Well Doncaster, Alex, jumped straight into providing an asset based approach to community work during her first few weeks in the role as she facilitated the workshops across South of Doncaster.
The first was held in Denaby…
Community Explorers spent 2 weeks in September talking to people in Denaby and had over 27 conversations with members of the community. Participants were invited to join in the workshops that followed. The Dream workshop was held from 10am-12pm on the 11th November.
Analysis of the inquiry resulted in three emerging themes; community spirit/ pride, green space and local activities and support. The Dream workshop began with an exercise to highlight the positive aspects of Denaby or where improvements could be made, and then the groups discussed the three themes to agree the top priorities. The priorities for each were;
- No coffee shops/eating venues open on a weekend – would like themed nights at Hot Choc lounge again etc.
- Utilising the flower park for events
- Use of buildings
- Development of the Crags – in conjunction with Friends of the Crags and Future Parks
- Advertisement of what is happening in the community as people aren’t aware.
- More use of the market, including encouraging people to meet. Another idea was to promote live musicians on market days to attract people to attend.
- A lot of feedback from safety of the crags, including better lighting, cctv.
- More police presence, currently no patrols and follow up on reports.
- High level of youth ASB, more assets to prevent this
The Design Workshop was held at All Saint Church on 25th November 2021.
Actions of the day:
This workshop involved moving from broad priorities to specific action; describing a specific outcome for two of the priorities that were identified in the Dream workshop, then planning and prioritising the actions required.
One of the main discussions in the Design workshop was around residents not knowing what was available in Denaby. Through discussion it was suggested that advertisements could be key to informing people about groups/activities and events.
Denaby has previously had advertisements, but unfortunately due to funding this had to stop. The advertisements before relied on volunteers who would post the booklets to as many houses as they could in Denaby. There are some actions taken from attendees which has potential to reinstate information about the local area to residents.
There was great feedback about actions and ideas around the development of the Crags. Ben Russell from Future Parks attended the meeting and was able to answer and work with residents in what they want to see on the Crags – including what they want the Crags to be.
Denaby already has an established PAG. Well Doncaster action is to feed this information into the PAG, to ensure the people from the community are able to make any changes or action – with support if needed, throughout the year. This is an ongoing process and if anyone has any ideas or information that you feel may benefit the community and can add to the AI insight please contact Alexandra.Pearson@doncaster.gov.uk
Some good news to share before the New Year and one that showcases just how bringing people together from the local community can make things happen…
Following the workshops, residents and partners in Denaby came together to organise a Christmas Carol event. This was held on Flower Park on the 22nd December and provided a COVID safe and friendly event for local residents to enjoy and get into the Christmas spirit.
Community Explorers spent 2 weeks in July talking to people in Edlington and had over 45 conversations with members of the community. Participants were invited to join in the future stages and the majority of participants stated a preference for the daytime.
The Dream workshop was held from 12pm-2pm on the 5th November.
Analysis of the inquiry resulted in three emerging themes; community spirit, feeling safe, assets and children and young people. The Dream workshop began with an exercise to highlight the positive aspects of Edlington or where improvements could be made, and then the groups discussed the three themes to agree the top priorities.
The priorities for each were:
- A regular meeting for residents, this has been done before but didn’t work out due to a divide
- More opportunities for families, including green spaces
- Community Skips
- More police presence
- Local MP visits
- Early intervention with children and young people to combat ASB
- Community Events
- Parks in the area to be improved
- Edlington Town Council to make improvements to other areas, other than what they own
Children and young people
- A safe space for children and young people – “youth area” rather than a hub/club
- Activities in the area that children and young people are interested in such as bikes, making fishing accessible for children
- Find out what youth want – reach out to schools
The Design workshop was held at Helping Hands Centre on 15th September 2021.
Actions of the day:
Initially there was a chance for the community explorers and residents to revisit the wider ideas generated in the Dream workshop. The group then worked to define outcomes and action plans.
Residents of Edlington became really involved in discussion. Due to new faces attending a lot of the information shared did add to the insight gathered during the dream phase. Everybody who attended the design workshop agreed that regular drop in sessions would benefit the community and help to see the actions put into place. There was a consensus across the room that community events like the workshops occur every so often and are generally forgotten about and not revisited. A target for the Well Doncaster team in the South locality is to maintain these sessions by establishing regular drop in sessions for members of the community to attend and feed into the action plans.
The session was held at the Helping Hands centre and many attendees spoke of a divide between the top and bottom area of Edlington. With this in mind, the plan going forward is to hold the drop in sessions in both communities of Edlington. This will ensure Well Doncaster can capture the community voice across the whole of Edlington and give everyone an equal opportunity to be involved in the co-produced action plan. Plans are in place for sessions to begin in January 2022.
The co-produced action plan highlighted some areas of work including establishing which park we could utilise for children and young people, gathering children’s insight about their community and increasing litter picks in the area.
Community Explorers spent 2 weeks in August talking to people in Rossington and had over 15 conversations with members of the community. This wasn’t a great figure for capturing the resident’s voice and the Discovery phase could be repeated, if the attendees think there is a need.
The Dream workshop was held on 4th November 2021.
Analysis of the inquiry resulted in three emerging themes; community spirit, facilities/assets and youth provision. The priorities for each were:
- Link with Racheal Blake regarding Business Forum
- Establish health and wellbeing group
- Use of market – which is still owned by DMBC
- Rossington Methodist Church
- Easier access to green space – maybe car park near the iPort or surrounding area
- Include the Ramblers in promoting and accessing green space
- Linking green spaces together – use of markers and more marketing
- Soft play indoor area for children
- Improvement to skate park
- Shelter for young people to ‘hang out and chat’
Actions of the day:
From the Design workshop, we had members from the Stronger Communities team, Parish council representative and residents that provided services in the community. This workshop provided the basis for the dream of a Christmas market be put into reality by a local volunteer who runs a crafting group. With the support of the Stronger Communities team and other partners, the market was held on the 14th December. This provided a great opportunity for local residents to meet and greet, utilise the community spaces and provide a great foundation for local businesses to discuss plans for the future.
Unfortunately, the community allotment has been vandalised. This has put local people off taking responsibility of maintaining the space and getting other people involved in activities. There is hope that the health and well-being group will be re-established in the near future and these regular meetings will provide a platform for these issues to be addressed and hopefully make Rossington a stronger place to live, work and play.
An action for Well Doncaster from these workshops is to get the voice of the children and young people of what they would like to see in their community. The discovery phase, may be completed again specifically for this generation.
Throughout the workshops it was clear to see how much Rossington has to offer to its residents. Bringing groups and businesses together would ensure that everyone in Rossington has knowledge about what support and services are available in their local community.
Thank you to all that gave their time to support Well Doncaster in this process and we look forward to working with you and your local communities in the New Year!