Ayrshire & Arran Learning Site

In brief

· NHS, Local Authority and third sector partnership

· May 2014 – Recruited 5 community builders working alongside 5 Neighbourhoods across North and South Ayrshire.

· The team have been conducting learning conversation, identifying connectors and supporting citizen-led activity at street level

· Community builders receive monthly mentoring

What Community Builders in South Ayrshire say:

“When people are enabled and come together to build community, they build what they want to see, nothing can restrict this”

“When residents get together to do what they want to do – they run with it”

· The ABCD project (funded by the NHS Endowment Fund) commenced in May 2014 in the three Councils areas in Ayrshire and Arran. In North and South Ayrshire 5 CBs were appointed; they focused on the communities of Fullarton and Harbourside in North Ayrshire and on Lochside, Wallacetown and Braehead in South Ayrshire.

· In August 2015 a report was assembled drawing on a range of information collected by The Social Marketing Gateway with regular contact with Community Builders (CBs) and other stakeholders, including members of the local communities.

· The ‘Learning from the AHEAD Project in Ayrshire’ report covers the first year of learning in the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) project being implemented in Ayrshire, Scotland.

· This report has specific input from the CBs, key partners, and it has also benefited from the proceedings of a recent ‘Learning Session’ in May 2015, facilitated by Cormac Russell.

Some examples of community action in Ayrshire & Arran

‘Learning from the AHEAD Project in Ayrshire. August 2015 report.

Local residents share memories of the community centre over the years at a ‘picture party’.

Asset mapping in Ayrshire

Taking advantage of the nice weather, some Community Builders and residents hosted a series of pop up tea parties to meet and engage with residents on their travels.

This is the very first small spark in the community; it supplied the paint for a full block of houses to refurbish their tired and worn out fences.

The only condition is that if someone needs to support or help with their fence, then everyone mucks in to make it happen.

This newspaper clipping shows the work of a Coastwatch, a local voluntary organisation and the fantastic turnout of over 100 residents to who got together to clean the beach.

Community Builders supported this working with Coastwatch to make this a party that people would remember and come back too. 

This poster was created by a amateur cartoonist Shaun Burnett (CB in Ayrshire) met through random acquaintance at a local festival.

The poster no only represents his talent but supports the work of another local parent offering pop-up rugby sessions on a small patch of ground central to the community.

Everyone has something to contribute. Early on in the project Stephen McGinty (a Community Builder at the time) and Shaun Burnett hosted an ABCD workshop in Fullarton, Irvine.

A young man sat quietly alongside his mum throughout the afternoon and at the end, he came up to them and presented his art work.

Cormac leading the workshop Making the invisible visible, October 2015.

Creative drawings in an ABCD workshop led by Cormac in October 2015. Click on the image to view full size.

Local dad made these in his back garden; one set for the local community centre and one set for the local primary school.

He combined his passion for supporting young people and his carpentry skills.

This idea came up at an informal chat between Shaun and a local resident in the community centre. Shaun and others supported this neighbour with a small sparks grant to buy the wood.

Read the full story here.

This picture shows the handy work of two local fathers, one of which completed the joinery work and the other fitted the carpet and required the computers and such.

Local mum with a passion for painting and decorating contributed to the refurbishment of the IT Suite in the community.

Chris Shaw says: “I would rank my visit to East Ayrshire amongst the very best working visits I have ever done! I was incredibly inspired by seeing and hearing first hand the impact of social and economic history, along with the pride of place almost being lost and now being energetically regained. 

I learnt about tales of former and present lace knitting; madras weaving in Newmilns and much more. This experience was as fabulous as the enterprising ambitions of and love of home soil, family roots and local tradition, in every village and town I visited with Suzanne Brodie and her super-charged energy for community.

Meeting in Mauchline with Tom, Davina, John, Fiona, Lynn and Suzanne. They are hallmarks of how we can re-energise the present and shape our future.

Meeting with ABCD Community Builders in Cumnock and in Dalmellington. They have a deep understanding that enterprise and economic re-development of features such as tourism could start to replace some of the losses caused by industrial decline and its impact upon the social and economic aspects of community.

New Cumnock local residents show their grand designs to reconstruct the heart of their community to put the village back on the map in a big way! Pride in place is driving community building to make stronger connections once again.

More community stories: here.

Report on our work: Learning from the AHEAD Project in Ayrshire Annual Report August 2015. Download here.

Which of our team members is in Ayrshire & Arran: Cormac Russell, Nurture Development Managing Director.

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