Happy New Year from the Well Doncaster team!
Following on from South and Central Doncaster taking centre stage before Christmas we now take a look at what Well Doncaster officer, Jay, got up to during his Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in Woodland, Carcroft, Highfields, Askern and Bentley.
There were 14 community explorers that took time out to support the AI work in Woodlands.
The work in Woodlands went quite well and whilst Jay thought we could have got more engagement from community and stakeholders, the people that did engage with the workshops seemed keen and had a real passion for the community and genuinely wanted to make positive changes. Particularly around the local youth provision as the members round the table felt this was a key thread to several lines of work within in the community.
The conversations had were positive and insightful , many conversations were based around the youth and how we can impact them from a positive point of you, issues were raised around the problems “bored” teens can bring and how giving them a safe space would be key to tackling the issues.
Unfortunately no community group attended the workshop, but the themes discussed were green spaces, community spirit, youth provision and assets (buildings). Jay will inform the local community of the Positive Action Group (PAG) which follow these workshops to allow for everyone to continue to feed into the co-design plans and for anyone who missed this opportunity to get involved.
There were 8 community explorers involved in the Appreciative Inquiry in Carcroft and workshops were held at Bullcroft Memorial Hall.
Considering the size of the community in Carcroft the numbers of community explorers and questionnaires filled out were relatively low. However, we still managed to get some feedback from those in attendance and some key points were raised about the local priorities. Attendance from local organisations Upbeat and NDDT drove the topics of conversation at the workshops and discussions were had about youth provision, assets, green spaces and community pride/cohesion.
A PAG meeting has been set up but provisionally postponed due to COVID restrictions but this meeting will allow for Bullcroft, South Yorkshire Police and other key stakeholders to come together and continue discussions around local issues and identify how to strengthen these.
In what is usually a hard to reach community, 14 community explorers supported in Highfields and the team felt it went very well with one key resident managing to “spread the word” and gather a lot of insight during the discovery stage. Having had between 22 and 35 people attend the Dream and Design workshop, respectively, it was filled with positive people and conversations all wanting to make a difference. Volunteers were gathered and ideas captured.
Throughout the work, there was positive and impactful conversations, people full of good ideas about their local community. Particularly with regards to green spaces, buildings and people. Lots of volunteers came forward to support some well known and respected figures. Community organisations groups including project Highfields and Highfields boxing club were also in attendance.
The priorities identified at the workshops were community cohesion, green spaces and assets (people). Off the back of the workshops, colleagues from the stronger communities team have helped set up a new group called “Friends of Highfields park” with their first event taking place on the 21st November 2021.
A poll has been shared via Highfields Boxing Club to establish when the demand for the PAG meeting is and to ensure the community can be in attendance.
There were 14 community explorers were involved in Bentley and all three stages went very well. The community were welcoming and engaging and seemed to be on the front foot with wanting to make a lasting positive impact. 16 community members attended the Dream workshop and 22 members attended the Design workshop.
The conversations were thoughtful and insightful. Bentley has plenty of key residents with very good insight and vital information around the area. Community organisations BACUP , TVC , Manna and Smile were all in attendance at the workshops. The main themes discussed were buildings assets, green spaces, youth provision.
Well Doncaster officer, Jay, attended the steering group on 14th December 2021 and discussions centred around the next PAG meeting. A networking event is also due to take place in January 2022.
The most engagement from a community came from Askern where 11 community explorers spoke to 120 residents about the local community.
The conversations were extremely useful and helped everybody work towards making Askern a better place to live, work and place. Conversations enabled us to identify areas for improvement which most stakeholders were already aware of but also brought to light some area’s which we didn’t know about.
Green spaces, youth provision, community cohesion, communication and buildings assets were all topics of conversation at the workshops. Information gathering around “shakers” provide informative and it was good to see stakeholders working together to help share information.
Plans are in place to follow up with a community meeting in early 2022.
If anyone would like to be involved in strengthening the North of Doncaster or has an idea that may benefit your local community please contact James.Parsonage@doncaster.gov.uk