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Getting Going with Community Connections – in Eaglesham & Waterfoot

Posted August 2nd 2019 by Liz Highet

I began working on the new Community Connections project in June and I’m really enjoying it. To be working with such a grassroots, collaborative and participatory project in the beautiful villages of Eaglesham and Waterfoot to work within is a bit of a dream come true!  And it is lovely to have friendly colleagues at Outside the Box to help me get off to a flying start.

Community Connections is working in the Eaglesham and Waterfoot area of East Renfrewshire and the area around Brechin and Edzell in Angus. It arose from the work of Rural Wisdom, which has been hearing voices of people in each community and helping them  get new developments underway. Rural wisdom was about the voices of older people but our new project is for everyone.

So far, I’ve been out and about meeting some lovely, caring people and some strong, effective groups and local services.  Local people and groups had talked about seeing the community in three parts – the people born and bred there, people who are “locals” but don’t have their roots there, and people from the new housing developments in the area.  There was a general feeling that perhaps communication could be improved so people become more aware of groups and events that are happening and people feel they have more involvement in decision-making about what happens in the community.

Transport is a big issue in the area, particularly for those who don’t drive in connecting up people with their places of work, with towns and cities where amenities such as banks, post offices, shopping and entertainment can be easily accessed.  Even within the village, the hilly terrain in Eaglesham is quite challenging to navigate particularly for parents with buggies and people for whom walking is a problem.  Having no one focal point in the villages means people find it tough to meet with others and to connect up with other people and hear what’s happening.

Community Connections has funding form the LEADER programme for about 18 months.  Within this time, I intend meeting as many people and groups as possible to listen to people’s ideas for helping address these issues and make Eaglesham and Waterfoot really “work” for their residents.  With the help of local people, I will organise 4 Village Gatherings where l people can relax with a cuppa and a cake, be creative and share ideas and approaches to helping address some of these issues.

So, I look forward to keeping everyone up-to-speed on my journey and the journey of the good folks of Eaglesham and Waterfoot! Get in touch if you know more or get involved: liz@otbds.org / 07843974967

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