Café Conversations has wrapped up the first phase of discussions for Our Place Our Future Greenock East and Central, a project that has been calling upon individuals and groups who live and work in the area to provide their views, get involved and help shape their community in the future.
Funding of £30,682 from the European Social Fund allowed the Our Place Our Future Greenock East and Central team to engage with hundreds of local residents, community groups and businesses over the past few months. Conversations have considered how ideas can be turned into action, to create a stronger, fairer and healthier community moving forward.
People from all walks of life and different generations shared their views, with better use of derelict housing, buildings and land by the community, as well as cleaning up the area and taking away free swimming for the elderly, all part of the debate. Since the conversation kicked off in January, other issues being raised have included poverty, loneliness, health, depopulation and employment, as well as the benefits of intergenerational activities.
"We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has joined the conversation and contributed their views in stage one of the Our Place Our Future Greenock East and Central project," said Programme Manager, Bill Clements.
"We have used a variety of approaches to engage with people, from group discussions to our more informal café conversations. Our aim has been to ensure that the people who stand to benefit from change are directly involved in developing long-term solutions to address local needs, while considering how they might become involved themselves perhaps by volunteering their time and skills. And we've had some tremendous suggestions.
"We are now looking at ways to build on these conversations going forward and will be back in touch with the local community to let them know how we get on. For now, everyone can be kept posted via our Facebook page @OurPlaceOurFuture."
The Our Place Our Future Greenock East and Central target area covers Gibshill, Strone, Weir Street, Cartsdyke, Bridgend, Greenock Town Centre, Wellpark, Drumfrochar, Broomhill and Prospecthill.
The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority of the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme, which includes the European Social Fund. For further information, visit the Scottish Government website or follow @scotgovESIF.
Programme facilitators were bid organisation CVS Inverclyde and partnership organisation, Your Voice, the Inverclyde Community Care Forum. Both are partners of Inverclyde Alliance (CPP) and the Health & Social Care Partnership (HSCP). CVS Inverclyde engages with the third sector and Your Voice with people who use services. Both organisations have a strong reach into the broader community to identify and promote areas of good practice, highlight opportunities and respond to gaps in services. They share a commitment to asset based approaches, collaboration community development and communities leading their own success, and welcome the increasing recognition that these ways of working are essential to tackling societal issues such as poverty, addictions and poor mental health.