Our people-led approach
As we prepare to launch our new funding we‘d like to tell you about another project, Newmains Community Hub, which is a great example of one of our three approaches –people-led.
Run by Newmains Community Trust this newly opened facility lies in the heart of the local community, who have been central to its creation.
The centre was officially opened today by our Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn and we send our best wishes to Chairman, Robert Arthur, and everyone connected with the project.
What Big Lottery Fund Scotland loved about the project:
This community driven labour of love has resulted in a multi-purpose community facility from which a wide range of services and activities can be run. The new centre includes a library, meeting rooms, sports hall, youth zones and a cafe.
The project is part of the Our Place initiative, which gave the people of Newmains the chance to set their own local priorities on how Lottery money should be spent within their local area.
The community, decided, following wide consultation, to build a new purpose build centre with services run by and for local people.
The Newmains Community Trust, who run the facility, is also made up by people who live locally and they bring a dynamic mix of skills, experience and knowledge to the table.
Finally, the community was also heavily involved with managing the construction of the centre, which helped them develop useful skills and experience.
The organisation was awarded £2.4m in 2012 for a five year project.
How they did it
Robert Arthur, Chairman, Newmains Community Trust, said; “It may seem obvious but the most important thing is to give the local community what they want. It’s no use having a band spanking new building which is not going to be any use to people who live here. They have to be involved at every stage.
“The key is to do lots and lots of consultation and to keep on doing it. We spoke to local community groups, local businesses and went into schools as well. In the end we must have had around 30 public meetings over the course of a year and put leaflets and newsletters through countless doors.
“We have almost daily contact with local groups who use our services and our Development Officer does a lot of work to ensure we are kept up to speed with what they are doing. It’s so important to have procedures in place so you are constantly listening to what your community are telling you and asking for.
We have posters all over the big window at the front of our office asking what groups or activities local people want and that’s how our new gardening group and older people’s wellbeing group came to be set up in the last couple of months.
“Since the very beginning of this project our main goal has always been for this centre to be the place to go to in Newmains and to create and continue to develop a community asset for the whole community’s needs. For us, being people-led is all about inclusion not exclusion and involving all the members of your community from one through to 100.”