Planning and Promoting the Commonwealth Legacy in Dundee
Having already put together a Games Legacy Plan for the city which focuses on Dundee's contributions to the Games Legacy Themes, Dundee Partnership was keen for any community engagement activity to be linked to this plan and into wider Community Planning processes. Scottish Community Development Centre's Legacy for Communities programme has been helping the partnership achieve this.
The development of community engagement around CWG Legacy in Dundee has focused on two key strands: city-wide discussions, and engagement at local area level.
On the 22nd of January 2013 the SCDC and Dundee City Council co-hosted a seminar to discuss the progress of the Dundee Legacy Plan in communities across the city and what will be done in the future, as the games are taking place, and after they finish next summer.
Stewart Murdoch, Director of Leisure and Communities for Dundee City Council spoke about the improvements to the city's sport and leisure facilities that have already been achieved. Among these are the refurbishment and enlargement of pitches at the Dundee International Sports Complex, the building of a new 50 metre swimming pool (due to open before the school holidays this year), improvements to the velodrome in Caird Park, and the establishment of a Regional Gymnastics Centre with the refurbishment of the Dick McTaggart Sports Centre for gymnastics and trampolining. There is an ongoing commitment to work with community sports organisations to develop community access to sports provision and facilities across Dundee.
All these actions complement the aims of the Commonwealth Games Legacy for Communities Programme, which aims to support communities to use the Games as a catalyst to develop and support activities and projects that:
- Involve local people
- Increase local community action
- Support the achievement of better health and social outcomes
How is Dundee fulfilling this vision?
Dundee has a set of key local priority tasks to accomplish in order to fulfill this vision. These are centred around two broad areas - Access and Inclusion, and Communication, Consultation and Involvement:
Access and Inclusion
- Addressing barriers.
- Supporting participation of excluded groups.
- Connecting with existing groups (and existing events/activities).
Communication, Consultation and Involvement
- Identifying key networkers.
- Talking to people (and groups).
- Developing a variety of methods/activities to consult and involve people.
Dundee also has a series of Community Engagement Outcomes that it wants to see as a result of its Commonwealth Games Legacy Plan. These are that more people are actively involved in the Commonwealth Games Legacy activity and that their contributions are valued; that there is improved partnership and collaborative working in this activity and that barriers to people getting involved in health and sports activities are identified and further reduced.
However, it is noted that it is within individual communities in Dundee that these outcomes will both be best addressed and most apparent. In the previous Dundee spotlight article we focused on Kirkton, Douglas and Finmill. In this article we turn our attention to the Dundee Healthy Living Initiative, Ardler and Menzieshill.
The DHLI works in disadvantaged communities across the city to tackle health inequalities by working with other organisations and local people. Its main aims are to:
- Promote health in its broadest sense.
- Target the most disadvantaged sectors of the population.
- Reduce differences in health inequalities and improve the health of the worst-off in society.
The key method that DHLI uses in order to increase activity among the communities in which it works is by increasing awareness of services that already exist. This is being done by offering taster sessions of different activities targeted at all levels of fitness and ability, allowing local residents to see the variety of activities on offer. Another key success is a volunteer-led walking group to get people involved in this simple and low-cost type of exercise. DHLI prioritises a friendly welcoming atmosphere at the groups it runs, and accessible, jargon-free materials about the Commonwealth Games and what their legacy can be for communities in Dundee.
At the seminar, it was noted by DHLI that there was still work to do in addressing barriers to access activities. This could be done by linking up with other facilities and groups to make the best use of what's available, and increasing awareness of events and services that are provided. Additionally, the role of volunteers was highlighted as a good way to sustain and grow participation in sports and activities before and during the Games, and potentially after their end.
At the seminar representatives from the Ardler Complex spoke about the increase in membership of the Complex which has already been achieved. One of the Complex's aims is to have an increase in membership of three per cent each year until 2015, and their plans to use the Commonwealth Games to effectively market their services to potential members in the local area.
Key among the Complex's priorities is to reduce barriers to increased participation by improving disabled access, widening the range of activities on offer in response to local demand, and providing as affordable a service as possible for local residents.
Menzieshill Community Centre
Menzieshill Community Centre has the idea of promoting the Commonwealth Games Legacy through a Spring Fling event, to publicise the Games and encourage participation in sports and physical activities locally. They have identified that upgrading fitness equipment is one method by which they can achieve this.
For Menzieshill Community Centre there has been a great emphasis on tackling the perceptions that cause people to feel that they cannot access sporting facilities and activities - such as negative perceptions about themselves in regards to health and mobility and worries about being included and accepted if they do choose to participate. With this in mind, the Centre is focused positively on highlighting family participation, rather than individual participation, at events like the Spring Fling.
For more information on the seminar and the Commonwealth Games Legacy Programme, please contact David Allan at SCDC (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more information on the implementation of the Dundee CWG Legacy Plan please contact Merrill Smith on email@example.com