On 31 March 2017 Cornerstone House Centre Cumbernauld hosted the final PB event where 21 local community groups shared £24,000. Funding for activities between £268 to £1790 was presented to local groups.
Cornerstone House Centre applied for the opportunity to manage the project and a community development approach was undertaken so that local people were involved not only in deciding what groups were funded but actually deciding what were the local priorities to be tackled by those applicant groups. This involved having two plenary-style community events, first in January an ‘awareness raising’ event which selected themes for groups to apply for and second in March a ‘We Decide’ event to select whose applications should be supported.
In between the two main events there was 3 parallel processes of continuing to gather community views:
- through online surveys.
- two opportunities for groups who were preparing applications to attending additional support meetings when preparing their bid.
- An additional bespoke citizenship learning course to a group pf local people/volunteers was also undertaken between February and March to help strengthen local input into the model.
At the March “We Decide” event – after presentations from each applicant group voting resulted in the attendees agreeing funding should be allocated to every group – this resulted in a 10% reduction in the total available but this agreement aligned the total grants to the total from application submissions. Every application was connected to a specific thematic needs as identified at the first plenary event.
There was a high level of interest in the project. This included local and Scottish elected members, strategic partners and especially the community itself. Through well prepared co-ordination and facilitation, people were encouraged to be involved. Applicant diversity included:
- environmental volunteering,
- children with life-limiting conditions,
- faith community,
- adults with complex disability needs,
- community sports,
- health and wellbeing development,
- lone parents,
- mental health,
- frail elderly,
- unemployed people,
- community gala day,
- special needs school (parents group),
- women’s issues,
- isolation and loneliness of elderly people,
- dance therapy,
- local wildlife,
- and poverty reduction through a food bank.
Positive feedback was received and plans are in place for follow up sessions being organised by Cornerstone House Centre.
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