Blog by Allan Farmer, Head of Place (from 16 April 2018)
The recent snow was for many an unavoidable opportunity to do things differently – including adopting sledges, skis and snowboards as standard methods of transport. The weather also proved to be a catalyst for communities to come together and create positive change at a neighbourhood level. Simple actions like clearing paths and pavements, going shopping and cooking for neighbours became the norm in communities across Scotland.
When these community-led actions were supported by broader ‘policy’ interventions the speed and scale of change was significantly enhanced. The clearing of school playgrounds is a case in point. Schools provided a central point of communication (a message to all parents) and resources (snow shovels, grit, and some bacon rolls) which saw the clearing of school playgrounds and surrounding streets achieved in record time – and with minimal financial cost re-allocated from existing budgets.
Clearly, we cannot rely on the Scottish weather but it does provide a helpful illustration of principles which underpin Corra Foundation’s People in Place programme. Through People in Place we are committed to creating positive change by getting alongside communities. Working with both communities we don’t historically reach, and others with a big appetite for change, we help to facilitate and enable capacity building within the community; widen community participation; and support locally-led action to be taken.
Looking ahead, I firmly believe that we can create favourable conditions for community-led change in Scotland and beyond.
We know that communities have many unique characteristics, assets and aspirations but we also believe that shared challenges and opportunities exist. Corra Foundation is committed to learning what is working at a local level – and to sharing what we have learned from the People in Place programme to inform and improve the policy landscape in order to deliver better outcomes on a national level.
As Head of Place, I look forward to working collaboratively with colleagues, communities, and our People in Place partners to help people create positive change in their communities and enjoy fulfilling lives.