There are still places left on the “Research Training for Activists” on Saturday 15th March. It’s FREE, and will help you gain
a) useful skills in how to use Freedom of Information Act, Companies House, Office of National Statistics and other databases (especially to research corporations)
b) contacts/relationships with other people in the North West who want to get/improve the ability to discover useful information
More information here. To apply, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Research Training” in the subject header, with your name and mobile phone number(s). You do NOT have to tell us who you are interested in researching. It would however help us if you would tell us
a) have you ever used the Freedom of Information Act?
b) have you ever done research on a company using Companies House?
c) have you ever done further research using other databases?
We will confirm receipt of your application within 48 hours.
Below the video interview with one of the participants, Nick Hildyard of the Cornerhouse, is an “interview” with Ben, who will be coming across from Leeds.
At university I undertook a year long sports community development project as part of my final year project, followed by working as an intern for the charity Envision. It is during this time I have flirted with using these kind of information data bases.
Since my time at university I have become passionate about politics and social issues and I want to equip myself with more knowledge and expertise to contribute to efforts that tackle the root cause of social problems. I also want to meet other people involved in meaningful activities within my locality
Why you used Companies House
I was unhappy paying rent for a basement bedroom that had a serious damp problem. I saw this having a detrimental effect on my health.
What you got out of it
I discovered in-depth information about the company who were behind my tenancy. This information did not marry up with my tenancy agreement, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the contract. In a sense this experience peeled back a layer of information that shocked me and that previously I thought was not available to the average person. I was recommended to use companies house by an older friend who did part of the information digging with me.
What advice would you give your ‘younger self’ if you had a time machine
To use a source of information like this all the time – whenever entering into agreements or just using the services of corporate companies that you are not entirely sure of. This could have prevented stress and strain that I encountered in other instances!
On Office of National Statistics” and “Up My Street…”
Why you did it
As part of the projects background research prior to undertaking a qualitative research methodology – highlighted Girlington as an area of Bradford that had a rising population of young Eastern Europeans of which it was claimed were deprived of basic needs that other parts of the community had, issues of racism were claimed to be intrinsic to this. Basically, we wanted to find as much information about the area before going in to meet local people and professionals.
What you got out of it
A statistical understanding of the areas demographics such as ethnicity and broad issues such as poverty – The area fell into the bottom 10% of indices of deprivation nationally. We also mapped out what was available/missing in terms of local resources; such as sport facilities, youth clubs or groups ECT.