A mapping workshop with Greenwich disabled people campaigning against rises in social care costs.

Photo of Drew holding up the beginnings of a network map on A3 paper


Last month we held a workshop with the inspiring people who have been campaigning against Greenwich Council's decision to “hike social care charges which will undermine Disabled people’s ‘human right to independent living.’”

The event was organised by Inclusion London as a celebration of the campaign so far, to give a legal update and also test out using the mapping tool Kumu for campaigning as part of the NetEquality project.

We first introduced the idea of network mapping and the initial base map which was a print out of an online Kumu map which had been drawn up in advance by Inclusion London, showing the people who were in the room.




Mapping our connections


Two women looking at the A3 map


Participants were asked to draw their connections on the map, showing the existing connections which had been built up as part of the campaign. This is also referred to as ‘mapping the terrain’. The exercise proved a bit frustrating for some people, as it sometimes became hard to read and draw. This was because they had been campaigning together for many years so were well connected with each other, which made for a very messy ‘spaghetti junction' of a map! It may have been better if we had stuck to naming organisations instead of individual people.



Mapping potential connections


Rebecca talking with a GDPAC member identifying others to add to the map


Everyone was then asked to identify people outside of the campaign who would be good to reach out to to support the campaign - ‘potential allies’. People seemed to really benefit from this exercise, we had a productive session pooling knowledge from the room. Some people mentioned that they started to connect up bits of their lives or contacts that they hadn’t previously connected to this campaign before. We even started to share ideas about free accessible local meeting spaces for the future workshops!



Feedback from the room


 Photo of GDPAC members with their banner, celebrating the session with hands in the air


We finished off with a great conversation about both the process of mapping and the tools themselves. The general feeling was positive and a key point that stuck was how even the process of mapping made people feel more connected and less isolated.

It was also really energising and important to have everyone in the same room together, which is something to remember going forwards - the need for digital networks / maps to be coupled with physically meeting together.

Lots of useful accessibility issues were discussed including colours and size. There were a few visually impaired people in the room who asked for it to be on a screen so that they could zoom in, and there were suggestions about changing the colours to be clearer. Overall, everyone seemed keen to meet again, see the changes made and add to the map.