What’s happened this month?

 Lots – see all the blogs concerning Community Get Togethers, the Co-production Workshop and the Pidley film

 What have you learnt this month?

Community Get Together events: We realised fairly early on in this process that using photography as a means of consultation works – it is engaging, quick and gets good results.  However asking people to address the issues raised from the photos is another matter and we decided that perhaps we were being too unrealistic to ask people to suddenly be able to come up with creative, original solutions to issues which have been in their communities for years.  We decided to see if breaking issues down into little, easy to take steps would get a better, more positive response (see Community Get together blog for how we did it).  We coupled this with some incentives to come along and take part – the Community Get Togethers were promoted as a fun event to get to know your community and what it offers.  This dual approach of using incentives to improve engagement and a more approachable method of addressing issues has improved this part of the process.

Filming: Making the Pidley film was fascinating – the village really rose to the occasion.  The question of creating a balanced film representing all points of view made us think about how this could be done in communities going forward.  If only a small group of people within a village were to make a film would they be willing to talk to people with opposing views?  We are starting to believe that a ‘neutral’ outside party  may need to be involved in at least the  planning stage in order to ensure a fair film is created which will be accepted by the community.

Co-production Workshop: The workshop highlighted that there will have to be a large culture shift in both communities and councils.  The Pidley film was very useful because there were several instances of residents saying that they could solve their problems within the village if they were ‘allowed’ to by the various councils but either cost or regulations have prevented this from happening in the past.  Reactions from the various councils and service providers to this were mostly positive and it appears that there is already some acceptance that they will have to work closer and give a freer hand to local communities.

 What’s been challenging this month?

Three events and a film to finalize in one week!  A result of wanting to get the dates right for the Community Get Togethers (in half term) and a Co-production workshop which had to be planned months in advance in order to get all the right people together.  The other challenge has been to find a way to engage the whole Parish of Tydd St Giles (Tydd Gote, Four Gotes and Foul Anchor) in a relatively short space of time.  We tried using social media and USBs but with no success, more initial engagement would probably have helped.

  What are you proud of this month?

  • Getting to know Pidley better and the positive effect making the film and the co-production workshop has had.
  • Improving our engagement at the Community Get Togethers and  coming up with a way to get people to look at the issues facing their communities
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