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The Fife Regeneration, Health and Wellbeing Study

Finding out more about the health and wellbeing of the people of Fife

February 2007: Past, Present and Future

The 2007 phase of the study kicks off with discussions that are all about the past, the present and the future. The 2007 project sees 34 local people and 33 workers signed up and ready to contribute to questions through 2007.

In thinking about the past we have captured some of people’s happiest memories. Throughout 2007 we will continue to collect happy memories from local people (we will report on these later in the year).

In thinking about the present each of our local participants has considered a particular group in the population – children/young people, men, women or older people – and thought about what life is like for them now.

Moving on to the future participants have thought about the way things should be for the same groups of people.

In thinking about how life should be our new body of participants have told us what their key messages for the regeneration partners are.

At the end of this session report (continuing the practice from our 2006 phase) we pose key questions for the regeneration partners, questions which emerge from what has been highlighted by local people in this session and which need to be addressed in the process of regeneration.

This is part of a pictorial representation of what people told us. You can right click and save the whole image to your desktop as an A4 poster here.

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This report is an edited reflection of what people have told us. Because of the large amount of contributions we have selected quotes which we feel represent a proportionate balance of views from all of the participants or quotes which highlight a specific issue.

We report on what people told us in the following 8 sections:

 

The key themes identified in consideration of life for older people in our targeted regeneration communities in 2007 are the importance of personal independence, the connections with people that help support the wellbeing of the individual older person, and the importance of adequate and comprehensive health and social care when and where older people need it.

"I manage myself and I’m happy to do that. Independence matters to me. There are carers and support if people need it."

"I’m frustrated at my poor health. I’d like to do more in the house but I’m tired, no energy. I think other people feel the same. I have to pay for private help with housework, I’m happy with the service – it’s company for me."

There is recognition across those contributors who spoke about the lives of older people now that income, health and social care are certainly better than they were when they were younger. And they have a sense that Fife is place where people care about their entitlement to good services, that they want the best for their families and communities, and that Fife is a place that people come back to. But people also worry about the future of the NHS.

"People are healthier now, work is less physical and fewer people smoke."

"My wife and I have a good doctor, I think the health service is good but they’re chipping away at it with privatisation. Older people remember when there was no NHS."

"Older people are better cared for, better benefits and pensions."

"Fife is still a radical area. Pensioners are better off, there’s more money than 30 -50 years ago – after the welfare state came in."

"People leave but they come back to Fife – older people like to be where they grew up, where they know. "

"There’s been no improvement in healthcare waiting lists."

Being older in Fife today means recognising the value and importance of social opportunities that are offered by agencies from statutory and voluntary sectors. Where opportunities are available they are seen as a good thing, but there are concerns about accessing some new facilities:

"Life’s alright for me, the Social Club is good for company twice a week, somewhere to go, meals at good prices."

"Lots for older people to do like bingo and social groups."

"There’s a big new community centre, a quarter million pounds but it never gets used by the community – you need to have a reason to use it, you have to book a room. There should be a place you can go to have a cuppa and a chat, just to drop in."

Good public transport is highlighted as essential for the older person, views on existing services were positive:

"You need the buses to get around; I take the bus to Kirkcaldy. The local service is quite good."

"There’s good transport services."

"Older people who live on their own are probably isolated right through the week. But free bus passes help older people travel and visit places."

However older people mourn the loss of employment, particularly the pits, and the sense of community that came with life in the villages and towns whose social fabric was built around the industry.

"Life can be depressing for people. Lots of things have been lost, all that’s left is having a pint, putting on a bet."

"Why did the pits close? There’s plenty of coal. The mine closure and end of the unions had a devastating effect. Lots of families left to go to mining elsewhere. It almost cleared some villages out in the sixties and seventies."

Affordable housing is also a concern but improvements are recognised as well.

"Housing is a major concern, house prices are rocketing and councils aren’t building."

"Housing has improved, there’s central heating now instead of coal fires."

The quality of life for older people in the targeted regeneration areas is also negatively impacted upon by a sense that older people are not given respect, that there are fewer people looking out for them. In particular there is a fear of crime and anti-social behaviour

"I’m frightened to go out in evenings because of crime, I think twice about going out. Especially on a Friday or Saturday with all the teenagers on the streets."

"People are lonely and isolated – the neighbours not friendly and don’t care these days. Family not the same as it used to be."

"There’s no respect for older people."

"I’m frightened to go out alone."

"I keep the doors locked. I’m afraid to go out at night."

"No-one will get up to give you a seat on the bus."

For some contributors there is a strong sense that the quality of services and access to them varies across Fife. This inequity is seen as something that needs addressed.

"A lot of dentists are private; it’s difficult to find a dentist. A new dentist had a huge queue waiting outside when they opened."

"Out of town supermarkets have closed all the small shops. A shopping service needs to be developed to enable older people to shop safely."

"It’s a feeling that Dunfermline is bottom of the queue – Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes are a different kettle of fish altogether. Especially with the hospital here being downgraded to a day hospital. My wife had a heart attack but luckily she was in the right place in Kirkcaldy – there’s no cardiac unit here in Dunfermline. The consultation on the Dunfermline hospital was a farce, they’d made their minds up to downgrade it anyway."

"Dunfermline town centre is neglected. If I want to do any serious shopping I go to Kirkcaldy or Edinburgh."

Reflecting the themes which concerned contributors in their reflection on what life is like now for older people there were hopes that regeneration activity would impact on the lives of older people in several ways.

There are hopes for the whole community:

"In ten years time I want there to be work for people in the depressed areas."

"Keep a good education system."

And hopes for increased and improved support, income and services for older people:

"Older people will be well looked after."

"We should have a welfare system that works, one that’s not means tested. Welfare should be high enough to live on. And the minimum wage should also be high enough so people don’t feel they’re better off on welfare – particularly if they’re on incapacity benefit."

"Pensions will have to increase in order to meet the cost of living."

"Improved sheltered housing with more social activities, and I could do with an extra bedroom."

"People should have decent housing with free heating if you’re over a certain age."

"There would be a ‘phone a friend’ service, for a blether. Older people get lonely sometimes."

"Dunfermline hospital should be expanded, not downgraded. Make sure there are local health services all across Fife. People shouldn’t have to travel to them."

"Looking to the future there should be decent social work support, right now there’s not enough to do the job they’re supposed to be doing."

"With regeneration there should be day centres where people can get a cheap meal."

"Older people will be well informed about services."

"If we get independence in Scotland we’ll stop spending money on Trident missiles and illegal wars – we’ll be spending money on people, on older people - on a better health service, better pensions and things like leisure facilities. If we don’t we’ll just limp along."

There are hopes that regeneration would have an impact on inter-generational relationships and a real experience of community, where people know their local history, where no-one is forgotten, and where older people feel safe. Returning to a theme in the pilot year, the issue of being connected shone through as something that should be achieved by regeneration:

"Housing should have a mix of young and old. The young should help out the old."

"There should be more interaction between young and old, not just dull stuff in the classroom. School kids going into people’s homes, learn from each other, learn social history."

"Facilitate a sense of community, people to help each other more, need to teach that at school. You hear about people being dead for months and nobody knows. Need to make sure nobody gets isolated or forgotten."

"You should feel secure in your own home."

"In the future older people should not being isolated, lonely and afraid to go out alone."

"In 2017 I’d want to see that older people are valued and respected by the community."

"Community spirit! That means knowing your neighbours and them knowing you. Helping each other like in the old days."

Most participants chose to speak about children and young people. Contributors talked about how children and young people experience family and community life and how services do or do not act effectively in 2007.

In terms of the here and now there was empathy for the negative experiences and struggles which some children and young people face, as well as a recognition that their behaviour sometimes impacts negatively on other people in the community.

"Life for children and young people today is crap."

"I thing young people are bored and depressed – there’s just nothing for them to do, there’s no choice. If there’s not enough good choices they’re always going to make wrong choices. They smash windows and destroy the community because they’re bored."

On the other hand, some people say some children have positive experiences of their neighbourhoods.

"The kids I’ve known, they’re happy, they havnae got any problems. They get on well. They can knit closer together because it’s a smaller area. I’ve seen a few kids help disabled people and old people on buses – it shows kids can get praise. If ye cannae praise them they’ll no try and help in the future."

Some contributions recognised that over the long term children’s health and access to health services as well as their access to material resources has improved.

"They’re a lot healthier now than we were. There’s less pollution, no linoleum factory, less industrial pollution. In Kirkcaldy you’re right into fresh air."

"The schools go into healthy eating now – things like fruit, veg and no chips."

"There’s more doctors now, there’s no waiting. When a kid needs seen a kid gets seen."

"Kids are better fed now, better dressed, more pocket money."

But some people think material things have become too important in the lives of children today, and they fail to meet real needs. Some people say children are under pressure to grow up too fast:

"It’s too free and easy. Life is easier for young people than when I was young. More money now, more material goods but always wanting more."

"There’s lots of peer pressure on clothes, on language they use, drugs, alcohol, sex. They’re too busy wanting to grow up. They’re competitive, trying to outdo each other."

"It’s all money motivated now – everybody should be treated the same regardless of what they’ve got."

There were clear messages from our contributors are about a lack of work and recreational opportunities, particularly for teenagers; where opportunities do exist they are perhaps not up to scratch. Typically people say:

"They probably hate it here, they must get bored."

"I feel sorry for young people nowadays, there’s nowhere to go, nothing to do."

"There’s always jobs in the paper, but I don’t know if it’s the sort of things young people would want – cleaner’s jobs and seasonal work like tidying gardens."

"There’s a lack of job opportunities – young people are willing to work but there’s no training."

"They sit in the house playing Play Stations – they’re happy but I’m no – there’s something missing. There’s no incentive for them to get up and do anything. There’s no youth clubs to go to."

"There’s not enough sports facilities and youth clubs and play areas."

"The reason they don’t go to the leisure centres is because they need updated, they need to be rebuilt – Fife isn’t keeping up with what kids are goin’ for. The curtains are the same as when I was a bairn – who’s going to walk into that?"

However, provision across Fife seems to vary and not everyone agrees that there isn’t enough to do.

"They do have a lot of opportunities and facilities available to them."

Participants talked about new housing developments taking up green spaces and not leaving enough parks in the neighbourhood for children.

"They’re forgetting when building these houses to leave play areas for the kids."

"There’s far too many houses going up, taking all the places away to play. A new housing development had to build a play park as part of the deal but didn’t put much into it."

"There’s nae room to run about. The houses have taken up all the spaces we used to play in when were young. There should be football pitches instead of houses."

"My daughter asked to go the park just after tea time but it’s twenty minutes away so we said no – it’s too far away by the time she goes there and back."

There is a recognition that the public presence of young people on the street is seen as both normal and problematic:

"They like to hang about with their friends, like in front of the shop. One day they must have had 50 kids hanging about, just for something to do. When there’s a big group like that I wouldn’t walk past them – they never seem to bother anybody, but you get the impression they would because they’re loud. Police move them on but they just do the same somewhere else."

"If you play along with them they’re alright, but if you tell them to move on you get abuse back."

The perception of adults is that in one generation, public places have become unsafe for young people. There is recognition from participants that this causes frustration and limits the child’s right to freedom and to play:

"I feel sorry for my kids, can’t let them out to play. We used to go out in the woods, but now you don’t know who’s dotting about, I worry even when my son goes to the shop. He can get a hassle from other kids."

"I have to keep my son with special needs home inside for his own safety, he gets picked on."

"Young children can’t even visit the shop for worrying about what might happen. Parents feel guilty for restricting children’s freedom and children may feel that they’re not being trusted."

"They could quite easily bump into someone with drug problems, I’ve seen needles lying about the street."

There are widespread concerns about the use of drugs and alcohol in Fife communities, particularly when it to comes to young people. Some aspects of drug and alcohol use were related to difficulties in young people’s experiences:

"There’s nae help with alcohol, nae help with drugs in this village."

"There’s drugs and alcohol, kids are trying to keep right and no get involved in it, but if your pals are doing it you’ll want to do it. They probably want a buzz, because they’re bored, it’s the weekend and there’s nothing else to do."

"When we were young drugs were a big taboo. Now there are no boundaries, drugs are too acceptable and too easily accessible."

"There are too many drugs on the street, far too much peer pressure on the young ones of today to try drugs. There are children as young as ten and eleven dealing drugs. It is all too easy to get their hands on drugs and alcohol."

"You get stuck in the cycle of doing drugs to forget your depression."

"Some folk rob others for money to feed their habit. They feel shitty for doing this but the drugs make them feel better."

"Homeless young people are drinking heavily and doing drugs due to personal problems. They’re depressed and that, suicidal. They’re angry with themselves, angry with different units [homeless units], friends and parents. It’s hard to get into accommodation because of the big numbers of homeless young people and because of personal circumstances."

"Homeless young people take drugs to cope."

"Some kids’ parents are into drugs so the kids get taunted because of this. My kids have a bad attitude toward smack heads and junkies."

There were comments about what works to address negative behaviour and the negative perception of children and young people in 2007:

"The community police are doing more, taking kids home if they’re found drinking in the street or generally misbehaving – they’re supposedly taken to cells if the parents aren’t in."

"Homeless projects provide support and help to get scatter flats [temporary accommodation] and your own house. If you’re coming from jail they take you on days out. They help you with cooking and cleaning, healthy eating, take you shopping and help with managing money. You can make friends there, you feel safe and secure."

"The ‘Fifestyle’ card is good, it gives discounts and things like swimming pools are free, but all leisure facilities should cost nothing to get in for everybody."

One positive community initiative was reported as successful because it got young people involved in their neighbourhood:

"An old play park as been redone with regeneration and the kids have promised to keep it clean, they pick up the litter and tell adults to put their litter in bins. The school organised this, they said “build us a brand new play park and we’ll take care of it”. The children also go about the schemes with the wardens at night time and help clean up."

"It is recognised that youth workers can do good work in the streets but they need to be sensitive to parents’ worries and keep them informed."

"Council workers were talking to children on my main street about safe sex, about condoms. I didn’t know they were council workers and didn’t hear all they were saying so I called the police. I don’t think this is right, parents should have to give consent, parents should be informed. Letters should have been sent to houses in the neighbourhood."

Schools also have a role to play, and that this can be challenging:

"There’s no authority at school – I feel things are twisted around to reward bad behaviour."

"Most of the school kids havnae a problem with the school. The kids over here want to  go to school. It’s safe there. Teachers treat them with respect and kids give it back."

"The relationships between the school, parents and children is broken. They don’t get together as a team. Some parents don’t give a damn."

There is a sense amongst some contributors that adults need to take more responsibility for young people, yet where the community responded to young people’s needs there is a sense that this was somewhat fragile, and initiatives and actions can easily be lost:

"Things don’t get organised for kids because adults are too lazy, everybody expects someone else to do it. There needs to be an incentive to start it off."

"The Council used to give us money to take young teenagers away on trips in a caravan out in the countryside, they did fishing and things – but the money stopped so the trips stopped."

"They’ve taken away the summer civic week, there used to be a parade – they’ve taken that away from the kids, they say there’s nae money. All the neighbourhoods in Dunfermline would come together and all the kids really looked forward to it."

There are concerns that some services and resources and physical regeneration, although in place, have failed to take account of what is actually needed:

"There are some organisations for young people of today but there is very little of them and more would help to get them off the streets."

"A new play park got rubbished, vandalised by the older ones – there’s nothing for the older ones. Don’t know if there’s a club for young people – when there was one before they just got barred anyway."

And where initiatives or projects have been developed for children and young people they sometimes lack sophistication, are not accessible or do not effectively engage with the target group:

"There’s nothing to do, especially if you’re over twelve. They mix you in with twelve and thirteen year olds if you’re sixteen like me."

"At a local play park there’s not enough stuff there for young children who are disabled, who are in a wheelchair. The Council says it cannae be done. I says go along to see other parks that have these things – I’ll even show them."

"Go and ask the kids what they want. Nobody asks their views. "

One contributor talks about Fife’s youngest citizens as follows:  

"They’re looking for something, I think they’re looking for fulfilment."

Reflecting the themes which concerned contributors about what life is like in 2007 there were hopes that regeneration activity would impact on the lives of younger people in several ways by the year 2017.

Participants feel that children and young peopleneed something to look forward to.

Training and well paid employment for young people was seen as something which was essential and should be a key target for regeneration:

"By 2017 all young people would have good jobs, there’d be no drugs. They’d all go about with smiles on their faces – they don’t do that now."

"We need to attract business, new industry. Like the industrial energy park that’s being built in Methil."

"More jobs, like for skilled trades like plumbers. Apprenticeships would be good."

"Bring more industry into Fife."

"You need to up the money for to get people out of their beds to want to go to jobs – to get people off the dole."

Participants in the study talk about a Fife that is responding more positively to the impact of drugs and alcohol in the community, particularly in relation to the lives of children and young people. By 2017 education about drugs and alcohol will also meet needs:

"A drug-free Fife! Educate them about drugs at a younger age".

"More awareness about drugs and alcohol in schools and talks about being homeless – making pupils aware of the help that’s out there."

"More support for drug addicts and people facing homelessness."

"Easy access to all drug services quickly."

"Police and anti-drugs campaigners could go into schools to talk about drugs. Let them see it’s not all rosy, not like on the telly – kids don’t always see the bad side of it."

Contributors see a need for good information and advice, as well as education, training and employment that is as local as possible:

"More youth awareness projects and community days out for young people."

"If colleges were local then the lazy kids who don’t want to travel will maybe think about going."

"Money for young people so that they go to college."

"If careers advice is right then it will help them discover what to do."

By 2017 young people also need regeneration partners to have addressed the lack of social and recreational opportunities. Facilities and projects need to be responsive, creative and fit for purpose:

"Youth clubs that have a café, somewhere they can just drop in but where adults can keep an eye on them."

"More youth clubs established to help keep young people out of trouble."

"There’d be things like a hot-air balloon day, where young kids could make things."

"If things were organised for them kids could do things outside, get fresh air."

"Facilities that are free! There should be a really good sports centre with everything in it, with professional workers that get young people excited and make them want to go there. It would stop them using computers all day and get them off their butts."

Regeneration can also build new intergenerational relationships and a culture of children and young people’s participation and engagement with regeneration activity:

"It would be good to get some of the kids interested in their area, looking after their own wee spot, investing in something."

"There’d be a community spirit with all generations living in the same area without any tension – no tension between  young people and old people."

"Regeneration could be about children getting to know their neighbours."

"If adults were helping, working together with kids, then adults could see their point of view."

"A group of young people should help make the rules."

"Children would be more involved, take more active roles – the younger the better, it’s going to be their village."

"We should be asking young people to come onto the community council."

"When we’re gone who’s gonnae look after the village?"

Responding to earlier concerns about children and young people’s lives now, in which being away from adult supervision in public places is seen as dangerous and increasingly unavailable, in 2017 it would be a positive thing if we could work towards parents worrying less about children playing outside", something that might be helped with the development of more safe havens for young kids to play”.

"More police patrolling the streets to bring down anti-social crime."

"Lots of play areas that are safe and child friendly for children and young people."

"They could walk out and have a bit of fun and be safe from traffic. Cars don’t give two monkeys now, even with speed bumps. We need more zebra crossings - I couldn’t  even tell you where a zebra crossing is in Fife."

Where young people are troubled there is a recognition that regeneration partners – in both statutory and voluntary sector agencies – have a role to play in meeting needs with effective, supportive services.

"In the future there should be more support for younger folk, like youth groups and projects like Barnardos. And in schools for those who are troubled."

"More homeless units and more homeless officers – officers need to be easier to contact and meet more with young people. Young homeless people should have their own tenancies."

"If you’re homeless you can go to a wee shop and get covers and pillows for the night. And places to wash in the morning and get free food every day."

"More foster carers for children in crisis."

A positive experience of school is seen as vital to the life success of the individual, something that should be the norm as a result of regeneration. By 2017 participants want to see better engagement with learning at school, and in particular more enthusiasm and engagement with school by over 16s.

"Regeneration should encourage kids to be enthusiastic about school and stay at it."

"Teachers and children would respect each other."

However, reflecting concerns about the qualities required of helping professionals (discussed in one of our 2006 questions) it is also highlighted that the attitudes and practices of the professional person can define the extent to which they can help. By 2017:

"Teachers will become more friendly to parents and children. They shouldn’t talk down to you."

For some people there is a need for more authoritative responses to children in school and to people breaking the law, with the view that regeneration processes should also mean that “the police should have more power”. One view is that behaviour and the promotion of more socially acceptable behaviour could be achieved for some young people through some kind of national service which would provide opportunities for young people in that “they can work towards a trade, it will get them a job, and it teaches discipline”.

"Teachers are tired now, they’re pushed and pushed – they need to have more power over the children."

There is also a recognition that professionals like teachers, the police and youth workers need to work with parents and young people more “to get together to understand each other”.

For the most part the actions described throughout this section, in which contributors think about the future for children and young people, have an overwhelming concern with building young people’s self esteem and confidence in both themselves and in their community, so that by 2017:

"They would feel good about themselves, enjoy their childhood, be proud of themselves, proud of doing something for their village."

"Feeling like they belong somewhere, like they’re living their life."

"I’d want them to wake up in the morning happy, to walk down the street happy and be asking people “how you doin’ today?”

"We hope for confident young people - supported to follow their dreams and career choices."

"You know yourself, if you’re happy with yourself, if you’re content, you reflect that, you wouldn’t go out and vandalise things. This has to come first; they need to respect themselves first. If you get all this right first, the life skills, relationships – if you don’t  have that you’ll have problems with education, with work."

"Fife would be joyous, happy and excitable – you’d be excited to go to work and young people would be proud of their community."

Reflecting the overwhelming interest amongst participants on the lives of children and young people the focus of some contributions about the lives of men and women was concerned with their role as parents. Some contributions focused on the needs of men and women with learning disabilities. These two groups then provide the basis for this section of our reporting on the first question of 2007.

For some people life as a parent in Fife in 2007 is “lonely and hard work”. There is a need for parents, particularly those on their own with a child, or caring for children with additional support needs to have access to support which provides opportunities to meet other adults:

"I wish I could go out with my friends but by the weekend I just need to chill out."

"I talk about Dr. Who and Power Rangers with my son all the time. I feel like a ten year old myself sometimes! Want more adult company sometimes!"

Contributors recognise that getting connected to a local service made a difference:

"Before Gingerbread everything was a struggle, barriers everywhere. It’s challenging now but I feel I have more support, somewhere to turn to."

Adults with learning disabilities also need support to help them get out and meet other people:

"People with learning disabilities want to meet up with their friends to go out in the evening or even during the day but we need support from staff to do this."

On the other hand, independent living is also important for adults with learning disabilities:

Things are getting better – slowly - because staff are now listening to me but before they didn’t.

People talked about how lack of good job opportunities affects adults in the community.

"I think it’s because people have lost spirit, they lock themselves behind their front doors – maybe because there’s a lack of jobs, money, confidence. It all changed when the factories shut down and the jobs were lost. Folks aren’t going to get out of bed for a low-wage job."

Work opportunities for adults with learning disabilities in 2007 were also talked about:

"People with learning disabilities would like to work more but this only ends up affecting benefits. This sometimes makes you worse off."

"Before, it seemed that there were no employers interested in people with a learning disability, where now there’s a lot more employers now that employers can see what we do!"

There are hopes that regeneration activity will impact by providing practical support and assistance as well as shifting some of the social attitudes in the community which make living with, or caring for someone with a disability more difficult:

"In 10 years time there should be more help for lone parents and for children with disabilities. There should be more understanding of disabilities and the added pressures this brings."

"In time there should be quality and affordable childcare available to everyone."

It is suggested that regeneration partners should actively promote “realistic and positive media image of lone parents, helping people be less judgmental”.

Our participants also see a role for regeneration in engaging with men and women to talk and learn about the role of parents. This is in terms of the parent as the main supporter and guide for their own child, as well as the need to ‘model’ what good parenting is about for young people who in time will become parents.

"Make parents more aware of what’s out there for kids."

"Make youngsters into better parents for future generations."

The need for information, access to training and learning and personalised support for men and women are also identified as key areas where regeneration partners could make a difference.

"Regeneration should mean that college courses and other training will suit real people’s lives – it needs to work around childcare issues and to be flexible."

"There should be more open access to information – you won’t need to speak to fifteen folk to get one answer."

"There would be a huge support network in place, with social events and campaigns for rights."

For men and women with learning disabilities in particular regeneration will mean “more social and leisure clubs that are local” and more support so they could meet up with friends and go on holidays. There would also be “opportunities to get more work and be valued!”

Messages for the regeneration partners

In thinking about how life should be some key messages for the regeneration partners have been identified from our new body of participants. The messages were written on images of seagulls which we imagined would be charged with delivering the most important messages about things that regeneration must achieve for the people of Fife.

Some messages are about the importance of focusing regeneration activity on meeting the needs of children and young people:

"Regeneration needs to create something for young people to do and an incentive for adults to get involved."

image"Young people are the future generation so we need to help them before they become useless to society. What use is a twenty-five year old man with no qualifications, no job and messes around with alcohol and drugs?"

"We need sports facilities available for children and young people."

"Please help the kids of today for tomorrow."

"We need somewhere safe for the kids. Clear up the streets!"

"There needs to be more facilities for young people to meet and socialise."

"Getting young people involved – give them the responsibility to shape their own community – give them opportunities to do this – get them involved!"

Other messages are about what adults need:

image"Provide local work for people and communities."

"More accessible housing with room to live, affordable."

"Need to take account of older people’s housing needs. Housing needs to be accessible and older people need enough space for visitors, wheelchairs and scooters."

Other messages are about services for everyone:

"Really good public transport."

"A much better bus service – especially on a Sunday."

"Get more homeless units opened!>

"I would like to see more leisure opportunities. A leisure centre would be good! "

imageSome messages are about hope and aspiration, healthier lifestyles and connecting local people to each other and to the process of regeneration:

"People are able to build relationships with neighbours, instead of keeping your head down."

"Pollution free environment."

"Stop animal cruelty."

"Happy healthy communities."

image"Improve lifestyles overall."

"Less stigma for lone parents and for people with mental health problems."

"I would like to see the majority of drugs off the streets and the crime rate drop."

"Reduce drug and alcohol misuse!"

"Strive for a better life."

"We need a sense of community – we all live here and we all have equal responsibility to make our lives better and brighter – get motivated. We can do it – give us the chance!"

"Make the community a safer place."

"Respect!"

imageCommunication! Between the decision makers and the people the decisions are being made for.

Lots of opportunities available locally. A majority with the prospect of work or training.

 

A stronger community. People will take pride in it! People want to live here!

Pay it forward! (or in other words: if young people contribute in their neighbourhoods now it will pay off in the future!)   

Uplift the community!

 

What implications are there for regeneration activity, either in terms of policy or practice of service providers, from our conversations about the past, the present and the future?

What difference should there be in services and the lives of people after 10 years of community regeneration?

Following from the pattern of reporting back in 2006 we now pose six key questions for the agencies managing regeneration activity. Our local contributors would expect that the answers to each of these six questions will be YES! To help describe what a positive response to each question will look like in the lives of individuals, families and communities beneath each question we describe how we will know if the vision of our contributors has been achieved.

1. By 2017: Has the quality of life for children and young people improved?

We will know it has if in 2017:

  • There is a culture of engaging children and young people in what goes on in their communities.

  • There are a range of children’s and young people’s social and leisure activities - local, safe and supervised, affordable and accessible at times they want them.

  • There are opportunities to learn about drugs and alcohol and support to make good choices about health and wellbeing.

  • Children and young people are happier and healthier with increased self confidence in themselves and their communities.

  • There are support services and enough accommodation for homeless young people.

  • Play parks and other facilities are accessible for people with disabilities.

2. By 2017: Is there an improved quality of life for adults?

We will know there is if in 2017:

  • There are more opportunities for independent living, particularly for older people and people living with disabilities.

  • There are more people connected socially and with services.

  • There is support for parents to be the best parents they can be.

  • Adults feel that it is worth their while to work or to learn or to train.

  • Workers are paid a decent wage.

  • Adults with disabilities are part of the community; including at work.

3. By 2017: Are services improved?

We will know they have if in 2017:

  • Services provide affordable childcare, with access at times which help parents get out to work and for occasional respite.

  • There are local hubs where there are opportunities for people of different ages to socialise or access services or support informally and, where necessary, in crisis situations.

  • Facilities are affordable for all.

  • Public transport connects people to essential services and recreational opportunities outside their neighbourhoods.

  • There are shorter waiting lists for health care services.

  • There are local support services for people with drug and alcohol problems.

4. By 2017: Has community life been enhanced?

We will know it has if in 2017:

  • There are opportunities for intergenerational contact and activity which encourages mutual understanding and respect.

  • There is a stronger local identity for communities across Fife, and an improved sense of community spirit and belonging for everyone.

  • People feel safer in their streets and neighbourhoods.

  • Initiatives that work aren’t ended but rolled out and are in place wherever they are wanted by local people.

  • Professionals like teachers, police and youth workers get together with parents and children to increase understanding and solve problems mutually.

5. By 2017: Are public places/spaces improved?

We will know they are if in 2017:

  • Public spaces and places are kept clean and well maintained.

  • Public green spaces like play parks are as important as housing expansion.

  • Streets are safe for pedestrians.

6. By 2017: Is learning and training available for everyone?

We will know it is if in 2017:

  • Opportunities for learning and training are available across Fife.

  • There is good, easy to access professional advice and support for everyone who wants to access or improve their chance to work, train or learn.

  • Learning and training are flexible and supported by childcare places for those who need them.