AskingBristol Weekly Update – May 1st, 2023

As we roll into the summer months, it is a great time to take stock of recent developments at AskingBristol and in the wider Third Sector community. The final week of April 2023 saw us publishing stories on various interactions within Bristol’s voluntary sector – these namely being our work with Bristol Curry Club.

The Curry Club initiative epitomizes the breadth and willingness of giving potential and community engagement we believe exists widespread in the Southwest, with several Bangladeshi restaurants coming together to raise funds with a shared objective in mind – the provision of equipment to help young people thrive in sporting activity.

Reflecting on the Curry Club stories, we can see the extent to which MultiVarious Giving initiatives can have significant social impacts for voluntary groups. ConfiDANCE, St Aldheim’s Girls Football, and Barton Hill Amateur Boxing Club are located in different areas of the City (with differing focuses) yet all received some form of support during this initiative. What strikes us is the ability of our model to connect groups (givers or askers) with seemingly no theoretical relation and no previous interactions with one another. One can consider this a small example in which the SuperConnectivity of Bristol is raised and complexified to a more fruitful HyperConnectivity.

…in something of a preliminary step to “talent and opportunity” sits the notion that “confidence breeds competence.”

It is worth bearing in mind an important phrase that has increasingly been circulating the Third Sector recently… that is, that “talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not.”

Maximising the potential of young people in Greater Bristol is something that we can all agree is of great priority. This is something the Third Sector has arguably miscalculated in regards to its methodology. The ‘bottom-up’ approach, as championed by the AskingBristol model, empowers askers to tell the givers of the voluntary community what they need, as opposed to being handed ‘one-size-fits-all’, blanket solutions which [invariably] neglect the genuine needs of askers. And running somewhat parallel to this lies the concept of providing young people with the confidence to pursue their potential. One can argue that before ‘talent’ can reach opportunity, ‘talent’ must be given the confidence to realise and develop such talent. So, in something of a preliminary step to “talent and opportunity” sits the notion that “confidence breeds competence”.

This notion represents a shifting tide in the attitude of the voluntary sector in acknowledging the need to better develop the environments in which young people gain their confidence – whether they are seeking meaningful/lasting employment, to enrich themselves with transferable skills, or to manifest their potential into that which benefits themselves and the organizations of the City. And, as such, we extend our sincere gratitude towards [and welcome] initiatives such as the Bristol Curry Club’s scheme to help young sporting talent across Bristol.

The University of Bristol Law School

…our academic institutions can play a key role in furthering both the research and practical connectivity of the AskingBristol model.

Barton Hill Amateur Boxing Club

…just one example of an organization helping Bristol’s young sporting talent build confidence in their skills.

As we turn our attention towards summer, academic institutions nationwide are preparing themselves for the ensuing demands of examinations and assessments. This busy time of year can often be a reminder of the intriguing research undertaken by such institutions. AskingBristol was recently the focus of a publication in the International Journal of Sociology and Social Politics authored by Prof. Martin Parker, James Brown, and Hannah Jusu-Sheriff (University of Bristol). It is exciting to see academic circles take a keen interest into the considerations raised by the AskingBristol model and how such a model has the potential to instigate deeper change to the benefit of askers and givers across the region. We view milestones such as this as a reiteration that the ‘bottom-up’ approach offers value to the Third Sector in a time where providing support for local communities is paramount.

Sohail Ali, Editor

Categories: Updates

'Social Infrastructure Platforms' - Professor Martin Parker's (University of Bristol) Academic Publication on AskingBristol is Live.