Community engagement in Craigroyston

| Anna Eaton

I have worked for two different MPs so I know how important doorstep issues are for people. On the ground is where real life is happening in communities and where the reality of services or lack of them presents itself and impacts. I think now more than ever, communities activating and forming groups and finding a voice to stand up for themselves is needed and has a much more lasting impact.

That is why I was particularly taken by an initiative set up in Edinburgh called Total Craigroyston which aims to improve outcomes for children and families in the neighbourhood around Craigroyston Community High School. It’s a place based approach set up by the Edinburgh Partnership which engaged the whole community as part of the initiative.

What really stands out about this project is that they produced a Roadmap for Total Craigroyston, described as “an instruction manual from the community on what needs to happen in order for the changes that the community – those who use services and those who deliver services – believes need to be made”.

The Roadmap provides a process review on the engagement and consultation period including energized, exciting ideas such as ‘Immersion Week’ and a ‘Festival Day’ focused on asking members of the public what they thought about the future and the area. They took the consultation process to the streets, asking residents questions with great visual prompts and idea boards. Residents weren’t just asked “what do you need?” but “what would you start?”, encouraging a sense of empowerment and control that this was a joint effort about putting action in the community’s hands.

The process review shows that in every stage of engagement there was a mix of local residents, community groups, service providers and young people. Though this project was focused on families and children around Craigroyston Community High School, elderly groups, the police, service providers, housing officers and many more were involved to provide a broad and integrated approach.

The Roadmap provides a clear example of how things can be done and what worked successfully that others may wish to follow. And there are clearly positive results. Total Craigroyston’s most recent Taking Stock report from Autumn 2015 reported improvements in maths, literacy, reading, an increase in secondary school attainment with more students staying on and fewer children needing to be excluded and truanting figures down as well as many other improvements. Check out the Roadmap for some tangible examples about engaging with communities.

Share this article:

Similar articles

by Mel Parks

Grenfell Memorial Community Mosaic: Collective Power Awards

Celebrating and learning more about CHWA Awards joint winner, The Grenfell Memorial Community Mosaic, which has brought almost 1,000 local people from North Kensington together to make large scale public artworks. Co-created with individuals and local community, resident, faith and school groups under the guidance of mosaic artists Emily Fuller and Tomomi Yoshida.

Read article
by Mel Parks

2.8 Million Minds: Collective Power Awards

This blog features the 2.8 Million Minds project. Between November 2021 and May 2022, over 120 people contributed to A Manifesto for 2.8 Million Minds, a youth-led, artist-centred, and Disability Justice-informed approach to how young Londoners want to use art to begin to radically reimagine mental health support, justice and pride.

Read article
by Mel Parks

Union Chapel: Collective Power Award

Union Chapel share their experiences of their community leaders project which was shortlisted for the Collective Power Award with the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance’s (CHWA) annual awards which focus on collective power (partnership and co-production), practitioner support and climate.

Read article