Since 1995 our team have been developing processes and using methods which enable
people of all ages and backgrounds to record knowledge, aspirations, opinions and
priorities, and give a voice to those who don’t normally fill in questionnaires or speak at
meetings. We have successfully facilitated community led research and consultation work
in urban and rural settings in Scotland and elsewhere. Our relevant experience is best
illustrated in a range of examples.
Example 1: Living in Collydean, Auchmuty and Glenrothes
On behalf of Fife Council we conducted a wide-ranging
community consultation exercise to understand local
people’s experiences of living in 3 localities. This gathered the views from a wide cross-section of residents (age, gender, spatial). Our team trained, equipped and supported local people to conduct the research for themselves, for example Youth Workers (who carried out the survey door to door) and pupil council representatives from the local primary and secondary schools (who surveyed their parents, siblings friends and known neighbours). Community conferences were organised to reach out to and feedback findings to the local population.
Example 2: Community Safety in Templehall
We trained local young people to carry out a large survey and run community events regarding the future of Templehall for Fife Community Safety Partnership’s Safer Neighbourhoods Team. It was clear that success in Templehall depended on effectively engaging with relevant local agencies and the local community. Partner agencies had to think creatively about the way in which they operate, share information and engage with the local community. This has led to sizeable reductions in antisocial behaviour problems in the Templehall area and major improvements in public perceptions of the area.
Example 3: Living in Lennoxtown
Our team led a Participatory Appraisal survey process for East Dunbartonshire Council and Lennoxtown Initiative inand around the Lennoxtown area. The appraisal asked people what they thought about living in the area and their ideas for the future. Seven local people were recruited and trained to be participatory appraisal facilitators. They met and engaged with 310 people living in and around the Lennoxtown area over three days. The project outcome has been an agreed on-going investment programme with the Council to regenerate the local environment. This project was one of the Scottish Community Action Research Fund’s most successful examples of participatory action research projects.
Example 4: Community Planning in Inverness & Nairn
For Highland Council and The Partnership for Rural
Inverness & Nairn we designed and delivered training for local people to carry out Participatory Community
Appraisals and Action Plans. We employed and trained
local people to survey all ages in several localities. The
main aim of the survey was to ask people who would not
normally attend public meetings or fill in questionnaires
what they thought of their local area and to have these views recorded. A total of 1 in 6 households in each partnership area were involved. This work was pivotal in the ‘roll out’ of Community Planning arrangements.
Example 5: Brownsburn and Gartlea
We led a community research and public consultation
process for North Lanarkshire Council that was carried
out in the Brownsburn and Gartlea areas with local
people and representatives from Community Services
and Planning and Environment departments in
partnership with the Central Scotland Forest Trust
(CSFT) and Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire (SEL). The
aim of this public consultation was to get an understanding of what people living around the area thought about it and to start the process of developing plans for improving the area for the future.