The third meeting of the Dundee Wave of Change project took place on Wednesday 23rd June 2010 at The Shore in Dundee city centre.
The group welcomed a visitor – Liz Gardiner – from A Govan Wave of Change and this gave the Dundee group a chance to hear about the great work being carried out by our colleagues in the west.
The programme for 23 June was:
- Feedback from the two pilot Dundee Wave of Change projects which are now complete – Hot Chocolate Trust and the Go Dundee event at McManus
- Report on activities being carried out in A Govan Wave of Change
- An update on future plans for the Dundee Wave of Change project
- A creative session to prioritise and discuss the forthcoming Dundee Wave of Change thematic events
It was previously agreed that the Dundee Wave of Change initiative will seek broad participation from people in Dundee by promoting three different types of events:
1) Geographical community events
- Based on local community planning partnerships
2) Thematic community events, e.g.
- Welfare/support groups
3) City-wide projects, e.g.
- Dundee Music Project
- 20 Venues Project
- Big Blether
Thematic community events – where do we start?
Participants were asked to write down three types of communities that they felt should be approached first in the Dundee Wave of Change community engagement process. The following table indicates participants’ priorities.
1. Young people (including young men; school pupils in final year; MCMC & students; teenagesingle parents)
2. Arts & Culture sector (including music/performing arts; heritage; festivals)
3. Dundee Women (including Women’s Centre)
4. Education sector (including university – medical/clinical; people who work with learners)
5. Businesses / Parents (including parents of small children; foster parents) / Older people
6. Dundee story-tellers
7. Health sector / Regeneration Forums / Science sector / People in the local news
8. People from different cultures / Guerrilla gardeners
Discussion Group 1
Discussion started with the group sharing their reasons for the three ‘thematic groups’ that they had chosen. The group chose to discuss the logistics of organising an event targeting older people – with an idea to link this to young people, for example, by commissioning a group like Hot Chocolate to interview older people, including use of video. Lot of energy for this but also the realisation that it would take a lot of pre-work to be able to pull it off.
There were a number of other suggestions:
- Link into what’s already happening at the moment:
• don’t reinvent the wheel
• tie into what’s going on in order to minimise double work
• find out what’s already happening, e.g. use NHS Tayside link person who is working on an older people strategy and knows about ‘ways in’ to this demographic community
- Consider ‘channels to market’ such as:
• sheltered housing
• local history groups
• care homes
• voluntary sector organisations working with Older People
- Link to ‘20 Venues’ project?
- If we were to run an event, how/what should we do?
• ask our target group!
• engage other external creative groups to help us (e.g. suggestion that we commission Hot Chocolate to interview older people)
˗ their memory of holidays
˗ talk about their ‘first love’
˗ how did you spend your time?
˗ what was important to them ‘back then’ (values)
˗ what’s important now?
˗ use film
• Other ideas:
˗ look back, look forward
- Has to be fun!!
- What about the Courier / Telegraph?
• can we get them to run a story-telling competition for us?
• invite stories
• These papers are very widely read in Dundee so they could publicise the Dundee Wave of Change initiative and encourage others to participate, e.g. in Wee and Big Blethers
- Creative groups:
• they come up with ideas
• try to build scale by aggregation
- Find events already going on and ‘piggy back’ onto them:
• importance of taking a playful approach
• open up creativity, and the imagination
• use venues in Dundee to help – verdant works, science centre
- What would success look like?
• voices you’ve not heard before
• topics that are:
˗ connections between the generations
- This is a journey – the start of a voyage
Discussion Group 2
This group discussed their thoughts and recommendations on the practicalities of organising thematic community events:
- Make use of existing consultation structures wherever possible in order to reach the most people with the limited resources available
- Need to identify and work with the intermediaries (agents) who can connect with different types of communities in Dundee
- Need to find a way to galvanise people in order to ensure active engagement rather than passive responses – consider setting challenges
- Find ways to encourage and support people to describe what success would look like, e.g. stories that challenge conventional thinking, short graphic novels
- Competitions are one way to galvanise people, e.g. short stories, music, something creative (might need small cash prizes to motivate participants)
- Consider encouraging people to write short stories set in their own communities, e.g. Dundee 2020
- People love telling stories so find a way to support them, e.g. use Tayside Story-Telling Group, creative writing groups at universities, etc.
- Stories that people often remember best are those of experiences between the ages of 11-22 so bear in mind this impressionable age group
- Dundee Wave of Change needs to engage with wealthy, mobile people as well as the ‘strugglers’, e.g. need to find ways to encourage potentially mobile people to stay in Dunde’
- ‘Young people’ are not a community and so we must learn how to identify and engage with different types of young people in a positive, meaningful way
- Need to empower communities to take ownership of different types of engagement projects/processes
- Consider reclaiming community spaces such as bandstands and neglected areas – consider initiatives involving ‘disruptive use of public space’
- Consider use of internet to reach different communities but be careful to avoid becoming a nuisance, e.g. infiltrating young people’s social networking sites
- Use internet to create a stage for community consultation
- Important to bring people together physically and to create a shared experience
- Consider organising a community initiative along the lines of the highly successful ‘Witches Blood’