Our Local Coordinators are key to our place based approach, helping to solve some of the concerns that local children and young people raise during both formal research workshops, and our informal conversations we have in the communities we work within.
Learning from Capabilities
In anticipation of the formal capabilities research work, Iain Corbett, our Local Coordinator for Drumchapel, held introductory sessions with children and young people from both G15 Youth Project, and Langfaulds Primary School.
These conversations very quickly highlighted that ‘feeling safe’, and having access to nature or green spaces, were key priorities for both groups. Iain found that a major factor influencing this was the increasing amount of litter in Drumchapel, and it was a particular problem in the spaces children and young people would ideally choose to spend their time.
During their conversations, Iain asked both groups to suggest possible solutions; and they decided a quick and effective way to deal with the rising rubbish was to get a group of adults together to help tidy it up. So, that’s exactly what Iain did…
Keep Drumchapel Tidy was born!
Having made connections with several key local services, third sector groups and individuals within the local community, Iain was well-placed to put the young people’s request in motion. He sought out locals already looking to tackle the issue and, before long, together they had assembled an enthusiastic team of volunteers.
Among the team that came together was local artist, Tanith Diggory. Tanith designed the visual identity for the group. Iain felt her artwork could help keep the children and young people engaged in the project, so that they could feel part of the change they were helping to initiate.
So, Tanith was commissioned to design ‘Keep Drumchapel Tidy’ colouring-in posters. These posters were then given to every school child in Drumchapel – informing them about the work that was going on, how it was influenced by young people’s views, and how they could also participate.
From Voices to Action on the Ground
With the group ready to go, and volunteers signing up via the online forms, the only thing left to do was coordinate the collection of the rubbish with Glasgow City Council.
‘Keep Drumchapel Tidy’ went out in Drumchapel every day in June, with the council agreeing to collect the filled bags at the end of each of the group’s sessions.
So, how did they get on?
During the month of June, ‘Keep Drumchapel Tidy’ worked with 123 volunteers, who donated 314 volunteer hours over the course of 33 litter picks! In total, 350 bags of litter were collected!
This tremendous effort has had an immediate impact on the environment in Drumchapel, but there are other benefits the group has brought to the neighbourhood too. ‘Keep Drumchapel Tidy’ is going from strength to strength, with monthly litter picks now taking place.
But none of this change could have happened if the children hadn’t been asked, if the children didn’t have the space and confidence to air their feelings and speak about what would make them feel safe, happy and what could support their wellbeing.
Therefore, thanks needs to be given to all those that listened, understood and came together to start to deliver the change.
Thanks to the work of volunteers like Tanith, and the partnership between groups such as Drumchapel Community Council, G15 Youth Project, Drumchapel Thriving Places, Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Housing Association, ‘Keep Drumchapel Tidy’ is now an asset for the Drumchapel community going forward.