Community Engagement Team

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

The establishment of the Community Engagement Team supports the need to develop new models to support service delivery and community engagement to rural and remote-rural areas and proposed to test ideas that:

  • Older people could contribute to providing community-based services for other older people.
  • Older people could be maintained living in their own homes and communities for as long as possible if communities developed the capacity to provide basic services in ‘co-production’ with statutory public service providers.
  • Social organisations of various types established in and by communities, could be sustainable and could provide ‘value-added’ benefits (social participation, health, community involvement etc.).
  • Communities could be supported to engage in meaningful and sustainable dialogue with key statutory public service providers to ensure transparency and co-production.

What you did?

Three Community Engagement Workers have been employed through the Perth and Kinross Association of Voluntary Services and have developed a locality based partnership model alongside staff from Perth and Kinross Council and NHS Tayside. These localities are Highland Perthshire, Strathmore and Strathearn with joint community engagement plans are being developed.

For part of the working week Community Engagement Team staff are co-located with statutory partners within Pitlochry Community Hospital, Crieff Community Campus and Alyth Community Wing.  This facilitates close working relationships and allow for support to be provided to statutory partners in raising their awareness and understanding in connecting people to  community assets.

What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

Key successes have resulted from this collaborative and innovative approach with communities including:

  • Working with communities as partners in the identification of need and the development of support
  • Supporting communities to engage , discuss and act upon the agenda of the Change Fund: Reshaping Care for Older People programme
  • Identifying the positives and challenges of living within the rural and remote/rural communities within Highland Perthshire, Strathearn and  Strathmore
  • Winter Watch meetings in Pitlochry and Blair Atholl and the development of local emergency winter plans
  • Engaging people in a discussion about what types of supports (both community and statutory based) are required to help maintain older people in their own home or a homely setting
  • Identifying gaps in basic service provision for older people;
  • Developing new ways of providing community-based support services through involving residents responding to identified needs
  • Initiating support in the development of volunteering to help communities to live more sustainably
  • Identifying opportunities to influence the Personalisation agenda
  • Mapping of community assets using the ALISS database
  • Launch of the Community Start Up Grant
  • Piloting the BIG PLAN and a Community Circle in Pitlochry

Time has been spent on informing key partners of the context and vision of the Change Fund: Community Engagement Team, and working alongside statutory partners to understand and observe the benefits of a new, equal partnership of communities and statutory services.  Considerable time and resources have been spent on engaging with communities and statutory partners to address issues and concerns, to ensure the transparent direction of the Community Engagement model in line with the National Standards for Community Engagement.

Contacts - to find out more

Andy Moir,