I have been spending time with the local Barnardos team in Onthank, Kilmarnock. The area has become somewhat infamous since the BBC documentary, ‘The Scheme’, aired at the end of last year.  The series has been currently pulled from our TV screens for legal reasons. It sparked off some fair criticism from Lauren who hails from Kilmarnock.

The Barnardos team are seeking new ways to engage with young people in the area and get them back into work, education and training. I introduced different ways of engaging communities and we talked about how you can tell a visual story of what people think about where they live.  We discussed the concept of co-creating new projects in the six areas that the team will be focusing on.

Using method cards we looked at a range of engagement techniques – setting up online platforms and how we could feedback public opinion to the community.  We then spent time visualising what all these tools will look like.  The visualisation of online spaces, posters and stickers were really important at this stage as it developed concepts past a phrase on a post it to a fully fledged idea that asks more questions around a multi-channel engagement process.

The team generated the idea of a long-term project called ‘Wee6’ that asks people what they would like to change in their community and then plays it back as a film/exhibition. This idea is all about telling the real story of the area and generating new ‘Wee6’ community projects for people to get involved in.

We created the first steps to engagement focusing on how we will relay what we find out back to the community. It is important that this process considers mindset so it is a sustainable solution and not a singular process.  The goal of the piece of work is to secure a ‘Wee6’ shopfront so the team can be based inside the community –  almost functioning as a miniature job centre of ‘Wee6’ community projects for people to bring ideas forward and get involved!

We’ll be visiting the team again shortly to see how they are getting on! We wish them the very best of luck at the start of their Wee6 journey.