Community Coach Blog, Dan Rous, 11 November 2021
In the last few weeks we have passed the half way point in the 3 year funding package that we’re working within. Yes, that’s 18 months that we’ve been doing this stuff here at OPCT. And what a weird 18 months it has been!
Who knew that we would have had to work so long in lockdown and not be able to reach many of you.
Who knew the way the world would go and the restrictions that we’re still under.
But also, who knew that so much good activity would still manage to develop through you lovely people in Camelon and Tamfourhill!
I know there’s still lots to sort out and lots of opportunities to tap into, but I am thrilled to have been able to support individual people and existing organisations, plus support the development of new groups too:
- I’ve been able to help people put their CV’s together, to access training, volunteering and work.
- I’ve been able to develop a 1to1 coaching programme and begin to support local people through that.
- I’ve been able to develop new training opportunities, and bring existing programmes to the area with partner organisations to benefit local people.
- I’ve worked with existing local groups on developing their skills, strengthening their set up, and accessing funding.
- I’ve been able to work with aspiring groups, and to bring likeminded people together, to form new exciting organisations who are plugging gaps and creating new opportunities right here in the community.
- I’ve been able to link us with organisations that can bring benefit to the area including being part of collaborative funding applications and project development.
- And I’ve been able to raise the profile of Camelon and Tamfourhill locally and nationally, making people in perceived positions of authority (you, the local residents really have the authority) sit up and take notice while I remind them to stop doing things to the community, and actually involve people.
In short, working alongside you has been an absolute joy and privilege – even on the difficult, dark, frustrating days.
One thing stands out to me though, and that relates to where the most successes have come in what we’ve achieved together. The biggest successes have come when people or groups have come to me in the first instance. Now let me clarify that I’m not just sitting back with my feet up waiting for people to come to me! I am proactive in many things and am always looking for opportunities that will benefit the local area. But seriously, the biggest growth has come from the people or organisations who have recognised their needs or had an idea about something, and come to me for help, support or signposting.
Why is this important or special? Because it was their idea – their instigation – they had control.
I’ve regularly talked about being alongside people in this role but also about where the real authority lies in this community. It’s not about me, the council or any other support organisation. The real power lies with you the amazing people of Camelon and Tamfourhill. And when you take hold of an idea and run with it – bringing help in alongside you as needed – then the real magic happens. I’m not saying all the other stuff is a waste of time – far from it – but the biggest leaps have come from those who have taken control of their situation. They’ve not sat and waited for people to come and help them or do things for them. They have taken the bull by the horns and pressed forwards, calling in whatever help they needed to make their ideas a reality.
Now let me be clear – I am always available for anyone and everyone in the area. Whether your group has existed since the dawn of time or is a more recent thing. Whether you have grown up in the area or are new to this patch. Whether you need a lot of help and support or just a bit of directioning. All of you can access my support and many of you are. If anything, this is maybe a bit of a reminder to existing groups that you can call on me to help you. I will check in every now and then but if you need something then ask me! Don’t wait for me to come to you! If I don’t know the answer or can’t personally help, I’m pretty sure I’ll know where to signpost you onwards. You have to act because otherwise, those who can help might not even know you need that help.
So please – ask the questions. Push your agenda. Be bold. In short – you have the permission to take control. This is a two way street so make the most of it. And I look forward to continuing to work alongside you with whatever you need.
Until next time.