – Earlsdon

About Kieran

Image of Kevin Conway

Image of Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

South East – Stoke Aldermoor

About Kevin

Image of Theo Ioannou

Image of Theo Ioannou

Theo Ioannou

South East – City Centre

About Theo

Image of Priya Gondalia

Image of Priya Gondalia

Priya Gondalia

North West Coventry

About Priya

Image of Kelly Walsh

Image of Kelly Walsh

Kelly Walsh

North West – Holbrooks

About Kelly

Dan De Feo

North East

Dan is a local scout leader and SEN teaching assistant hoping to teach young people to grow their own vegetables before hosting a food festival celebrating a range of cultures.

Curtis Liburd

North East

Curtis is reaching out to young people in Coventry as a youth worker for the Guiding Young Minds Intervention charity.

Chloe Deakin

North East

Chloe is creating a book documenting the hidden heroes of Coventry by facilitating training for young people in photography, journalism, and marketing and connecting them with local people over the age of 60 to encourage intergenerational learning.

Olugbemi Moronfolu

North West

Olugbemi is aiming to tackle barriers around integration by hosting workshops for people from Black backgrounds to express their creativity.

Anna Crockatt

South East

Anna is hoping to create a new music venue on an old narrow boat as a platform for local artists.

Daniel Messenger

South East

Daniel is launching a ‘stay and play’ to allow parents to share ideas and work with local nurseries and schools to help support children through transitional periods.

Steve Jones

South East

Steve is aiming to combat loneliness felt by the over 50s by creating songs and performing them live through the Good Neighbours Project.

Viktoria Sesi

South East

Vikoria has created a series of workshops to support women with health and wellbeing.

Fareed Siddiqui

South West

Fareed is a world music specialist and band leader of Impact Steelband and will be working with a range of hard-to-reach communities across Coventry, teaching them to play the steelpan with the ultimate goal of performing at the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend 2022.

Mark Gibbins

South West

Mark will launch a cooking project for men with mild mental health issues to build confidence and make friends whilst learning about global cultures and cuisines.

Mark won the Local Hero Award at the Creative Lives Awards for his work on Coventry Men's Shed. Find out more

Boyanka Bobeva

North East – Foleshill

Boyanka supports the Bulgarian Community in Coventry across the city.

What are you most looking forward to during your time on the Community Connectors Programme?

I am looking forward to sharing Bulgarian Culture with the people of Coventry and beyond. I hope to develop relationships with other communities, connecting and building bridges to motivate the community. I am looking forward to laughing together! During this difficult time I want to share humour from my culture and learn British humour.

How do you feel about being on the programme, are you excited and what are you hoping to achieve?

I am excited about being on the programme and I am looking to actively promote and raise awareness among other communities about the diversity of the Bulgarian Community, and how this is reflected in our lifestyle, language and cuisine. This year we have many new people in the community, and we would like to ensure that we share and treasure our Bulgarian heritage, music, folklore, history, literature and traditions.

Mel Gregory

North East – Henley Green

Mel volunteers at the Foleshill Social Supermarket and is a key member of the community-led allotment.

What you are most looking forward to during your time as a Community Connector?

I am looking forward to meeting new people, improving my social skills and being outdoors. I want to do something nice for my community and make a mark on the local area.

How do you feel about being on the programme, are you excited and what are you hoping to achieve?

I am excited to see the end result and for people to drive past in a car or on the bus and see how vibrant it looks. I want to show myself that I can achieve something if I put my mind to it. I also want to support the community centre, make us more self-sufficient and grow and produce more food. I am excited to empower my community.

Emilie Lauren Jones

South West – Finham & Styvechale

Emilie is a poet and will be working with local people in the Styvechale/Wainbody area to share their stories.

What are you most looking forward to during your time on the Community Connectors Programme?

I am looking forward to working with my community to create a lasting piece of work that reflects the positive aspects of our area and the people who live and work here – it’s history, diversity and the green spaces it contains.

I hope to learn from the team and developing my creative practice. I am experienced at creating poetry and organising events; however, I have not previously worked with a specific community to make a creative piece.

Taking an active part in City of Culture, something which as a Coventrian, I can be proud of and will remember forever.

How do you feel about being on the programme, are you excited and what are you hoping to achieve?

I hope this project will bring people in our community together, I am hoping that it will create new friendships, increase the sense of community and inspire people to explore their creativity.

I want people to be excited that we are a City of Culture and to know that they can be part of it because their voices and creativity are important.

I hope people will take pride in the finished piece as well as enjoying the creative process that takes us there.

Kieran Joseph

South West – Earlsdon

Kieran has set up a project called Guardian Ballers Life Stories, a basketball and mental health project which has a focus on the mental and emotional well-being of children and young people aged between 11-18yrs.

What you are most looking forward to during your time as a Community Connector?

My excitement is two-fold. I am excited to work in collaboration with the other Community Connectors and the Producers to get to know their areas of expertise and the DNA of the communities they represent. Equally, I am excited to explore and capture information about Guardian Ballers participants within a creative piece that broadcasts the individuals and their extended communities. I believe we will be able to make Coventry proud be showcases a small collective of its residents.

How do you feel about being on the programme, are you excited and what are you hoping to achieve?

I feel very honoured about being on the programme. As Founder and Director of Guardian Ballers, working in partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, we are launching the programme in January 2021. We will be reaching young people in Schools all across Coventry throughout the year. Thus, I feel as though also being a Community Connector, I will truly be able to ‘connect’ a diversity of cultures and people!
I hope to achieve a creative piece that captures ‘life stories’ of young people from a diversity of cultures in our City of Coventry.

Kevin Conway

South East – Stoke Aldermoor

Kevin has previously put on an event to celebrate the Italian Job being filmed in Stoke Aldermoor and wants to organise an even bigger event in the coming year.

What are you most looking forward to during your time on the Community Connectors Programme?

I want to represent Coventry and the area I’m from and put Stoke Aldermoor on the map as a tourist attraction.

How do you feel about being on the programme, are you excited and what are you hoping to achieve?

I am excited to finally bring to fruition an event I have been planning for 3 years, this project means so much to me and I am looking forward to sharing it with the local people from Stoke Aldermoor and inviting not only local people from Coventry but sharing it with people from the rest of the UK and maybe further afield!

Theo Ioannou

South East – City Centre

Theo supports refugee communities and supported Coventry Welcomes (Refugee Week activity), with a focus on communities in which English is not their first language.

What you are most looking forward to during your time as a Community Connector?

I am mostly looking forward to sharing knowledge, experience and expertise with like-minded people who share my passion for community development and/or the arts. I am also looking forward to delivering the cultural project that I want to organize as I know that this experience will be fulfilling and gratifying. 

How do you feel about being on the programme, are you excited and what are you hoping to achieve?

I am very excited to be on the programme and I am looking forward to getting to know everyone better and familiarize myself with their work. Through this programme, I am hoping to develop my skills in production and community development and become better networked with other people who organise similar activities and their communities. 

Priya Gondalia

North West Coventry

Priya is a personal development coach with a great deal of experience in youth empowerment. As well as coaching and mentoring, Priya has organised youth conferences and comedy nights to engage and inspire young people across the city.

What you are most looking forward to during your time as a Community Connector?

I'm most looking forward to being part of a network of other community connectors and producers and being supported to build up my skills and knowledge to run my own project.

How you feel about being on the programme, whether you are excited and what you are hoping to achieve

I am very excited to be on the programme and I'm hoping to create a lasting impact with my project with the support of the producers and fellow community connectors.

Kelly Walsh

North West – Holbrooks

Kelly is a local teacher and Lead Arts Ambassador for the Future Trust.

What are you most looking forward to during your time on the Community Connectors Programme?

I am looking forward to meeting and networking with new people in both my local and wider community. Putting Coventry in the spotlight and re-engaging people with arts. 

How do you feel about being on the programme, are you excited and what are you hoping to achieve?

I am extremely excited and feel very privileged to be part of the programme. I am keen to learn new skills and give opportunities to others. 

COMMUNITY CONNECTORS PROJECTS ARCHIVE

COMMUNITY CONNECTORS COHORT 2 PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT

STORIES FROM OUR STREETS: FINHAM AND STYVECHALE – EMILIE LAUREN JONES

SANCTUARY OF OUR CITY - THEO IOANNOU

STORIES FROM NEXT DOOR CV5-6 – KELLY WALSH

REBOUND: GUARDIAN BALLERS LIFE STORIES – KIERAN JOSEPH

BLOOM TIME – PRIYA GONDALIA:

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DISCOVER BULGARIA – BOYANKA BOBEVA:

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