When we talk about neighbourhoods, we are really talking about ‘places’.
Instead of a neighbourhood being one big space that falls under a single name, we like to think about neighbourhoods as somewhere full of ‘places’.
Places are geographic locations you specifically remember because of the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and feelings associated with them: you can discover a place with your senses.
We can be active and curious in these places. They are where we feel we belong and are safe. Our places are where we can enjoy time with friends and family. These places come together to make up our CNS ‘neighbourhoods’.
Within these neighbourhoods, our Local Coordinators provide support in the settings where children and young people grow, live and learn, and they help develop and align efforts to support change.
They speak with children and young people to hear their views, interests, and worries – as well as their ideas and solutions – in order to understand what action can be undertaken to support their wellbeing.
Greetings from Rigside
With this in mind, pupils from the P5/6/7 class at Rigside Primary have recently taken part in some creative place-making workshops led by our Local Coordinator, Irina Glinski.
Irina’s sessions encouraged the young people to think more deeply about the history and topography of their local areas, which takes in the villages of Rigside, Douglas Water and Sandilands.
As an ‘icebreaker’ at the start of the sessions, pupils looked at different kinds of postcards – before designing their very own for sending from Rigside.
They then worked in small groups to create a variety of incredibly colourful maps of the local area – and even had a few ‘mild disagreements’ along the way about the exact location of the new Ponfeigh Bridge!
Their wonderful maps show the areas that are most important to them, places where they feel safe to play, and the routes they take when travelling to visit family and friends.
In the final session, Irina and the class were joined by Sarah O’Sullivan from Community Action Lanarkshire. Sarah asked the pupils to use the new maps as a basis for thinking about the new active and sustainable travel measures currently underway in the village.
The pupils were allocated icons for new bins, bike-sheds and benches and placed them on the maps where they thought these would provide the most benefit for the community.
Neighbourhood watch: what’s next?
Looking ahead, Irina’s initial work will be taken forward by CNS researchers, who will build on some of these ideas as part of our ‘capabilities’ research.
With Scotland set to host COP26 in November, Irina will soon be getting into the spirit of things. Led by what the children want to see, we’ll be developing some new environmentally-focused activities aimed at improving the outdoor and green spaces of Rigside.
There will also be an exciting new ‘We Love Rigside’ colouring-in page – designed by illustrator Tanith Diggory – to unveil which will kick things off. Tanith was involved in a similar activity with us in Drumchapel which was a great success – so watch this space!