Bringing Monks Road communities closer

Action LN2 are a group of residents who volunteer in the Monks Road area of Lincoln aiming to enhance and celebrate the area in which we live.

We focus on organising projects and events that will involve and benefit this community and were brought together by the area’s Community Organiser, Maaike Veenkamp whose role is to listen to residents, find out what they are concerned about, what they love and what ideas they have for their local area; then support and bring like minded people together who want to take action.

Over the last two years Action LN2 have delivered many projects which have been borne equally out of shared loves and concerns we have for our community. A group of strangers to begin with, we have been united by a common goal to bring about positive change in our community.

In the two years Action LN2 have been together we have delivered a number of activities which include language and culture swap sessions to encourage social mixing within the area, upcycling activities to educate people how to reuse potential waste items, Halloween activities for young people, and weekly free football session for children and their families held on the Arboretum.

Two of our biggest projects have been our campaign around litter and fly tipping in the area, and also the annual free community music festival we organise ‘Our Big Gig in the Arboretum’.

Action LN2 have held a number of ‘Let’s Get Picking’ community clean up events which have attracted more than 100 residents to give up their Saturday to clean their streets and have also seen us form links with our local MP, City of Lincoln Council and the Student Union from the University of Lincoln.

Our vision is to increase awareness within the community of how to correctly dispose of waste, and also build residents’ respect and pride for the area in which they live.

Meanwhile, ‘Our Big Gig in the Arboretum’ has now been held for three years and has gone from attracting 400 to more than 1,000 people to the Arboretum Park to enjoy an afternoon of free music and attractions.

The aim of the event is to make positive use of the Arboretum whilst simultaneously providing something for people of all ages in the area to enjoy. The fact ‘Our Big Gig in the Arboretum’ also attracts people from all over Lincoln furthermore means Action LN2 are able to use the event to showcase the community and help dispel some of the negative attitudes that are held about the Monks Road area.

Volunteering in our community has given Action LN2 the opportunity to act on issues we feel passionate about. We have met and made new friends in the process and learnt many new skills. The most rewarding part of our volunteering though is being able to step back and see the impact we are having in the community, change can be a long term process, but it has to start somewhere.