Ready to Go
Communities are strong and getting stronger. The impact of Covid-19 and long-term implications for individuals and communities across Pembrokeshire has emphasised the relevance of local knowledge, locally led action and the strength gained from working together. Whilst it is widely held that communities vary in their assets and capacities, local leaders and voluntary groups at all levels have demonstrated the inherent power and energy a community can generate in difficult circumstances. The power of communities can be seen in many places, with numerous small-scale, innovative local practices creating places to live where people are healthy and positive wellbeing can be experienced by everyone.
Across Wales many communities are working on great ideas and putting them into action. This strong foundation and therefore the opportunities to build on much of the positive work already taking place has led to the creation of the Ready to Go Programme. The Programme is an action research project led by Together for Change with the aim to share experiences of positive actions, ideas and good practice in communities to support and encourage more sustainable community led initiatives.
The Programme is coproduced by a small team from Solva Care and began life as a project to disseminate the Solva Care Toolkit. The Toolkit is a resource developed by employees, volunteers and trustees of Solva Care to collate the learning of a small, grass roots organisation in a rural, coastal community in Pembrokeshire. Solva Care has been sustainability operating for five years and during that time the organisation has evolved, developing its strategy in response to evidence-based research, evaluation and best practice.
The Programme has two elements: a focused approach with grass roots community led initiatives as Pilot Projects and a wider dissemination of ideas and learning within the County. The Ready to Go team work directly with other community led initiatives to build upon actions, sharing learning from each other and creating networks to share experiences of positive actions. At the heart of this work is collaboration around ideas and exploration of assets, priorities and needs in order to build on existing strengths. The team are currently working with Llanrhian Connected Community and Llangwm Village Voices. There is a small working budget for each Pilot Project and the Programme will run until the end of 2021.
A bank of online resources is being developed as the Programme evolves. This includes practical tools and guides, relevant articles and useful links. The Programme has created opportunities to learn new skills through hosting a series of Masterclasses for communities. Subjects have included podcast recording, film-making and the use of social media. These classes have been extremely popular and another series is planned for the autumn.