As August arrives (and summer is still nowhere to be seen) our Core Research Team has now had its final group training session and has begun the research-devising process. We now meet every Monday 12-6pm at the Govan Housing Association Community Hub. Feel free to drop-in and ask us about the project!
Here’s an update on our most recent Empowering Govan’s Communities Sessions written by one of our project volunteers.
On 20 July 2015, due to the Glasgow Fair Weekend, we met with the core team of Researchers at the vibrant setting of the community Flat in the Cardonald area of Glasgow. The setting, the sitting room, located in a community flat, made for a highly stimulating meeting of minds.
The meeting began with an interactive, thought-provoking exercise which impressed upon us just how inter-connected we all were using a few balls of different coloured wool. With each colour indicating a hobby or interest, we quickly linked up with each other using our common interests, hobbies and activities. It was fascinating to watch this exercise unfold. The crescendo was captured at the end of the exercise when all the participants were standing in a circle and had together created a colourful web of connections with each other based on their universal interests and humanity (see photo).
During this highly interactive session, we collectively and collaboratively began to probe, examine and ultimately pin down principals that permeate our Community Research Project. We isolated six principals:
Clarity, Listening, Openness, Respect, Sharing (of Knowledge), Space.
We look forward to exploring these principals further in workshops, meetings and sessions to come.
This was followed by working in groups of 3 in which we discussed the nuts and bolts of the research process. Much of this was illuminating as we collectively discussed the different stages of research, its design and delivery.
By the end of our meeting, we were able to envision the various stages required for our Research Project. We look forward to sharing our insights, wonder and explorations further in the weeks and months to come.
On the 27th of July and the 3rd of August, we returned to our regular venue where we began by exploring our hopes and concerns regarding the project. Volunteers expressed their hopes to learn and share new skills as well as getting to know and supporting the community though they also had some concerns about how they would do this. There was agreement that the project would be challenging but worthwhile and achievable!
We’ll be checking in with our hopes and concerns again in a couple of months to see if we’ve achieved some of our hopes and overcome our concerns!
Following this activity, we moved on to a process which would see us beginning to identify themes for our research. Working over 2 sessions, our volunteers each shared a story from their own experience with the other Researchers. They were then asked a number of questions about their stories, helping us to establish some of the stories themes and messages (and developing our questioning skills!).
Each story was different and the volunteers demonstrated openness and clarity in their story-telling whilst those listening showed respect and gave each story-teller plenty of space.We then used these stories to identify shared experiences in the group and potentially in the wider community and these will be developed into our initial research themes.
The next stage of the process will involve articulating questions that we want to ask to explore these themes. We’ll be sharing information on these as soon as possible so stay tuned!
The Empowering Govan’s Communities project aims to develop Community-led Research around issues identified by local community members. The research will be designed and carried out by community members who have a stake in the Govan community. These same community members – with input from the wider community - will identify and implement community actions which respond to the findings of the research.
Thoughts, words and pictures from our staff, volunteers and service users