This report, reflecting on the work undertaken in 2007, is based on facilitated sessions with our participants, both local people and local workers.
A big thank you once again to all our participants for their contributions through 2007.
We asked participants their views on being part of the study; we report back on their views in the following 7 sections.
People like feeling they are being listened to by decision makers. People feel that sharing personal experiences can inform thinking and decision making. People believe that by participating they are shifting perceptions of them and their community.
People want to do something to benefit the community; getting involved helps them to do this
People enjoyed the approach, the tools and how they supported conversation
The format allows for people who lack confidence, to use other forums to have their say.
Relationships between the local pairs – local person and local worker - have grown
People liked to find out what other contributors had said; and benefited from knowing their views were often shared by others
The study helped some people be more aware of issues in Fife; and shifted perceptions about their own community
People liked talking about themselves, having some ‘me’ time and looking at aspects of life from a different perspective
People report increased self confidence and a more positive view. They are more likely to get involved and have their say again.
Finding time to meet up could be difficult; especially if there are other demands
It could be hard finding enough time to do a session
Some found certain questions or themes or phrasing of questions difficult
Most local people hadn’t looked at the website, so the visual feedback material is important
Although everybody gets the visual report back – usually in the form of a poster - only 1 in 10 of local people report having seen the website and so access to the full web-based text reports has been limited.
Several people said that accessing a computer was a problem, and most workers hadn’t looked at the website with the local person.
Workers got to know their local person better
Workers recognise the benefits of participation to the local person; particularly in terms of confidence and a sense that their views matter
Workers found out more about the local area they work in
The feeling of ‘making a difference’ was important to some workers
Workers liked how the study was managed and the feedback
Workers talked about how they liked the approach and tools – and valued the positive tone of the study
The flexibility of the sessions was a good thing for some workers
It’s difficult to find the time, schedule meetings and meet in suitable a place.
Having more time between sessions and information earlier would have helped
Some themes have the potential to touch on difficult personal issues
Questions could be more specific or simpler
It can be difficult choosing a local person to work with
One worker would like to have been consulted herself
One worker would like more hard copy feedback
Group work may work better for some people
Meeting other participants would be good
Recording the session is not always easy
Posing questions rather than making specific recommendations to regeneration partners isn’t a style everyone likes
There is a need to make time to end the process with participants
Just over 1 in 3 of the participating workers have visited the website and read any of the full text reports. Many more have relied on the illustrated posters which give a flavour of each report to engage others in the findings of the study.
The study helped workers reflect on their own practice
Workers skills and approaches to engagement have been enhanced
Workers and local people got to know each other better
The study helps workers gain more knowledge about local issues
The reports are useful and have been shared