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The Fife Regeneration, Health and Wellbeing Study

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

July '06: A wee bit more about what matters to us

This question asked participants to revisit some of the issues that have been raised in earlier questions about health, happiness and regeneration. Participants were asked to go back to any of these regeneration priorities and tell us: Why do these things matter? Every area wasn’t covered again, but people chose to make comments about these things:

This matters because:

  • Everybody is a part of the community; they should be safe and happy and feel valued.
  • Everyone doesn’t have family or support around them.
  • A lack of community spirit means people don’t recognise the problems some people might have; sometimes people don’t know their neighbours.
  • Isolated and vulnerable people can get caught up in the wrong company, for the sake of company.
  • Vulnerable people get targeted and have things stolen, they are often abused.
  • New residents need to be helped to understand what’s safe and what’s not. They need a guide round all the local help and services that are available.
  • The elderly can feel isolated and intimidated. Older people have greater difficulty getting out, integrating and being part of the local community.
  • A lack of easy safe transport keeps people isolated.
  • Volunteer befrienders could provide support, and help vulnerable people feel part of the wider community. If young people could be encouraged to get to know people in this situation it would help to build understanding in the community.
  • Too many people in caring profession don’t carry out true sense of their role; money becomes more important than the client.
  • People might feel more positive about their community and take pride in where they live.

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This matters because:

  • It makes the whole community feel out of control. I feel useless.
  • Too much Police time has to be spent on drugs.
  • Too much wealth is made by people selling drugs – take their money and use it for rehab.
  • Problems with drink and drugs affect the whole family, not just the person taking them.
  • Drug users don’t get employment, they are never trusted.
  • There are places where you know people are drinking in public, using public places other people would otherwise use. It tends to be 13 to 16 year olds.
  • Buckfast should not be sold.
  • There is lots of theft to pay for drugs.
  • New and isolated residents are targeted.
  • There’s plenty of drugs awareness at school but not enough done if the young person is caught in possession of drugs, at school or anywhere else.
  • There should be educational programmes established at the right age.
  • Children are being brought up in an environment with drugs around them.
  • It shouldn’t be the case that people get methadone, they should go cold turkey.
  • Why can’t methadone be given at the clinic instead of the chemist?
  • Courts should be harsher.
  • Parents are frightened to let their children go to things in the community for fear of drink and drugs being around.
  • People are frightened to leave their homes empty.
  • People drop bottles in the street. You don’t really see needles but it’s frightening to think they might be around.
  • If this problem could be solved it would make our community safer.

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This matters because:

  • A healthy mind comes from a healthy body.
  • There’s not a lot of physical activity going on, arts and other stuff is good, but children need physical activity.
  • There are good opportunities for learning, but adults need to be encouraged to take up physical activity too.
  • With more services available more people will use them and we will keep them open.
  • These kinds of services keeps help people get out and about and build friendships.
  • If you have things for families you can go as a family, it helps to build family relationships too. If you start to go as a family it builds children’s confidence and they are more likely to keep up sporting activity later.
  • If there are good places to go this will help stop drinking and taking drugs on the street, then old folk feel less threatened. In turn, there would be less ASBOS.
  • There should be more activities in the summer to keep children off the streets, instead places seem to close.
  • The Council doesn’t seem willing to pay for people to supervise play. And youth leaders should be paid more.
  • For older people day centres offer a distraction from problems in a way that’s enjoyable; they offer opportunities to make acquaintances and do interesting things. They are so much in demand there are waiting lists which makes this a priority.

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This matters because:

  • It’s better to get things early on, recognise initial problems; if you have services to help early on you might not need help later or get into things you can’t get out of.
  • We need ways to reach people early to offer an initial service.
  • Waiting causes more distress.
  • If you have a problem you should be able to approach the helping professionals you already know, at the early stages, without fear.
  • When you ask for help you should never be rejected by a service.
  • There is still too much stigma and embarrassment about asking for help.
  • It prevents homelessness, worry and relationships splitting up.
  • Help early on is a better use of resources and finances.
  • Perhaps early help could come through anonymous Helplines and drop-ins rather than your traditional service like your GP.

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This matters because:

  • You would feel better about living here.
  • It would give the place a better name, and the folk from here would have a better name.
  • Cleaner places attract people, people will go to have fun and not hang about on the streets.
  • Parks should be for everybody to use and enjoy and learn about nature.
  • They should be places I can play with my son, play hide and seek.
  • Families using parks together doesn’t cost anything.
  • Dog dirt needs cleaned up.
  • If you leave a bin out it is tipped over and left all over the street.
  • Shopping areas are an eyesore, with sofas sitting in gardens near the shopping centre. Charging for uplifts is a crime; folk with no money won’t pay for non-priorities.
  • When I was wee the parks were safe, you’d play all day and only come home for your tea. Now, I wouldn’t dream of letting my wee boy play there.
  • We need to work on this together, get the young and old involved in community projects.

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This matters because:

  • False promises are the worst thing.
  • When professionals don’t listen it is so frustrating and it makes people angry, it’s not good for relationships.
  • If people are listened to properly and services are designed accordingly it would help make other things better too. For example, it might help to build community spirit and identity if people could see their needs and wants mattered.
  • Wrong information causes worry, hardship and upset so staff should know what they are talking about.
  • Training for staff should be provided and relevant to their job.

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This matters because:

  • Money is a big scary subject when you don’t have it!
  • It’s too easy to get into debt. If you are struggling you go for all the offers of credit.
  • Mobile phones are getting people into debt.
  • The money you spend on debt could be used on healthier food, family activities, going out for a meal.
  • There could be loans with cheaper interest that would help.
  • People need educated on how to manage their money so they don’t need to take out loans, so educate people about the debt cycle because it gets worse and worse.
  • There should be information available and advice, somewhere to go before you make any decisions about borrowing or getting into debt.
  • People just don’t know how much help they can get with debt problems, they need information about what’s on offer and help top get there.
  • We need to help and encourage people to save.
  • When you get into debt you can lose everything.
  • Being part of a voluntary organisation was the key to getting help for me.

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This matters because:

  • It makes people feel closer, more linked.
  • Gives a sense of belonging and a feeling that you can join in without too much sense of commitment.
  • People can work at different levels, like single Mums or people who are working.
  • It needs all kinds to build a community.
  • It gives you a sense of pride when something is achieved and you see something in the paper, it’s good that you helped to do that, but not just as an individual.
  • Building community spirit helps people who are isolated to get to know their neighbours.

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This matters because:

  • This is the ultimate aim of regeneration.

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This matters because:

  • They need support to stay away form drink and drugs.
  • They need support to avoid health problems.
  • Young people should be brilliant citizens for the community.
  • By investing in the future generation we could have the type of community that respect values.

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This matters because:

  • They are the next generation. If there is not enough support in the family it will reflect on the children’s future.
  • Families need financial support, especially one parent families and 2 parent families if one of them isn’t working.
  • There’s a lot of stress on parents from kids, kids ask for a lot and this places a worry about money.
  • Some families need support because of the impact of the actions of one family member. Support often goes to the victim of something, or the individual with a problem, but this needs widened out to support for the whole family, for example the family of someone who ahs been convicted of a crime.
  • We need to teach core, good family values at a young age.
  • People need parenting skills; if they can’t look after themselves how can some people look after children?

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This matters because:

  • You should be able to feel safe in your community, not worried all the time.
  • Bad behaviour on the streets causes misery for so many people. Youngsters have no respect for authority. Vandalism and petty theft are too common and nothing seems to get done about it.

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