Cirencester Sofa Month

| Helen Sharp

We love this series of videos from You’re Welcome of Cirencester Sofa Month – a community engagement approach with a difference. You’re Welcome is a ten-year plan set up by Barnwood Trust. It’s all about creating more welcoming and inclusive communities across Gloucestershire to help people do the things they enjoy, and get to know more people where they live. They work to connect people, fund projects and share knowledge in Gloucestershire.

The idea for Cirencester Sofa Month came about during a community meeting where attendees were thinking about ways to engage with local people.

A week later, You’re Welcome took their sofa out into different parts of Cirencester for a month and their designated ‘Sofa Sitters’ invited passers-by to join them for a chat. Members of the public were asked questions including:

  • “Tell us a story about when you came together with your community to make things better?”
  • “What are the hidden treasures in Cirencester?”
  • “What are your passions and what might you want to do if a couple of others in your community helped you?”

As you can see from the videos included in this article, Cirencester Sofa Month led to many great ideas and helped You’re Welcome understand what mattered to local people by talking and listening to them. A great example of creative community engagement with an asset based approach using asset based questions!

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