Dundee right on track!
Dundee Partnership was supported by SCDC's Commonwealth Games Legacy for Communities Programme to progress the partnership's existing engagement around a Games legacy.
As part of the Commonwealth Games Legacy Programme, the Scottish Government commissioned SCDC to work with community organisations across Scotland to support them to use the Games as a catalyst for building on their work to develop activities and projects that involve local people, increase local community action and support the achievement of better health and social outcomes.
Having already put together a Games Legacy Plan for the city which focuses on Dundee's contributions to the Games Legacy Themes, Dundee Partnership was keen for any community engagement activity to be linked to this plan and into wider Community Planning processes. SCDC's Legacy for Community programme helping the partnership achieve this.
Growth and development
The development of community engagement around CWG Legacy in Dundee has focused on two key strands: City-wide discussions, and engagement at local area level.
SCDC brought people together to discuss what they see as the legacy of the CWG for them in their own communities and their activities (community, sports, service provision). This happened through a series of city-wide ‘conversations’ which took place in the early part of 2012 with a range of participants from sports clubs, local community centres, community initiatives, the local authority and the NHS.
These conversations identified the following key priorities:
- access and inclusion particularly around promoting sport for all, developing local investment in local projects, widening access to sports and physical activity opportunities
- communication and consultation particularly focusing on consultation/involvement of existing groups, involvement of isolated people, creating local dialogue and developing better communication about the Games legacy
… this led to the development of the following agreed outcomes:
- More people are actively involved in CWG legacy activity in Dundee and all sections of the community feel that their contribution to CWG legacy activity is valued/ included
- Local people feel they are stakeholders within the CWG legacy and influence how the legacy is marketed
- There is improved partnership/collaborative working around CWG legacy
- Barriers to involvement in health/sports activities are identified and overcome
Watch the following short video of the event!
Based on these priorities SCDC supported local Community Centres and initiatives to develop their own community engagement plans with a view to increasing participation in sports and physical activity in local areas, addressing barriers to participation, involving and consulting with local communities, and adding value to existing or planned activities which fit with the Games Legacy outcomes.
Here are just a few examples of what has been done in the local areas:
The Local Management Group of Kirkton Community Centre led the engagement exercise. This focused on involving the people of Kirkton in determining activities linked to the Commonwealth Games that would inspire and include participants in healthy activities to improve well-being.
The Kirkton group undertook an initial engagement about access to sports and physical activity at the Kirkton Festival on 15th September 2012 which was attended by over 2000 people. This initial engagement asked what barriers had to be overcome to allow people to participate in sport and physical activities. The responses varied but the key priorities identified were cost, time, work, childcare and motivation.
The next step in this engagement process is to get the other service providers around the table to buy into a process which will support improved local access to local activities.
The intended outcomes of this engagement are:
- A local network is established
- A local plan is devised by the community
- A marketing strategy is put in place to reach out to non-participants
- Access to local facilities will be encouraged through discounts
Some of the Finmill Centre Local Management Group (LMG) members along with the Centre Manager attended the city-wide event at the start of the year which looked at Dundee's vision for the future and how the Commonwealth Games could be used as a catalyst to create healthier, stronger communities.
Finmill LMG saw this as an opportunity to bring added value to their existing programme of activities and initiatives. The LMG had already established "Fintry Easy Walkers" (a small free to attend local walking group for those new to exercise or with reduced mobility) with the help of a health walk coordinator, and felt there may be scope to develop more health related activities.
Follow up legacy workshop and engagement planning sessions helped the LMG reps to decide how to get people involved and engaged with the legacy and how they could best link their engagement plan to other team plans connected with the legacy.
The LMG then planned their initial engagement which was carried out at Fintry Gala Day on 18th August 2012. The engagement consisted of talking to people that attended the gala day, raising awareness of different activities that may suit people that are new to exercise, and consulting with them on the proposed activities. The feedback from each discussion was recorded and some people also left their contact details in order that the LMG could follow up with them at a later date.
At the time of the programme, Douglas Open Spaces Working Group (DOSWG) were taking forward ownership of vacant land throughout the community, with a view to developing community health and well-being projects and developing local social enterprise. A range of partners and representatives from locally-based organisations and key projects were involved in the working group, including two members of Douglas Community Centre's Local Management Group (LMG). The group had undertaken a number of engagement activities so far including:
- An initial open meeting
- 6 working group meetings
- A seminar at which the group became formally constituted
Lessons and learning
Some quotes from this initial engagement were
We need an affordable club
We want activities that don't require high fitness level provide
We need more weekend clubs and more options
We require subsidies and activities at a lower cost with childcare provided
Overall, the engagement across all the areas unearthed plenty of demand for increased local activity and exercise provision. By the end of SCDC's Legacy for Communities Programme, the Local Management Groups were planning development of Fitness Suites, more open spaces and piloting of new exercise equipment.
For more case studies on knowing your community click here.