Project Intern Danni Dorn blogs about the recent trip to Broad Street Mall…
In order to get as many of your opinions as possible the Whitley Researches and University of Reading students took to Broad Street Mall with the aim of filling out as many questionnaires as possible! We were also armed with leaflets and posters to give other Reading residents an insight into what our project is about.
We managed to have some interesting and in depth conversations with a range of Whitley residents in Broad Street Mall. Some of the residents told us of the hardship of living in Kennett Island whilst an elderly couple informed us of how they find the traffic in Whitley unbearable. Part of this project is listening to everyone’s opinions and this day allowed us to consider points that we hadn’t really thought about before.
What was really noticeable about this day was that some shoppers did not like being asked whether or not they lived in Whitley and it worried us to think that others sometimes associate Whitley with a negative stigma. This is quite the contrast to what we have experienced ourselves when spending time in the area. This was eye opening for us because it seems as if Whitley is being marginalised because of its reputation, which could hinder any improvements that the community want to make and this is something that has to stop. We think that this project has to go to some efforts in changing the perceptions of Whitley into ones which identify with the area more appropriately.
Whilst we would have liked to speak to more residents at Broad St Mall, it was definitely a worthwhile trip. If we can take anything away from the day it is that we must start to identify how we can begin thinking about reimagining perceptions of Whitley and show other residents in Reading the benefits of Whitley’s diverse culture and vibrant community.
Next week we are holding our steering group meeting! Remember to stay tuned for the latest updates across our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also fill in our questionnaire here and find the latest of our blog posts on the Big Local Whitley site here, or on our WordPress blog here.