Pilmeny Development Project

Community Consultation

The Group
Pilmeny Development Project is a community based voluntary organisation working in the Lorne area of Leith since 1979. It works primarily with young people and older people and provides a community development and support role with local residents of all ages. The regeneration of Leith provides a new context for the organisation within a changing local environment. 

What were they trying to achieve?
The main research questions were: how can Pilmeny Development Project enable more local people to becoming active in creating a healthy future for the community? Which community-identified unmet needs should we prioritise to work on over the next three years? 

How did they go about it?
The methods used were:

  • Door-to-door semi structured interviews with over 100 people about themselves, what they liked about the area and ideas for improvements
  • Community profiling
  • Interactive ‘participatory appraisal' using maps, timelines, etc., and appreciative enquiry to formulate questions
  • Video work with young people
  • Focus groups with local groups and young people 

The research was carried out by ten local co-researchers, two research mentors, and a part-time support worker, youth worker and video worker. The research led to an increase in the level of local participation and awareness of Pilmeny Development Project and its work; and an increase in skills and capacity of local people who participated in conducting the research. 

What did they learn?
The research made a series of recommendations for Pilmeny Development Project to work with relevant local groups and agencies to address priority areas of concern:  

  • Young people: to investigate the issue of young people ‘hanging about' 
  • Older people: to provide information on local activities and services and identify gaps in services 
  • Environment: safer streets, better lighting and related environmental concerns 
  • Health: development of health-related work for young and old. Information relating to alcohol and drug use and dealing was fed into the new Alcohol Communities That Care Group which is developing work locally 
  • Information: PDP to develop a publicity strategy for its work. This is being incorporated in a new three-year development plan
  • Housing: housing and maintenance issues. These were passed to the local housing association 
  • Transport: traffic calming and hazardous parking. The Older Peoples Forum and Community Council are working on these issues 
  • Children: clubs for children, and initiatives to promote the wellbeing of parents and children. A SureStart Parent and Toddler Group meet weekly 
  • Parks and play areas  
  • The groups is working with local Arts Project on a Dalmeny Street Park project 
  • Community facilities and finance and poverty were also identified as issues: specific actions are to be identified 

What difference did it make?
Specific developments since the research was carried out include: 

  • Funding was found for a Detached Street Project for young people 
  • An Older People's Forum and activities were developed , and an Ageing Well Peer Mentor project 
  • Environment and community safety issues were taken to the local community council and Local Development Committee. Additional police officers for Leith were funded by the Council and a Community Safety training course was developed 

See the report: Pilmeny Development Project (2004) Leithers, Junkies and Jakies: how Pilmeny Development Project can enable local people to become active in creating a healthy future for their community. 

Anne Munro / Carol Scarth
Pilmeny Development Project
19-21 Buchanan Street
Tel:  0131 553 2559 
Email:  pilmenyproject@btconnect.com 
Website:  http://www.pilmenydevelopmentproject.co.uk/