On 7th May, CEIS Ayrshire took over the management of Ahead South Ayrshire (ASA); an anchor organisation for community-led action that uses Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) to bring people together in their local area through shared interests.
The project aligns with CEIS Ayrshire’s grassroots work within Ayrshire, which was well known to the previous delivery partners, when seeking a new partner.
The overall aims of ASA are to:
- Create and strengthen links in communities
- Reduce social isolation
- Improve health and wellbeing
- Enable communities to use what they have to get what they want
- Create sustainable and resilient communities
ASA has 2 Community Builders, who bring a wide range of skills and experience including youth work, criminal justice, elderly care and volunteering in their local communities.
Over the past 18 months, the Community Builders have supported residents to start-up various new community interest groups, who share a common goal in improving the area for themselves and others. Groups include Community Cuppa and Chat, a Men’s Club, Ayr Academy Horticulture Group, Craigie Greenspace Group, Neighbourhood Watch, Parent-Led Youth Club, Craft Clubs, and Community Litter Pick Group.
ASA works within any community providing links between community groups and other appropriate professionals to build successful working relationships. They also work with local residents to support them to discover their skill or interest and connect them into their community.
Although ASA focusses mainly on revitalising community life, they are beginning to see how individuals are benefitting from the initiatives. A recent evaluation carried out by ASA shows how people have become connected to their community and have adopted a “can do” attitude.
“I keep in ill health most of the time and feel quite isolated as I live in a flat without much conversation. I became involved with the WAG, and I now attend meetings, help with fundraising and, raise awareness wherever I go. This has improved my health and allowed me to make new friends.”
“Since joining the Greenspace Group, I feel much happier knowing that there are other people in my community who really care about the area we live in.”
“I met my neighbour I had never met before at the group and also found out more about what is going on in the community as a result of attending.”
For further information on the programme, contact firstname.lastname@example.org