Investing in community change

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Kirsten Moore is a community member from Fernhill, one of the communities Corra Foundation works alongside. Here she writes about setting up a programme of summer events and activities for families in her community. To find out more about the Getting Alongside Communities programme click here.

 

Little girl with face paint smiling with woman

In the beginning…

I really wanted to put something in place over the summer for local families. I feel like there is a gap in the community where there is nothing for children up until the age of 5 and then between 14 and 19 years. I know that parents worry about keeping their kids occupied over the summer holidays so I wanted to work with other local mums to put on weekly activities so folk could plan their week ahead and come along with the kids. The events were all free and food was provided for the kids which I think eased the burden on families. I really wanted people to come together and build friendships at an inclusive event that would help with the kids’ boredom over the holidays.

Along the way…

I initially connected with some local mums that were quite vocal about what they wanted to do, and through this I met the Community Co-ordinator from Corra Foundation which really opened my eyes and showed me what was possible in the community. I have a personal connection to most families in the community. By speaking to local families about what they would like to get involved with over the summer, and really listening to what they were saying, we could deliver events that met their needs. As the summer progressed, more and more people became invested and asked what they could do to get involved with delivery.

In the end…

I realised just how popular the summer programme of events and activities was. Local people began asking if we would be doing it again and how they could get involved. I think the biggest challenge I faced was working with others. Sometimes people can be working to achieve the same thing, but they have very different views on how to achieve this end goal. However, I feel the positives far outweighed the negatives.  I believe the biggest success for the programme was seeing families come together to have a good time, inspiring parents to come along and get involved and connecting with their community.

And I learned…

Just how much work is involved in delivering this kind of summer programme, but it won’t put me off. I will just make sure next time I am open to listening to more voices from the start of the process. Hopefully, with more voices and more people helping, it will make get easier. The more people you involve in planning large scale programmes and events in the community, the more it will benefit the whole community.

 

“I never felt part of this community until this summer”

–  Local mum who grew up in Fernhill.

 

The stories and insights from community members will be celebrated on September 24th at the People in Place the story so far Scottish Parliament Reception. For further details and information on how to register click here. 

 

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