The Agnes Woodford Project
Bringing people together to make a difference

The Agnes Woodford Project seeks to bring people together to make a difference both to their own lives and to those of others. We all go through difficult times in our lives, for example when we are facing a particular problem or choice. If we are lucky, we will have friends, family or neighbours at hand to help us. We might not realise it, but this is what helps to protect our rights and dignity.  Unfortunately, many of us have been cut off from the wider community and from the natural support that it can offer. In addition, many of us find ourselves physically isolated, perhaps because of a lack of mobility and/or the circumstances in which we live. These factors do not necessarily need to limit us, as we all have things to offer other people. However we don’t always feel comfortable or confident about approaching each other either to ask for help or to offer it.  This can prevent us from making a real difference to each other’s’ lives and to strengthening the communities in which we live. The Project exists to help make these personal connections and interactions easier.

Agnes Woodford

Agnes Woodford died in 2010 aged 91. She always ‘looked out’ for other people who found themselves in more vulnerable and isolated circumstances. She was an advocate before the title was invented and volunteered throughout her life without ever being recruited by an organisation to do so. She continued to make a difference to other people right up to the end of her life despite the limitations of ill-health and reduced mobility. Agnes was not unique, and we can all probably think of people who acted in a similar way, making a big difference to people and to the communities in which they live. The Project seeks to encourage and support these values by providing a framework for them to be put into practice more easily and safely.

About the Project

The Project is based at St. Bede’s Community Centre, where Liverpool Citizen Advocacy has its community base. It is focussed on the Sefton Park (Ullet Road side) and Lodge Lane area of the city, and seeks to improve the quality of life of local people, putting respect for the rights and dignity of all at the heart of developing stronger communities. 
The first important step has been the development of regular social events, where people can feel welcomed and meet those they might not otherwise do. It is in this environment that difficulties and concerns can be expressed and shared. People can then get informal support or help in finding the exact assistance that they might need.  However, a main objective is to develop a community based approach to advocacy through social activities, befriending and visiting. This is concentrated on people who are isolated, either in their own homes or in care homes, in the area. Since March 2011, the Project has been organising weekly social events at one local residential home and going out with people to lunch and other events. The plan is to extend and develop this work further in the coming years, hopefully exploring the potential both for peer and cross-generational schemes. It is also hoped that the Project will encourage greater interaction and understanding between people from different cultures and backgrounds.

The Project also hosts events that bring together individuals, groups and organisations living and/or working in the area. All of these share a particular commitment to protecting the interests and welfare of people whose rights are potentially at risk. The networking events help them to build good links for working together more effectively in a shared concern for social justice.

About the area

There are people from a broad range of backgrounds living in the area covered by the Project. They include older people, young families, people experiencing mental health difficulties, people with ‘learning difficulties’, students, refugees and asylum seekers to name just some. Many of these people possibly feel isolated, as do many others who don’t fit neatly under any one label or into any one group.
Many given the right connections and support, could do something about making our community a more equal and inclusive one. People have a range of life and personal skills that would enable them to be peer and natural advocates. The Project seeks to encourage and support them in doing this, in addition to providing signposting to sources of more formal support.

How can you support the Project?

The Project is not directly funded and is dependent on voluntary action. There are numerous ways in which you could help it by:
•           Volunteering with it
•           Attending the social events
•           Donating gifts for prizes at our events
•           Donating cash to help develop the work further
If you would like to know more about the Project, please contact us